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Glasgow City Council

Passengers

Contact licensing

  • Phone 0141 287 5354

We are responsible for licensing taxis, private hire cars and their drivers. We also regulate bookings offices (radios bases) that are used to book a taxi or private hire car.

As a regulator we are committed to ensuring that the city's taxi and private hire car businesses operate in a professional manner and provide a safe and secure service for passengers.

What is the difference between a taxi and a private hire car?

The main difference between taxis and private hire cars is that only taxis can be hailed from the street (there and then hires) or pick passengers up at licensed stances (ranks).

Taxis

  • Hackney carriage style vehicles (i.e. London style taxis) or converted vans such as the Peugeot Euro 7 or Mercedes M8;
  • Can be flagged down on the street, at an authorised rank, or can be pre-booked;
  • Have a taxi sign on the roof of the vehicle and black identification plates affixed to the front and back of the vehicle;
  • Charge metered fares that are set by the Licensing Authority for journeys within the City; and
  • Have drivers who have passed a topographical test (sometimes referred to as a "knowledge" test) to evidence they have good knowledge of the geography of the city. 

 Private hire cars 

  • Typically saloon cars such as the Skoda Octavia or Ford Mondeo;
  • Not permitted to carry any signage indicating that they are a taxi;
  • Have yellow and green plates affixed to the front, back and sides of the vehicle;
  • Have stickers on the front driver and passenger doors identifying the vehicle as a licensed private hire car;
  • Have a sign (called a "flashback") on the rear window identifying the private hire company that the vehicle is attached to;
  • Charge fares set by the private hire company they are attached to and
  • Can only be pre-booked through a booking office.

How much will I be charged?

The fare you pay for a journey depends on whether you travel in a taxi or private hire car and where you plan to go.

Taxis

The Licensing Authority is responsible for setting the fares that taxis can charge passengers for journeys within the city boundary.

All taxis have a meter fitted and a "fare card" setting out how fares are calculated should be clearly displayed to passengers within the taxi.

It is important to note that journeys outwith the city boundary are not regulated by the Licensing Authority.  Taxi Drivers are not obligated to take you to a destination outwith the City.  If the driver agrees to a journey outwith the boundary you should agree your fare prior to the journey commencing. 

Some drivers may agree a flat fee for the journey others may choose to use their taxi meter to calculate the fare for journey and then add an additional charge - often called a boundary charge - onto the fare.  In any event the driver must leave the taxi metre running throughout the journey.

Private hire cars

The Licensing Authority is not responsible for setting the fares that Private Hire Cars charge.  The Booking Office that the vehicle is attached to will set the fares.

When pre-booking your journey you should check how much you will be charged.

What standards should I expect from taxis and private hire cars?

Taxis:

As a passenger in a licensed taxi you have the right to expect:

  • A polite and courteous driver who obeys all traffic laws and parking regulations;
  • A knowledgeable driver who know the geography of the City;
  • A driver who wears their taxi driver identification badge and presents the badge to you on request;
  • A clean vehicle both internally and externally (subject to prevailing weather conditions);
  • A vehicle in good condition that has passed all required inspections and has working seatbelts for all passengers;
  • A smoke free environment;
  • Direct your journey: either by the most direct route or one of your choice;
  • Go to any destination within the Glasgow City boundary and be charged a metered fare set in accordance with the tariff displayed in the vehicle*;
  • Pay for your journey with cash (some taxis may offer additional alternative payment options);
  • Request that your driver turn their radio down or off if that is your preference; and
  • Be accompanied by a recognised assistance dog if you have a disability.

 

Private hire cars:

As a passenger in a licensed private hire car you have the right to expect:

  • A polite and courteous driver who obeys all traffic laws and parking regulations;
  • A driver who wears their private hire car driver identification badge and presents the badge to you on request
  • A clean vehicle both internally and externally (subject to prevailing weather conditions);
  • A vehicle in good condition that has passed all required inspections and has working seatbelts for all passengers;
  • A smoke free environment;
  • Direct your journey: either by the most direct route or one of your choice;
  • Go to the destination agreed at the point of arranging the journey;
  • Pay for your journey with cash (some Private Hire Cars may offer additional alternative payment options);
  • Request that your driver turn their radio down or off if that is your preference; and
  • Be accompanied by a recognised assistance dog if you have a disability.

Where can I get a taxi?

There are numerous authorised taxi stances (ranks) located throughout the city where taxis may wait for customers. 

These stances have been provided where a demand has been identified, such as outside large establishments like bus and rail stations, hotels, supermarkets, night clubs, hospitals etc.

Authorised stances can be operational for 24 hours or part time, such as evening only.  Ranks are identified by signage identifying the hours of operation and the number of taxis allowed to rank.  At weekends certain busy city centre stances may be supported by taxi marshals to manage queues.

Stances may be used by taxis but cannot be used by private hire cars.

Where can I find lost property?

If you believe you have left property in a taxi or private hire car you can do the following:

For pre-booked journeys

You should contact the booking office in the first instance who will be able to contact the driver to determine if they have your property.

For journeys in licensed taxis that were not pre-booked

If you flagged a taxi down in the street or at a rank then you can contact our taxi and private hire enforcement unit in the first instance who will endeavour to identify the taxi and put you in contact with the driver.

Where can I make a complaint about a taxi or private hire car?

If you would like to make a comment or complaint about a taxi or private hire car driver or operator you can contact the enforcement unit by on the make a complaint form.

Please note that matters of alleged criminality or potential breaches of road traffic laws should be directed to Police Scotland and not to the Enforcement Unit.

Postal address

City of Glasgow Licensing Board

Licensing Section

City Chambers

Glasgow

G2 1DU

Contact licensing

  • Phone 0141 287 5354
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