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Taxi licence information

We are responsible for issuing licences for hackney carriages (taxis), private hire vehicles, private hire operators and the vehicle drivers.

Types of licence

1. Hackney carriages

  • Hackney carriages (taxicabs) may be hailed, hired from a taxi rank or pre-booked.

  • They have a roof sign and a white licence plate on the rear.

  • They must be our teal colour (Pantone 321). 

  • Maximum fares for journeys within our borough are regulated by us.

  • A taximeter will be used.

Find out how to apply for a hackney carriage vehicle licence.

2. Hackney carriage drivers

  • Hackney carriage drivers may drive a Guildford licensed hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.

  • They must wear their licence badge at all times.

Find out how to apply for a hackney carriage driver's licence.

3. Private hire vehicles

  • Private hire vehicles may only be booked in advance. 

  • They are identified by signs on the side of the vehicle, giving details of their licence number, and a red licence plate on the rear. 

  • Vehicles must not be the same colour as a hackney carriage, or have a roof sign.

  • Fares are not regulated and should be agreed at the time of booking.

  • A taximeter may be used, if one is available.

Find out how to apply for a private hire vehicle licence.

4. Private hire drivers

  • Private hire drivers may drive a Guildford licensed private hire vehicle.

  • They must wear their licence badge at all times.

  • They may not drive a hackney carriage.

Find out how to apply for a private hire driver's licence.

5. Private hire operators

Individuals or firms which take bookings for the hire of private hire vehicles must have a licence.

Find out how to apply for a private hire operator's licence.

Taxi fares

The fares charged by our taxis are set by us and reviewed annually. Take a look at the icon taxi fare chart. [196.64KB]

Licensing fees

For our licensing fees for hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire vehicles, their drivers and the private hire operators, see the Licensing fees page.


Licensed hackney carriages and private hire vehicles provide a valuable service to the public. While the majority of our drivers provide a good service, please let us know if you have a complaint about a driver's conduct or the condition of a vehicle.

You can make a complaint about a hackney carriage (taxi) or its driver, as well as a private hire driver, vehicle or operator licensed by us using our Complain about a taxi driver or taxi company online form.

Please provide as much detail as possible, including the date and time of the incident. It is important that you include the licence number (available from the rear plate) or registration number of the vehicle involved, or licence number of the driver (available on the badge worn by the driver). 

When to complain to the police

If your complaint is in relation to an alleged offence, such as reckless driving or sounding of a horn, you should complain to Surrey Police by calling 101.

If the alleged offence takes place within the confines of Guildford Railway Station, you should contact the British Transport Police on 0800 405040.

Public registers

You can view our public register by going to our licensing search page.

Licensing policy

icon Taxi and private hire licensing policy [406.72KB]

Our licensing policy for 2015-20 was adopted on 9 December 2015 by the full Council.

The policy introduces changes which will benefit the travelling public through improved standards, including:

  • a livery for all hackney carriages

  • clear signage for private hire vehicles

  • improved training for drivers

  • incentives for the provision of accessible taxis. 

Knowledge test

All new applicants are required to take and pass our Knowledge test. Find out more on our Knowledge test guidance page.

Information for current licence holders

Current licence holders can access details of the relevant byelaws and licence conditions, as well as the latest news from us and details of upcoming Taxi Advisory Group Meetings on our Information for current licence holders page.