Taxi or Minicab
Taxi or Minicab (Private Hire Service In Harrogate)
Taxi or Minicab?
There is often confusion about the difference between taxis and minicabs, but there is an important distinction to be made.
Taxis, properly known as 'Hackney Carriages' can be hired directly by anyone. They can be booked by telephone, hired on a taxi rank, or flagged down in the street. They have a 'taxi' roof sign which is illuminated when they are available for hire. Taxis are licensed by the local Borough Council and in Harrogate, have a small black licence plate on the rear of the vehicle and blue taxi signs on the front doors, each of which carries the taxi licence number and the word 'taxi'.
Minicabs, correctly known as Private Hire Vehicles, can only pick up passengers who have pre-booked their journey, either by telephone or by going into a minicab office. They too are licensed by the local Borough Council and in Harrogate, have a small white licence plate on the rear and red door signs, each bearing the private hire license number. They do not have roof signs and cannot be flagged down or pick up any passengers who have not booked their journey in advance.
Why does it matter? When you pre book a minicab, it is always done through a licensed operator who has to keep a record of all bookings for the security of the customer, so that in the event of a problem or complaint, the minicab and driver can be properly identified. This is not a requirement for taxis, but the Direct Taxis (Harrogate) telephone system automatically keeps a record of all calls and the driver who took the booking so in effect, with Association Taxis you get the same security benefit.
The other major difference between taxis and minicabs is that the local Borough Council sets the maximum tariff for taxis and each taxi has to have a working taximeter that shows the fare both during and at the end of your journey. There is no such regulation of minicab fares. Private Hire vehicles do not have to use a meter and can charge whatever they like. Even though many minicabs have meters fitted, they are not covered by the same maximum fares rules that apply to taxis.
With Direct Taxis (Harrogate), the maximum fare you will be charged is set by Harrogate Borough Council and will be displayed on the taximeter.