Any car or small minibus that is used to carry 8 or less passengers for hire or reward is required by LAW to be licensed by the Council. There are two types of vehicles available for hire by the public that are licensed by the Council. The two types of vehicles are similar, in that they both transport members of the public to a specific destination upon request, in exchange for payment of a fare.
Hackney Carriage Vehicles which are available for hire at a taxi rank and ply for hire in the street. These vehicles are identifiable by a compulsory condition to carry an illuminated roof sign and display a yellow council licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.
Private Hire Vehicles which must be pre-booked by telephone or in person will only display a white council licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.
The fares for hackney carriages are set by the Council and are displayed on a taximeter fitted in the vehicle. The fare shown is the maximum that can be charged for the journey undertaken. If the journey takes the vehicle outside the council district then a different fare may be agreed before the journey begins. Fares for private hire vehicles should be agreed with the private hire operator before starting a journey.
A taxi (hackney carriage or private hire vehicle) can only be driven by persons who are also licensed by the same council to drive these vehicles. These persons are identifiable by the display of a valid taxi driver identification badge.
New Forest District Council publishes a list of wheel chair accessible taxi vehicles. It is advisable to discuss your specific requirements with either the hackney carriage proprietor or private hire operator when making the booking for your journey.
New Forest District Council has produced a Policy for taxi licensing. This explains what the Council will take into account when considering applications and compliance thereafter.