Taxis are identified by the council issued licence plates which they must display, which feature, amongst other things, the vehicles registration number and a unique identification number, commonly referred to as the ‘plate number’. Many also feature ‘top hats’; roof signs which are illuminated when the vehicle is available for hire.
You can hire a taxi in one of the following ways:
• From a designated taxi rank (locations listed below);
• ‘Hailing’ or flagging one down;
• By prior arrangement, be that a phone, email or other booking.
Taxi fares vary, depending on when and how far you travel. Taunton Deane has set a tariff, which is the maximum a driver can charge. A driver can use their own discretion and charge less than the maximum rate, if they wish.
Standard Fare (if the distance does not exceed 500 yards) £2.40
If the distance does exceed 500 yards:
Waiting time for each completed period of 42 seconds .20p
Here are some typical journey costs:
Taxis licensed by other councils will be governed by different tariffs and therefore fares do vary across the UK.
If you are planning a trip, there are lots of websites and phone apps available which are able to calculate taxi fares, to give you an indication of costs.
Drivers often refer to a standard fare or ‘single time’ i.e. where no extras costs are applied, as ‘tariff 1’. Time and a half (+50%) is then ‘tariff 2’ and double time (+100%) as ‘tariff 3’.
All taxis are fitted with meters, which calculate the fare that the customer must pay, based on the above tariff. The driver cannot demand anything more than is shown on the meter, except where the vehicle is ‘soiled’ e.g. where a customers is unwell in the vehicle, resulting in it having to be taken off the road to be cleaned.
Customers who refuse to pay the full amount, including the soiling charge (if applicable), or make off without paying, break the law and can be prosecuted. Although some drivers are equipped to take card payments, most are not and customers should therefore be ready to pay in cash.
The driver and customer can agree a fixed price upfront, which is less than the tariff or ask for less than is shown on the meter at the end of the fare, but is obliged to always use the meter so that they can demonstrate to the customer that they have not been overcharged. The driver must not start the meter until the vehicle has set off.
Fares for destinations outside Taunton Deane may be negotiated between the customer and driver before the journey. If no fare is agreed before the start of the journey then the maximum fare will be that shown on the meter at the end of the journey.
There are a number of taxi ranks; designated places for taxis to wait for fares; In Taunton:
There is also rank at Taunton railway station, which is privately owned.
There is a rank at Fore Street in Wellington, opposite WH Smith.
We also license private hire vehicles, which are vehicles with up to 8 seats that are available to be booked in advance only. They must also display a council issued licence plate, similar to ones issued to taxis.
We expect our drivers to:
All licensed drivers have a council issued badge, which they must wear at all times when working. You should not use a taxi if the driver cannot show you their badge.
A driver of a taxi cannot refuse a fare, unless they have a reasonable excuse, such as the customer is being aggressive or abusive. It is not a reasonable excuse to refuse a fare because the journey is short.
If you have cause to make a complaint or report a concern you can do so on our Report a licensing complaint page. If you do, please provide as much information as possible, such as the driver’s badge number, a description of them, the plate number of the vehicle and/or the vehicle registration number.
Some vehicles are adapted to carry wheelchairs. For those that are, the driver is obliged by law to carry a passenger in a wheelchair unless they have a medical exemption certificate issued to them by us. If they have an exemption, they will display a bright orange certificate in the windscreen.
Drivers are also obliged to carry assistance dogs by law, unless like above, they have a medical exemption certificate issued by us.
There are no extra charges for carrying wheelchairs or assistance dogs.
Licensed drivers are must hand in any lost property to their local Police station within 72 hours, if they have been unable to contact the owner or return the item themselves.
If you have left something in a taxi and it has been handed into the Police, it may help the Police to reunite you with that property if your enter your details online at Report my Loss.