There are two types of taxi operating in Southampton – Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles.
Southampton Licensed Hackney Carriages
How to recognise a Southampton Hackney Carriage
* Southampton Hackney Carriages must display a full roof sign with the words ‘CITY OF SOUTHAMPTON’ in large letters with the word “TAXI” below it and Licensed by Southampton City Council on either side with the city logo. These signs are on saloon or estate vehicles, purpose built vehicles normally have in-built forward facing roof signs with the word TAXI on them.
* Southampton Hackney Carriages will always be white (some have advertising on them but the majority of the vehicle should be seen as white).
* Southampton Hackney Carriages must display a windscreen badge which shows the vehicle licence number.
* Southampton Hackney Carriages will display a red square plate, with black writing, on the rear of each vehicle which shows the taxi licence number and also the date the license on the vehicle expires.
* Southampton Hackney Carriages taxi licence number is also on the rear passenger doors by the door handle or on the top edge of the door on some vehicles.
How to hire a Hackney Carriage
* they can be hired from taxi ranks.
* they can be hailed on the street.
* they can be part of a radio circuit and sent to a booking that was made by telephone or by going to a taxi office but this will be a private hire booking or contract and will be covered by those conditions.
Hackney Carriages can only charge up to the metered rate set by the Council for journeys within the City Boundary. The Tariffs will be displayed in each vehicle and a taximeter will calculate the fare; the Tariff increases between 11pm and 6am and on Sundays & Bank Holidays. For any other journey the fare is negotiable with the driver before the start of journey. Drivers not in radio circuit usually charge 25 % above the metered fare outside the City Boundary, this extra charge is NOT obligatory and is NOT sanctioned by the Council.
Southampton Licensed Private Hire Vehicles
How to recognise a Southampton Private Hire Vehicle
* they can be ANY colour other than white.
* they must display a windscreen badge showing the vehicle’s licence number (the same as the number on the Council License Plate on the rear of the vehicle).
* they must display a Council license plate which is white with black writing on the rear of the car which shows the vehicle licence number.
* the vehicle’s Council license number is also shown on the front doors just below the window along with the Operator’s logo or sign.
How to book a Private Hire Vehicle
* they cannot be flagged down or hired on the street. Only bookings made through their Operators Office will be fully insured. Bookings can be made by telephone (023) 80 666 666, by text (as described on this website) or calling into the Operators Office.
In mixed fleets Private Hire vehicles often have their taximeters set to the same fare structure as the Hackney Carriages. Some other Private Hire Companies may run their own fare structure but this is not always cheaper. It pays to use a trusted Company, who you’ve used before for the prices and reliability. Radio taxis does not charge out of Boundary charges on ANY booking made through its office. For longer journeys outside of the City Boundary.
Be sensible and safe when using Taxis or Private Hire Vehicles
All vehicles and drivers are controlled by very strict licensing conditions and all drivers MUST display their badge showing their licence number and date of expiry.
Only use Southampton City Council Licensed Hackney Carriages or Private Hire Vehicles when out and about in Southampton.
Always telephone a reliable taxi or private hire company, preferably Radio Taxis (023) 80 666 666
Preferably sit in the back of the vehicle and fasten your safety seat belt.
For wheelchair users please ask for a vehicle with wheelchair access when making a booking.
Always ask for a quote if your journey takes you outside of Southampton.
Always ask for a receipt if you think you have been charged too much. (this will help if you need to complain to the Company or the Council).
Try to have small value notes and check your change before leaving the vehicle.
Always ask to see the driver’s badge and note the number if you have cause to complain. Also, note the vehicle licence number that is displayed on the doors, windscreen or rear of the car.
Please respect the driver and the vehicle you are travelling in.