Regulation of taxis and small public service vehicles
A Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV) is defined as a public service vehicle with seating for up to eight people. Small Public Service Vehicles include taxis, wheelchair accessible taxis, hackney cabs and limousines. The purpose of this document is to explain how these public transport vehicles are regulated and your rights.
What is the difference between a taxi, hackney and a limousine?
- Taxi: a small public service vehicle (SPSV), for which a taxi licence has been granted. Taxis may stand for hire at a taxi rank and ply for hire on the street.
- Hackney: a private hire small public service vehicle (SPSV) for which a hackney licence has been granted. Hackney cabs should be pre-booked on a private hire basis and cannot be hailed down in a public place.
- Limousine: a private hire SPSV for which a limousine licence has been granted. A limousine must be suited by its style and condition to be used for ceremonial occasions or for corporate or other prestige purposes. A limousine should be pre-booked on a private hire basis and cannot be hailed down in a public place.
How are taxis and other SPSVs regulated?
Under the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, the National Transport Authority is the regulator for all SPSVs. An Advisory Committee on Small Public Service Vehicles gives advice to the Authority on issues regarding SPSVs and their drivers. This group consisted of representatives from the taxi, hackney and limousine industry, local authorities, An Garda Síochána, the tourist industry and disability action groups.
What does the regulator do?
The duties of the regulator are:
- To oversee the licensing of all taxis, hackneys and limousines.
- To manage the Register of Licences as set out under Section
18 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. This register contains important
information on all SPSV vehicles and their drivers.
- To ensure that drivers comply with the responsibilities of SPSV drivers as set out in the Taxi Regulation (Small Public Service Vehicle) Regulations 2015. These rules cover the correct treatment of passengers, calculating fares and meter usage, licence display, issuing of receipts and adhering to the shortest possible route.
- To ensure that passengers obey the rules regarding the duties of passengers. Under Section 29 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, passengers of SPSVs are required to comply with certain regulations when travelling in a taxi, hackney or limousine. These rules include not causing damage to the vehicle and paying the agreed fare.
- To set maximum taxi fares.
- To ensure that SPSVs meet the vehicle standards as set out in the 2015 Regulations.
- To enforce the regulations of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.
Where to apply
Further information on the regulation of taxi and small public service vehicles is available from the National Transport Authority. Information on taxis is also available on the Authority’s consumer website, transportforireland.ie.