Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles

The Government is committed to an accessible public transport system in which disabled people have the same opportunities to travel as other members of society. Taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) are a vital link in the accessible transport chain and, although disabled people are reported to travel a third less often than the public in general, they use taxis and PHVs on average 67% more often.

The powers in Part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) allow regulations to be made requiring all new land-based public transport vehicles - trains, buses, coaches and taxis - to be accessible to disabled people, including those who need to remain in their wheelchair. Regulations are already in place for rail, bus and coach vehicles.

In 2003, the Government stated that it intended to set standards for wheelchair accessible taxis and to introduce regulations that would apply to  mainly urban local authority areas (so-called 'Phase 1' authorities).  The regulation making powers in the DDA do not apply to private hire vehicles. 

Since then, however, the Department has received a number of representations making the case for a broader range of disabled people's needs to be met in any regulations, rather than restricting the requirements only to wheelchair users. We have been looking at how this could be achieved but it is a complex matter.  As a result, regulations have not been made.

Ministers remain keen to make progress on taxi accessibility and therefore intend to develop a consultation package for summer 2008 to seek views on the way forward.

In the meantime, accessible taxi policies remain a matter for individual local licensing authorities in line with previous guidance that has been issued by the Department. 

What we have done

Taxis and private hire vehicles

27 October 2004
Last update:
17 March 2008

Taxis, minicabs, and private hire vehicles: frequently asked questions

Answers to questions about taxis, minicabs, and private hire vehicles.

21 December 2005
Last update:
25 June 2009


There are a number of pieces of legislation stemming from Part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) relating to taxi and private hire services and these are listed below in chronological order.

05 October 2004
Last update:
05 June 2007

Background information

20 October 2005


08 October 2004

Useful Contacts

Taxis and private hire vehicles

29 March 2005
Last update:
08 October 2010

Publications and other resources

Taxis and private hire vehicles - publications.

Archived content

The following content is available from the Department for Transport web archive .

For related documents, pages and internet links, see the column on the right.