You can get taxis at a rank, hail one in the street or pre-book one, but you can only pre-book minicabs (also called ‘private hire vehicles’ or PHVs).
Minicabs must be run by a licensed operator - otherwise they’re breaking the law.
London taxis and minicabs
In London, taxis and minicab firms have to be licensed by Transport for London and have a maximum of 8 passenger seats.
London taxis are purpose-built vehicles and have a plate on the back showing their taxi licence number. They are all accessible for disabled people.
Minicabs in London must have special discs on their windscreen and rear window to show they’re licensed.
Taxis and minicabs outside London
Outside of London, taxis and minicabs are licensed by local authorities, who say what kind of vehicles can be used.
Minicabs outside London aren’t allowed to have the same kind of design or appearance as local taxis, so you can tell them apart more easily.