We are responsible for the licensing of taxi and private hire services in London. Some key facts about these services are listed below.
There are five types of licence we issue:
- Private hire operator licence - this is valid for five years and there are two catergories; the small operator licence (for operators with one or two vehicles) and the standard operator licence (for operators with three or more vehicles)
- Private hire driver's licence - valid for three years
- Private hire vehicle licence - valid for one year
- Taxi driver's licence - valid for three years
- Taxi vehicle licence - vaild for one year
The fees for each type of licence can be found at Licence Fees
There are two types of taxi driver's licence: the All London licence (Green Badge) and the Suburban licence (Yellow Badge).
The All London licence allows drivers to apply for hire anywhere in the Greater London area and 21,000 licensed drivers are All London drivers, with the rest holding the Suburban licence.
There are nine suburban sectors in total and the full list of these and the number of drivers licensed for each sector can be found in the Driver Licence Types section.
TaxisOn an average day, London's taxis will:
- Make just under 200,000 journeys
- Carry just under 300,000 passengers (an average of 1.48 passengers per taxi)
- Travel 3.2 miles per trip per taxi
Private hire vehicles (PHVs)
On an average day, London's PHVs will:
- Make just under 210,000 journeys (including 150,000 minicab journeys)
- Carry just under 301,000 passengers (an average of 1.45 passengers per trip)
- Travel 8.4 miles (5.5 miles for minicabs) per trip per vehicle
In London there are approximately:
- 3,200 licensed private hire operators
- 50,000 licensed private hire vehicles
- 60,000 licensed private hire drivers
- 22,000 licensed taxis
- 25,000 licensed taxi drivers
Anyone can apply to become a licensed taxi or private hire driver in London and TfL applies the Mayor's policy on promoting equal opportunity and fairness when assessing applications.
We also appoint taxi ranks and there are approximately 450 TfL appointed ranks, in London.
Taxi ranks can be found at most stations and interchanges, Heathrow and City airports, outside large hotels and shops plus in areas with busy night-life.
Found in the back seat
As well as the usual items found in the back of taxis such as umbrellas, gloves and hats, there have been some more peculiar and bizarre items left behind by passengers.
- A cat in a basket (given to the RSPCA)
- £20,000 worth of cash in £50 notes
- A large and ornate African-style wooden chair with very short legs and a high back
- A hubble bubble/hookah style pipe