Taxi and private hire vehicles - Equality Act 2010

Changes to the law

Requirements of the Equality Act 2010 came into force on 6 April 2017 and there are sections within it which are aimed directly at Hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire drivers and vehicles: Sections 160 to 173 of the Equality Act 2010 (legislation.gov.uk)

It is now a criminal offence for drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles to refuse to carry passengers in wheelchairs or with guide or assistance dogs.

Wheelchair users

Under Section 165 of the Act, a driver is required to undertake the following duties:

  • To carry a passenger while they are in a wheelchair
  • To not make an additional charge for doing so
  • If the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair
  • To take such steps that are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort
  • To give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required

Guide or assistance dogs

Guide dogs are working dogs not pets; their owners rely on them for both independence and mobility. The Equality Act 2010 places a duty on taxi and private hire drivers to carry guide dogs and other assistance dogs at no extra cost.

Unless they have a medical exemption certificate, taxi and private hire drivers must:

  • Carry the assistance dog in their vehicle and allow it to remain with its owner
  • Not charge extra for carrying an assistance dog in their vehicle

Private hire companies must not refuse a booking or refuse to carry out a booking due to someone having an assistance dog with them.

Driver exemptions

Drivers can apply to us for an exemption (certificate) from the duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs or with guide dogs, either on medical grounds or because their physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for them to comply with the duties.

For more information contact Licensing

List of wheelchair accessible vehicles designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Equality Act 2010

Taxis:    

  • Plate 181, A 2 Z Taxis: Vauxhall Zafira EX15 NSZ
  • Plate 407, A 2 Z Taxis: Volkswagen Transporter, BG06 BUE
  • Plate 302, Hinckley Taxis: Citroen Berlingo, NK14 EFC
  • Plate 4, A 2 Z Taxis: Peugeot Horizon, SF13 LMK

Private hire:

There are no wheelchair accessible private hire vehicles.

Statutory guidance

The government issued statutory guidance for licensing authorities in 2017 on wheelchair access in taxis and private hire vehicles (GOV.UK). This ensures that drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles comply with requirements on wheelchair access.

Last updated: ‎06‎/‎01/‎2021 ‎10:50‎