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Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles

General Information

Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles (PHVs) are licensed by the Council in a similar way, but are subject to different conditions. They are also primarily regulated by different legislation.

Hackney carriages are informally known as 'taxis'. However, the term is often used by the general public for both types of vehicles.

We can only licence vehicles with up to eight passenger seats. Anything above this usually falls under a different licence (public service vehicle (PSV)), which is managed by the government.  

Apply for a PSV operator's licence (GOV.UK)

Licensed vehicles in London are controlled in a different way to those licensed outside of London. We will not issue a vehicle with a licence if they are still plated elsewhere.

Hackney carriages in Babergh have white plates; in Mid Suffolk they are red.

A PHV must be booked in advance, via a licensed private hire operator’s base within the district.

PHVs cannot:

  • use taxi ranks
  • 'ply-for-hire' (transport a customer without the trip having been pre-booked)
  • be flagged down in the street

In Babergh, PHVs are issued with yellow plates for identification; in Mid Suffolk they are blue.

PHVs can set their fares to be whatever they choose. Often, a customer will agree a fare with the operator on making the booking. Some operator bases also offer booking/waiting facilities for customers.

Babergh information

A licensed hackney carriage in Babergh can:

  • use any designated taxi ranks within Babergh
  • be flagged down in the street
  • be available for immediate hire
  • ply-for-hire

They will normally have an illuminated sign on the roof of the car. 

The maximum fares chargeable by hackney carriage proprietors are regulated by the Council. However, an operator may set, or a customer may negotiate, a lower fare.

View Babergh's hackney carriage tariff table (effective from 9 March 2023)

Forms for Babergh or Mid Suffolk applications

If you would like to operate within Babergh, please email Babergh's licensing team for an application form.

If you would like to operate within Mid Suffolk, please email Mid Suffolk's licensing team for an application form. 

Within your email (to Babergh or Mid Suffolk) please include:

  • your name
  • your address
  • your contact details 
  • the details of which taxi or PHV business you will be linked to, or work for

Wheelchair accessible vehicles

Please download our list of wheelchair accessible vehicles