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How to travel safely in taxis


How to travel safely in taxis in County Durham.

We licence two types of taxis - hackney carriage and private hire vehicles. Most people refer to both as taxis. Depending on whether it's a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle determines what at the vehicle look likes, and where the driver is insured to pick up passengers.

Hackney carriage

These taxis are white, and display a white licence plate at the back of the vehicle. Drivers with a hackney carriage licence can:

  • pick you up at a taxi rank
  • pick you up from the roadside if you flag the taxi down

Private hire

Private hire vehicles are any colour except white, and they display a yellow licence plate at the back of the vehicle and a round sign on the side door. Drivers with a private hire licence can:

  • pick you up if you book them, usually by phone or in person at an office. 

Private hire drivers must not pick up passengers in the street or at taxi ranks - they are not insured to do this. 

Travel safely

Whenever you use a taxi, make sure others know where you are going and: 

  • if you haven't booked a taxi, go to a taxi rank, rather than flag a taxi down at the roadside
  • if you book your taxi, book with a licensed operator and:
    • arrange to be collected at a safe place
    • find out how much your taxi will cost when you book
    • confirm your booking with the driver when he/she arrives
    • note the licence number
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