Always check whether a taxi is licensed before getting in - you can tell by looking for the official AVDC licence plate, which can be red, white or yellow and is displayed on the outside rear of the vehicle.
Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are required by the council to operate in different ways.
This poster summarises the differences between the two.
More information is provided below.
Private hire vehicles
Taxis with yellow plates are private hire vehicles.
They are ordinary cars approved by AVDC that set their own fares.
They may have the name or logo of the company visible on the outside and must display the yellow license plate on the rear.
Private hire vehicles can't be flagged down or taken from a rank, they must be booked in advance. So you must not get into a cab which has a yellow licence plate unless you've pre-booked it.
If you want to flag down a taxi or take one from a rank, you must use a hackney carriage. These have either a red or white licence plate.
Hackney carriages can be an ordinary car or a London style cab approved by AVDC.
They must have the word 'TAXI' illuminated on the roof, have a red or white licence plate on the rear, use a tested and sealed meter and charge fares are set by AVDC.
They may be used for pre-booked journeys or can be flagged down or taken from a rank.
The most important difference you need to remember is that you must not get into a cab which has a yellow licence plate, unless you have pre-booked it.
You can help us
We regularly inspect taxi owners, operators and drivers but you can also help us to maintain high standards by giving us your views about the taxis you use.
Applying for a taxi licence
If you wish to apply for a taxi licence, please see our taxi licensing page.