Executive travel and chauffeur licences
Crucial difference between taxis and private hire vehicles
If you are licensed for private hire work, you are only allowed to collect fares which have been booked in advance of the journey. A private hire vehicle cannot 'ply for hire' i.e. wait at a rank or be 'flagged down'.
Hackney carriages (otherwise known as black cabs or taxis) can carry out pre-booked journeys but they can also wait on taxi ranks for fares or accept fares from people who flag them down in the street.
It is a criminal offence for a private hire driver to accept a fare without a prior booking and it is also highly likely that this would invalidate any motor insurance policy in force for the vehicle.
The council regularly carries out enforcement operations to detect drivers who are operating illegally, which could result in a prosecution and/or suspension or revocation of the driver's licence.