What is a taxi?
Already, you’ve hit a technical point. There are two kinds of cab; a taxi and a Private Hire Vehicle. The main difference between the two is how they get their jobs.
Both are cars or other vehicles driven by men and women who have passed certain tests to show they are competent and safe to move you and your family around in a roadworthy vehicle for money.
What is a taxi, again?
A taxi is a Hackney Carriage. I drive one. I’m allowed to drive through the city on my way to a taxi rank and if someone flags me down, I can pick them up. When I get to the rank I join the back of it and when I’m the first car I get to pick up the person who comes to my car.
What isn’t a taxi?
A Private Hire Vehicle is not allowed to stop for people who wave at them. All their work has to come from pre-booked jobs through their Operator. When you call for a cab, or use an app, that’s prebooking.
If you ever have a Private Hire car stop for you without a booking and take you somewhere you can report them to your council. I encourage this because their insurance doesn’t cover them for doing this, they’re putting you in danger.
What is an UBER?
It’s a Private Hire Vehicle.
They don’t take cash. If they ask for cash, refuse and report them to your council, they’re ONLY paid off a credit card. If they claim otherwise, they picked you up illegally and their insurance hasn’t covered you for the journey.
They aren’t allowed to carry people under 16 alone.
They aren’t usually licensed in the area they are working in; spending more time looking at their SatNavs than the road.
How do I get a cab?
1) If you see a Hackney Carriage with the toplight turned on, don’t jump out in front of it, that’s dangerous. Just stand on the kerb and put your hand out. In theory it should stop for you if you’ve been seen and it’s safe to stop.
2) Walk to a taxi rank and wait for the next car to arrive. If a Private Hire Vehicle arrives at the rank, don’t get in it, they’re not allowed to stop on ranks or pick up people without bookings.
3) Use your smartphone to download one of the many apps available for cabs in your area. Most of the companies made up of the people that live in your city have and app. There are national ones that use local drivers, then there’s the one that causes all the problems which I can’t honestly say I belive to be operating legally.
4) Pick up the phone! Call your local company and ask for a cab to come to you. Most companies will send you a text or call you when it’s outside.
5) Walk to the Booking Office and ask the operator to get a car to you.