New dress code could see Manchester cabbies banned from wearing any sports clothing and sandals 

Updated: Jan 17, 2020

Manchester City Council are set to discuss a number of possible improvements to the city's private hire industry, with one of the topics on the agenda being a smarter dress code for drivers.

Council members are due to talk over the potential rule changes at a licensing meeting on Monday 20 January.

If agreed, drivers could be banned from wearing tracksuits, football shirts, flip-flops and clothes with ‘offensive’ words on them.

The council has confirmed that it has no intentions of introducing a specific uniform for drivers but has released a list of clothing which they would deem to be ‘unacceptable’.

The document reads: 'The purpose of the dress code is to set a standard that provides a positive image of the licensed hackney carriage and private hire trade in Manchester, promoting public and driver safety.'

Dress Standard

All clothing worn by those working as private hire or hackney carriage drivers must be in good condition and the driver must keep good standards of personal hygiene.

As a minimum standard whilst working as a licensed driver, males should wear trousers and a shirt which has a full body and short/long sleeves. Knee length tailored shorts are acceptable.

As a minimum standard whilst working as a licensed driver, females should wear trousers, or a knee length skirt or dress, and a shirt/blouse which have a full body and a short/long sleeve. Knee length tailored shorts are also acceptable.

Footwear whilst working as a licensed driver shall fit (i.e. be secure) around the toe and heel. Exceptions related to faith or disability are accepted.

Examples of unacceptable standard of dress

Clothing that is not kept in a clean condition, free from holes, rips or other damage.

Words or graphics on any clothing that is of an offensive or suggestive nature which might offend.

Sportswear e.g. football/rugby kits including shirts, track suits in whole or part or beachwear.

Sandals with no heel straps, flip flops or any other footwear not secure around the heel.

The wearing of any hood or any other type of clothing that may obscure the driver’s vision or their identity.


The Council has said it recognises the positive image that uniforms can create. This dress code does not require a licensed driver to wear a distinct uniform.

The Council added they acknowledge that many private hire and hackney carriage companies do require licensed drivers to wear appropriate corporate branded uniform and this is a practice that the Council would encourage licensed drivers to support.

Image credit: Wikimedia commons - Oddman47

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