Charges for taxi, hackney and limousine services
There are certain rules in place regarding how fares for taxi, hackney and limousine services are structured and set. The National Transport Authority has overall responsibility for determining fares for these services.
This document examines the current rules concerning how maximum fares are set out, explains how taxi fares are calculated and recorded and the duties of passengers and drivers.
Ireland is treated as one taximeter area. The maximum taxi fares are provided for by Regulation 52 and Schedule 10 of the Small Public Service Vehicle (Consolidation and Reform) Regulations 2014. They set the maximum fares for the national taximeter area.
Since 31 January 2015, the remainder of the 2014 Regulations have been replaced by the Taxi Regulation (Small Public Service Vehicle) Regulations 2015. Under the Regulations all taxi fares for all taxi journeys are calculated on the meter. Where a fare is agreed in advance, you can only be charged whichever is the lower - the pre-agreed fare or the meter fare.
As of 30 April 2015, the maximum fares are set by the Taxi Regulation Act 2013 (Maximum Fares) Order 2015.
What is the maximum taxi fare?
There is a standard rate and a premium rate National Maximum Taxi Fare. The standard rate applies from 8 am to 8 pm. The premium rate applies at night from 8 pm to 8 am and on Sundays and public holidays. There is also a special premium rate which applies between 8 pm on Christmas Eve and 8 am on St. Stephen's Day and between 8 pm on New Year's Eve and 8 am on New Year's Day.
The National Maximum Taxi Fare consists of 3 separate parts:
Initial charge: amount which appears on the meter at the beginning of the journey. As of 30 April 2015, the national initial charge is €3.60 standard rate and €4.00 premium rate and includes an initial distance of 500m, or a period of 85 seconds.
Further travel: after the distance/time included in the initial charge has been exceeded, the fare for further travel is calculated at small portions of the journey. At low speeds, or when a taxi is stationary, the fare is calculated on the basis of time. Once the taxi exceeds a certain speed, the fare is then calculated according to the distance travelled using three graduated tariffs.
Extra charge: there are strict rules about extra charges that can be levied. These include a booking fee, additional passenger charges and a soiling charge.
It's important to remember, customers have the right to request a discount before engaging a taxi. Drivers have the right to charge the maximum amount calculated on the meter, or a lesser sum at their discretion. Any discounts given may be recorded in handwriting on the receipt.
In the absence of any arrangement on discounts agreed in advance, the customer is liable to pay the amount calculated by the meter in full.
Under current Regulations, the maximum taxi fare is the highest amount you can be charged by a taxi driver. The National Transport Authority has the power to set the maximum taxi fares.
Taxi fares are calculated by a piece of equipment called a taximeter, displayed in the front of the vehicle. The meter calculates the fare by time and distance. All taxi meters must be tested and sealed before being used in taxis. This is done by the Legal Metrology Service (LMS). The Legal Metrology Service is part of the National Standards Association of Ireland (NSAI) and is responsible for enforcing the law on how measuring instruments are used in business.
Hackneys do not have taximeters (that is, equipment installed to record taxi fares) installed and therefore maximum charges do not apply. All fares must be agreed between the driver and passenger before the journey begins.
As with hackneys, limousines do not have taximeters installed so again, maximum charges don’t apply. If you choose to hire the services of a limousine, you must agree any fares with the driver before your journey begins.
A fare card is a card that must be displayed in all taxis showing how the fare area is calculated. The card includes details on distance, time and extras. The fare card should be displayed clearly where it is easily visible by the passenger.
All licensed taxis are obliged to display passenger information including rights and responsibilities and fare information, which are supplied by the National Transport Authority, in the front and back of the vehicle.
Under Part 3 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, it is an offence for a taxi or hackney driver to charge you more than the maximum fee shown on the meter or the fee agreed at the start of the journey. If you feel you have been overcharged, you are entitled to make a complaint about the taxi driver.
It is an offence for a passenger in a SPSV not to pay the agreed fare or maximum fare shown on the taximeter. The driver is entitled to ask you to prove that you can afford to pay the fare before the journey begins. If you cannot prove this, they can refuse to take you on the journey.
Under the 2015 Regulations, you are entitled to receive a printed receipt at the end of a taxi journey upon payment. The receipt should detail the date, duration of the journey, distance, amount paid and vehicle licence number.
Can I make a complaint about a taxi fare?
Yes. If you have a dispute about a fare you should pay the fare displayed on the meter including extras. You should make sure you get a printed receipt and proceed to make a formal complaint to the National Transport Authority. See our document on making a complaint about a taxi, hackney or limousine driver.
Where to apply
National Transport Authority
Tel:(01) 879 8300
Fax:(01) 879 8333