Setting up and managing your own private taxi or rental company is not simple, as there are regional differences and management styles are very different in different parts of the UK.

2005-2006, the private taxi and rental industry was worth approximately £ 2.6 billion. More than 500,000 drivers in the UK. Taxi use has steadily increased in the past 20 years: 32% of the public uses a taxi every month, compared to just 16% in the mid-1980s.

What is the difference between taxis and private rental vehicles?

Although both have the same purpose (transporting paying customers to their destination, helping with their luggage, etc.), taxis and private rental vehicles have significant differences.


Hackney Carriage taxis (black taxis) can pick up people from the street (get down) without a prior reservation. Found mainly in urban areas, black taxis are highly regulated, with rates controlled by local councils and numbers restricted by many local authorities.

Black taxi drivers are essentially self-employed and have to go through rigorous testing and testing before obtaining their license. Some Hackney Carriage operators form cooperatives and drive saloons and MPVs, however most Hackney drivers prefer London's traditional MetroCab or TX1 and TX2 vehicles, manufactured by LTI.

Private rental

Private rental vehicles, or minicabs, must have a prior reservation when picking up passengers.

Minicab owners will be prosecuted if they are promoting their business or behaving like a Hackney or a Taxi.

Most private drivers are self-employed drivers and pay a circuit fee to a minicab company for taking reservations and scheduling work. The minicab operator charges for the call center and in most cases they will probably rent the radios and even provide data terminals or PDA dispatch systems if they have computerized reservation and dispatch software.

If you want to be self-employed and make a profit on your own without having to pay minicab circuit fees, become a licensed black taxi driver and go it alone. Some black taxi owners form cooperatives where they partner with other drivers to increase profits and run operations much like a small business. Computer Cabs in London was built around a small fleet of black taxis. They now have a fleet of more than 3,500 taxis, with 10-20,000 reservations per day. They also have one of the most advanced reservation and dispatch systems in the city, they can process credit cards and track their vehicles by GPS.

It is possible to mix fleets, Hackney Carriages can cover private rental bookings if street hires are quiet. However, it is illegal for private rental vehicles to stop if a member of the public tries to request them.

Rules and regulations

There are over 400 council licensing authorities in the UK and as there is no central body, the regulations for each council will vary according to their particular management style. However, there are basic regulations that are common to all authorities.

Author's Bio: 

Many tourists, especially those who are going to London for the first time, believe that it is convenient to visit the city using taxis. If you're traveling to London soon, here are some important tips when traveling by taxi.