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Taxi (hackney carriage) and private hire licensing

Can I drive for app-based companies based outside Nuneaton and Bedworth

The licensing team have received a number of enquiries from licensed drivers and from prospective drivers about whether they can drive for companies outside Nuneaton and Bedworth based on app bookings.

Private hire operators licenced with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council operate private hire vehicles and drivers which are licenced in our borough. However all operators, including Nuneaton operators and those licenced outside of Nuneaton and Bedworth, can legally dispatch vehicles and drivers to carry out work anywhere in the country providing that the vehicle and driver that is allocated to the booking is also licensed with the local authority that issued the relevant private hire operator’s licence.

Following the relaxation on sub-contracting rules for private hire vehicles that came into effect in October 2015, any operator can also sub-contract bookings to other licensed private hire operators in other local authority areas so that the operator can dispatch an appropriately licensed vehicle and driver.

There is nothing in the legislation that restricts in any way the trading area of any private hire operator. While it may be interpreted that companies that are undertaking app-based bookings are taking advantage of this, they continue to conduct their business lawfully.

External operator private hire vehicles are subject to the same legislation as Nuneaton and Bedworth private hire vehicles, and where a breach of legislation is identified we will investigate and take appropriate action.

Hackney carriages (taxis) that are licensed in the borough can do pre-booked work for any operator in the country. However, one of our licence conditions for vehicles, is that we will not normally licence a vehicle that will not be used primarily in our area, so in essence the vehicle needs to be working in our borough more often than not.

It must be highlighted that if a taxi carries out any pre-booked work for journeys that start and end in Nuneaton and Bedworth, they must not charge more than the metered fare that is set by the Council. If they do they may be breaking the law and if found guilty, may face prosecution and (or) a review of their hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence.

Also, journeys that start in the borough and terminate outside of the borough must also be charged at the metered fare unless an agreement has taken place before the journey begins.

This may be relevant as some operators/app-based firms announce a fare to be accepted by the customer before the journey commences, so drivers should be aware of this piece of legislation.

Last updated Wednesday, 2nd August 2023

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