Taxi and private hire licences

Passenger information and complaints

Do you know the difference between a private hire and a taxi vehicle?

A private hire vehicle must be booked through an operating company and cannot be hailed/flagged down. A Northampton private hire vehicle will have a yellow & white rear licence plate with a number that starts PHV. You can check our public register for companies that hold a private hire operating licence.

A taxi (hackney cab) does not need to be booked and can be approached at a taxi/hackney ranks or can be hailed/flagged down. A Northampton taxi/hackney cab will have a claret & white rear licence plate with a number that starts HC.

Do not get into an unbooked private hire vehicle. The driver is acting illegally, it's dangerous and puts you at risk for your own safety and the journey will not be insured. 

Two types of vehicle plate
Hackney carriage



Private hire



 Hackney carriage  Private hire plate
Both are valid for 6 months

Is the driver, vehicle or operator licensed to undertake your journey?

You can check this by visiting our licensing public register.

Complaints and comments

Do you have a comment about a taxi or private hire journey?

The department receives lots of questions from the public about the rules and regulations. Your question may be answered by reading our complaints guidance.

If this does not answer your questions and you still wish to make a comment about a taxi or private hire journey please use the contact form.

Private hire and taxi journey fares

Private hire fares are set by each operating company and will vary. Taxi fares are set and agreed by the local authority's licensing committee.


Day and night time ranks are currently located on Mercers Row and Marefair.

Night time ranks (11pm until 5am) operate on George Row, Lady's Lane and Bridge Street.

Privately operated ranks are also located at Northampton train station and the Weston Favell shopping centre.