Castle Cars :: Welcome to Castle Cars : Birmingham and Solihull's Premier Taxi & Private Hire Company

There are two different types of vehicle that are licensed by Birmingham City Council. The most easily recognised is the 'London Style' taxi known as a Hackney Carriage.

Other vehicles are known as Private Hire vehicles which are required to be booked in advance with a Private Hire Operator.
Failure to book in advance can lead to the driver, the vehicle and the passenger being uninsured.

Hackney Carriage

Can I hail/flag down a Hackney Carriage in the Street?
Yes, unlike Private Hire vehicles London style taxi cabs can be hailed/flagged down in the street. They can also be found at taxi ranks.

How many passengers will they carry?
Most Hackney Carriage vehicles can carry five passengers, although some can take more.

Will they carry Passengers who use wheelchairs?
It was a requirement for all Hackney Carriages to be wheelchair accessible and all Hackney Carriage vehicles are therefore capable of carrying wheelchair users.

How will the fare be calculated and how do I know how much to pay?
Each Hackney Carriage is fitted with a calibrated meter which can be seen in the cab of the vehicle. For journeys with a destination within the Birmingham and Solihull boundary the cost of the journey is calculated by the meter. A table of fares is displayed inside each vehicle. For journeys with a destination outside the Birmingham boundary, the driver can negotiate his/her fare with you before the journey commences.

What about Safeguards?
All drivers are licensed by the Local Licensing Authority; their vehicles have undergone and passed stringent tests for roadworthiness

Private Hire Vehicles

Private hire Vehicles must be pre-booked through a Private Hire operator. Failure to book in advance may lead to the driver, the vehicle and the passengers being uninsured.

Private Hire Vehicles cannot be hailed or flagged down under any circumstances.

How many passengers will they carry?
Private Hire Vehicles can carry four to eight passengers

How much will the fare cost?
The City Council does not control Private Hire Charges but it is a condition that the fare table/ chart is displayed in the vehicle for public view. The fares are based on mileage and are calculated by the operator. You should agree the fare with the operator when booking the vehicle.

What about Safeguards?
All drivers are licensed by the Local Licensing Authority; their vehicles have undergone and passed stringent tests for roadworthiness.

What if I have a complaint?

If you are unfortunate enough to have cause for complaint about a Birmingham Licence holder; You may choose to take up your complaint with the driver directly or alternatively take note of the drivers name and badge number, vehicle plate number and / or vehicle registration number and contact the Licensing Enforcement Team

Licensing Section,
Crystal Court,
Aston Cross Business Village,
50 Rocky Lane,
B6 5RQ

(Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9am - 4pm
Wednesday 10am - 4pm, Friday 9am - 3.30pm)

(Hackney Carriage & Private Hire)
Telephone: 0121 303 8442
Fax: 0121 303 9796

(Licensing Enforcement)
Telephone: 0121 303 9611
Fax: 0121 303 9737



The licensing of PSV (Public Service Vehicle) - Minibuses and drivers are licensed by "VOSA" and the "TRAFFIC COMMISIONER", the guideline set out by them are completely different to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire, any Vehicle with a capacity of 9 seats or more that carries passengers is classed as a PSV. Tests that govern the saftey of the vehicles is done at authorised VOSA testing stations and the guidlines state that every vehicle must have a 6 weekly test, daily walkround checks are carried out by the driver to eliminate any faults with the vehicle, drivers are also governed to work with a Tachograph to keep minute by minute guidelines of SPEED and HOURS worked by the driver.

West Midland

Applications for Goods & PSV Licensing & Bus Registrations:

VOSA Licensing Application Services
Hillcrest House
386 Harehills Lane
Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Fax: 0113 249 8142

Areas covered: the Metropolitan Boroughs within West Midlands. The Counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire; the Districts of Herefordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Telford and Wrekin.

There is no parking for any visitors at this office.

Telephone hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

Office hours: 9.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday