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NAVIGATING GLASGOW: Understanding difference between Taxis vs Private Hire Cars



In Glasgow, distinguishing between a taxi and a private hire car is crucial for residents and visitors making their way around the city. The key difference lies in how these services can be accessed and what regulations they follow.


Taxis in Glasgow, often recognised as traditional ‘black cab’ Hackney carriage vehicles or converted vans like the Peugeot Euro 7 and Mercedes M8, offer the flexibility of being hailed directly on the streets or picked up from licensed taxi ranks.

These vehicles are easily identifiable by their distinctive taxi sign on the roof and black identification plates at the front and rear. Taxis operate with metered fares predetermined by the Licensing Authority for trips within the city limits. Additionally, taxi drivers must pass a rigorous topographical test, demonstrating their comprehensive knowledge of Glasgow’s geography.


Conversely, private hire cars, which typically include saloon style cars, are not permitted to display taxi signage. These vehicles are marked with yellow and green plates and have specific stickers on the front driver and passenger doors, signalling their status as licensed private hire cars.

Private hire fares are not regulated by the city but are set by the individual private hire companies. Crucially, these vehicles cannot be hailed on the streets and must be pre-booked through a booking office.


It’s vital that the public understand these distinctions to ensure that travellers choose the right type of vehicle for their needs.


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