What is the difference between car insurance for private hire and public hire?

Although they both serve the same purpose, to get customers from A to B, there are two different types of taxi in the UK. Whilst you may never have thought about it, you are probably aware of the two without even realising it. Car insurance for private hire taxis differs from public hire, so you have to ensure you are adequately protected before hitting the road.

Private hire taxi insurance
The first is a private hire vehicle, or minicab, which needs to be booked in advance before it can pick up any passengers. More often than not the vehicle will be part of a fleet of branded taxis, linked together by a radio system. Private hire taxi drivers will face significant fines if they are found to be picking up passengers who have not pre-booked the service.

Public hire taxi insurance
This type of taxi is more commonly found in the city in the shape of a black Hackney Carriage with an orange light. Public hire taxis are the opposite of private hire as they are allowed to pick up passengers off the street without any prior booking. Public hire taxi drivers go through rigorous checks before they can be awarded a license. Their numbers and fares are usually controlled by the local council, although the driver will be self-employed.

Car insurance for private & public hire differences
As there are two different types of taxi in the UK, they need different types of insurance cover as they are associated with different risks. For example, a lone black cab driver is picking up unknown people off the street in the middle of the city, whereas a private hire taxi is linked by a radio, is more likely to be in a suburban or rural area and has knowledge of who they are picking up in advance.

Car insurance private hire taxis is often referred to as just ‘taxi’ insurance but more commonly ‘minicab insurance’. Insurance for a public hire taxi would be more likely known as ‘black cab’ insurance or Hackney insurance.

Finding car insurance for private hire and public hire taxis should not be too difficult once you have passed your tests and received your license.