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TAXI DUAL LICENSING: What are the advantages of dual taxi and PHV licences?

Updated: Feb 7

In the complex web of UK taxi licensing regulations, flexibility shines through for drivers navigating the urban sprawl and beyond—the dual licence.

Traditionally, the taxi industry has been split into two main licensing categories: Hackney carriage licences, allowing drivers to pick up passengers without prior booking, and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licences, requiring bookings through an operator. However, a third, less understood option exists, offering unparalleled adaptability—dual licensing.

As of 2023, England boasts a significant number of dual-licensed drivers, totaling 72,600. This option merges both worlds, permitting drivers to operate both taxis and PHVs. The allure of dual licensing lies in its inherent versatility. For those behind the wheel of a taxi, the liberty to queue at taxi ranks or accept street hails offers a steady flow of potential fares. Conversely, the operational costs associated with taxi vehicles, which are often higher, can pose a financial challenge, particularly in less densely populated areas where demand fluctuates.

Dual licensing serves as a strategic counterbalance to this issue, providing drivers the option to operate in a PHV—typically a more economical choice - or a hackney carriage when street demand is booming. This flexibility is invaluable, particularly when working with traditional local operators, affording drivers the opportunity to adapt to the market's ebb and flow without hitch.

Drivers recently told TaxiPoint the advantages of dual licensing. One dual-licensed driver succinctly put it: "One advantage is that if you need a replacement taxi, you can drive either." This sentiment was echoed across the board, with many highlighting the extended fleet options as a critical benefit, encapsulating the essence of dual licensing with, "never be without a car to drive".

Scotland leads by example, with regions including Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Highland Council offering dual licensing as a standard provision to Hackney carriage drivers.

For some regions bridging the gap between traditional taxi services and PHVs, dual licensing not only enhances operational flexibility for drivers but also ensures more protection when it comes to their livelihoods.


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