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Difference Between Taxis and Private Hire, Tourist Help

Jim Gladwin
Jim Gladwin article

Travellers and tourists need to be aware about the licensing differences between 'Taxis', also known as “Hackney Carriages”, and 'Private Hire' vehicles. We hope this will help travellers understand and make their transfers stress free.

Any Taxi or Private Hire vehicle that you hire should be licensed by Cotswold District Council and operated by a licensed driver. The operating criteria and charging of journeys do substantially differ.

Taxis (Hackney Carriages) Licensing

Taxis (Hackney Carriages) can be ‘hailed’ in the street or picked up on a taxi rank such as a train station. These type of vehicles cannot legally offer fixed price journeys and no price should be accepted as the driver must use the meter to calculate the fare. The taxi driver might well be aware of an approximate price for the journey, but the final price should be the one specified by the taxi meter.


Private Hire Licensing

Private Hire vehicles operate differently and are only permitted to pick up passengers as part of pre-arranged booking and are not permitted to pick people up from the side of the road.
When a Private Hire journey is booked, the company will supply you with a quote for the cost, and that is what you should pay.

How to Report Taxi Journey Overcharging

To make a formal complaint an email has to be submitted to "" specifying the cause of your concern and any other relevant details.
All formal complaints must contain your contact name and your email address for any further correspondence.

Online Taxi Fare Calculators

Use a search-engine to find a "taxi fare calculator" and it should provide you with an approximate cost and duration of your journey.