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Private Hire Vehicles and Hackney Carriages legal definitions

Private Hire Vehicle: A legal definition

"A private hire vehicle is a motor vehicle constructed or adapted to seat fewer than nine passengers, other than a hackney carriage, public service vehicle or a London cab, which is provided for hire with the services of a driver for the purpose of carrying passengers." (Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976)

The following classes of vehicle are not required to be licensed:-

a) Vehicles used only for bringing passengers or goods into the controlled district as a result of a contract for the hire of the vehicle made outside of the controlled area of the Borough. The vehicle must not be made available for hire within the controlled district.

b) repealed by Section 53 the Road Safety Act 2006

c) Vehicles whilst used in connection with a funeral or vehicles used wholly or mainly, by a funeral director, for the purpose of funerals.

d) The Act does not apply to a vehicle whilst it is being used in connection with a wedding. (The vehicle and driver would of course need to be licensed if the vehicle is used at other times for private hire purposes.)

Hackney Carriage: a legal definition

"Every wheeled carriage, whatever may be its form or construction, used in standing or plying for hire in any street within the prescribed distance, and every carriage standing upon any street within the prescribed distance, having thereon any numbered plate required by this or the special Act to be fixed upon a hackney carriage, or having thereon any plate resembling or intended to resemble any such plate as aforesaid, shall be deemed to be a hackney carriage within the meaning of this Act; and in all proceedings at law or otherwise the term 'hackney carriage' shall be sufficient to describe any such carriage: provided always that no stage coach used for the purpose of standing or plying for passengers to be carried for hire at separate fares, and duly licensed for that purpose, and having thereon the proper numbered plates required by law to be placed on such stage coaches, shall be deemed to be a hackney carriage within the meaning of this Act." (Section 38 Town Police Clauses Act 1847.)