Taxi and private hire licensing for the public

This section is for members of the public to find out about taxi and private hire licensing and how to make a comment or complaint.

If you are wishing to apply for a taxi or private hire driver's licence please visit our Taxi and private hire licensing for applicants page.

Driver, Vehicle and Operator licences are issued by Spelthorne Borough Council.

The purpose of licensing is to make sure that drivers are suitable. Licensed drivers have to undergo enhanced criminal record checks, have a high standard of medical fitness, have passed tests in the knowledge of the Borough, basic English and numeracy, and a driving assessment.

Vehicles must be fit for purpose, comfortable, and have regular MoTs and suitable insurance.

Operators must also be licensed and have to abide by rules on record keeping.

Since the Immigration Act 2016, all licence holders must have the right to work in the UK.

What fare should I be charged?

Taxi drivers taking a journey that starts and ends within the Borough must use the meter. The fare charged will depend on the time of day, the distance travelled and the time taken.

Longer journeys that finish outside the Borough can be a fixed fare which must be agreed by the customer before the journey begins.

The rates for private hire journeys are not set by the Council. The operator should quote you a price when you book the journey.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles

The main difference between the two types of vehicle is that a Hackney Carriage can be flagged down and can wait at designated taxi ranks whereas a Private Hire vehicle must be pre-booked by telephone or personal call.

What is a Hackney Carriage?

  • a Hackney Carriage can stand and wait on an authorised taxi rank
  • it will display a blue plate at the rear of the vehicle
  • it can ply for hire or be hailed by prospective passengers in the Borough
  • it must be driven by a licensed Hackney Carriage Driver
  • must have an automated fare meter and illuminated roof sign

What is a Private Hire vehicle?

  • it must be pre-booked with a licensed Private Hire Operator
  • it will display a green plate on the rear of the vehicle
  • it cannot stand on a rank or be flagged down
  • it must not operate independently from a Private Hire Operator
  • a Private Hire vehicle must be driven by a licensed Private Hire driver
  • there are no regulations with regard to fares in Private Hire vehicles but it is advisable that the cost of hiring should be agreed at the time of booking

Comments and complaints

Please contact the Licensing Service if you have any comments, compliments or complaints about your Spelthorne taxi journey.