4. Taxis and minicabs
Licensed taxis can be hailed on the street, picked up at ranks or pre-booked, but you can only pre-book minicabs (also called ‘private hire vehicles’).
In some areas (mainly larger cities), licensed taxis have to be wheelchair accessible.
To find out if there are accessible taxis near you, contact the taxi licensing office at your local council.
In London, all black cabs are wheelchair accessible.
Some of the newer ‘black cabs’ are also fitted with induction loops and intercoms for hearing aid users.
If you travel with an assistance dog they must be allowed into the taxi or minicab with you, unless the driver has an exemption certificate. This can be issued if they’ve got a medical condition made worse by contact with dogs.
A driver with an exemption certificate will have a yellow ‘Notice of Exemption’ notice on their vehicle windscreen.
It’s illegal to be charged extra to travel in a taxi or minicab with an assistance dog. Otherwise the driver could be fined up to £1,000.
The following types of dog can be taken with you in taxis or minicabs:
- guide dogs trained by the Guide Dogs organisation
- hearing dogs trained by Hearing Dogs
- assistance dogs trained by Dogs for the Disabled, Support Dogs or Canine Partners
Travelling with your dog
Taxi and private hire vehicle drivers have been told how to identify assistance dogs.
Your assistance dog should wear its harness or identification jacket when you are travelling with it. If an identification card was issued for the dog, this should also be carried.
Dogs should remain on the floor and under control at all times. If your dog causes any damage to the vehicle, the driver could ask you to pay for it.
As well as the rules on wheelchairs and assistance dogs, all taxi and minicab drivers must make sure they don’t discriminate against you and can’t treat you less favourably than other customers. They should also make any ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their service for you to make your journey easier.
You should report any problems to the taxi licensing office at your local council.