Many people refer to vehicles booked for hire as "taxis", but few UK passengers realise these are split into two categories: private hire vehicles and hackney carriages. "Cab" is also frequently used and some people say "minicab", so what’s the difference?
Only hackney carriages, also known as "public hire" vehicles, or less commonly "taxicabs", are legally allowed to be called "taxis". These are driven by hackney carriage drivers who are allowed to ply for business direct with passengers on the street. In London, hackney carriages are the iconic black cabs but in other UK towns and cities, saloons, estates, executive vehicles and MPVs can be driven by hackney carriage drivers.
"Minicabs" are private hire vehicles driven by private hire drivers. This type of vehicle cannot be hailed on the street. Instead, passengers must pre-book with a private hire operator who dispatches the job to a private hire driver. By law, private hire vehicles can seat a maximum of eight passengers and include saloon cars, estates, executive vehicles, MPVs and limousines.
Since many people don't know the difference between a "taxi" and a "minicab", passengers booking a "taxi" may actually be booking a minicab with a private hire operator.
The term "cab", on the other hand, is a common term for both "taxicabs" and "minicabs" since it appears in both words.
Whether you call them taxis, cabs or minicabs, by booking a car with Cabubble, you always book direct with a named taxi or private hire operator licensed by their local authority.