Licence - hackney carriage - taxi
The Council is the Licensing Authority for all Hackney Carriage (taxi) and Private Hire operations within the Borough of Gravesham.
This means that the Council must licence anyone wishing to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle, or run a business. Separate licences are required for drivers, vehicles and operators.
Hackney Carriages are permitted to ply for hire from taxi ranks, or to be hailed in the street.
Within the Borough there are taxi ranks at:
- New Road near to the bus station
- Gravesend Railway Station
- Stone Street
- Rear of St. Georges Centre, West Street
Hackney Carriages (taxis) licensed by the Council must carry a WHITE plate on the rear with a unique identity number for that particular vehicle, a smaller internal plate and an illuminated roof sign. The driver must wear an ID badge again with a number issued by the Council, which includes his/her photograph.
Hackney Carriage fares are set by the Council and are based on both distance travelled and time taken. Additional charges will apply for extra passengers and night or weekend travel. A copy of the fare tariff must be on display inside the vehicle and the meter must show the appropriate fare to be charged. A taxi driver can charge less than the amount shown on the meter but must not charge any more. You can look at the tariffs for our vehicles by clicking on this item Taxi Tariff.
Guide or assistance dogs must be carried in all vehicles, unless the driver has a written permit from the Council excusing him/her from this requirement on medical grounds.
There are a number of vehicles that are suitable for wheelchair access. The Public Carriage Officer can give information as to these.
Before issuing a licence for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle the Council's Public Carriage Officer will check the vehicle's condition, MOT certificate and insurance. Vehicles must also comply with certain requirements relating to seating capacity, safety and age. These matters are re-checked every time the vehicle is renewed annually.
Similarly before issuing a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Drivers licence the applicant must pass a test relating to knowledge of Gravesham's streets and buildings, the Highway Code and the Council's Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy as well as a Driving Standards Agency test specifically aimed at taxi drivers. You can find further adivce on the Business Link Website
All applicants must undergo a medical check by their GP, and the Council also checks the criminal record of potential drivers. Unsuitable applicants are not issued with a licence. These matters are re-checked every time the drivers licence is renewed.
For additional passenger safety it is a mandatory requirement of licensing that all licensed vehicles in Gravesham Borough have CCTV cameras installed.
For your own safety never travel in an unlicensed taxi or cab, or with an unlicensed driver. If either the vehicles or the drivers do not bear the licence identification required by the Council, they may be unsafe or uninsured and passengers may be at serious risk.
For further advice on personal safety issues please read the 'Be Taxi-Wise' by clicking on the link at the right of this page.
If you wish to complain about either a vehicle or a driver or both then please click on the 'Complaining about a Taxi' link.
How to become a driver
If you are interested in becoming a driver then click on the 'Guidance on becoming a driver' link, to see full details of what you will need to do.
All fees charged can be viewed by clicking on the 'Application fees for Taxi and Private Hire Licences' link.
Statement of Licensing Policy
In order to assist the trade and public alike a Statement of Licensing Policy for Hackney Carriages and Private Hire has been adopted. The policy includes the principles to be applied when considering applications for vehicles, drivers and operators, the application process itself and the grounds for objection, refusal, the hearings procedure and the grounds for appeal.
You can view the policy in our Policies, Strategies and Open Data section.