The purpose of licensing the Hackney Carriage (Taxis) and Private Hire Trade is to ensure the safety of the public by ensuring that drivers we licence are fit and proper and that the vehicles they drive are safe, suitable and reliable.

There are two different types of vehicle that are licensed by us.

Hackney Carriage

The most easily recognised is a Hackney Carriage due to the vehicle requiring a taxi sign on the roof; these can regularly be found on ranks within Torbay.

We currently have an unmet demand study carried out every three years to determine if there is any demand for additional Hackney Carriage vehicles. At present the set number of Hackney Carriage vehicles licensed by us is 162, in addition to these there are also seven seasonal Hackney Carriage vehicles which operate from the 1 May until the 30 September.

Hackney Carriage vehicles carry a blue licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.

Private Hires

Other vehicles are known as Private Hire vehicles which are required to be booked in advance with a Private Hire Operator. Failure to book in advance can lead to the driver, the vehicle and the passenger being uninsured.

They also carry signs on both front doors of the vehicle displaying that they are pre booked or advanced booking only.

Private Hire vehicles carry a red licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.

Both vehicles must display a licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.  This carries information like the licence number, vehicle registration number and maximum number of passengers the vehicle is allowed to carry as well as the licence expiry date.