Taxis and their services

There are four classes of taxi in Northern Ireland: A, B, C, and D. The taxi class determines how that taxi can be used. This page has information on how to recognise each taxi class and what they can do. Never use an unlicensed taxi.

Class A taxis

These taxis will have:

  • a roof sign, coloured yellow to both the front and back
  • taxi plates on the front and back of roof signs
  • signs in the front windscreen and both rear passenger windows
  • a taximeter and printer fitted
  • a taximeter fare card prominently displayed

Outside the Belfast Zone, these taxis can be hailed, pre-booked, and stand at taxi stands. 

Within the Belfast Zone, these taxis can be pre-booked, and can be hailed  from midnight until 6.00 am every Friday and Saturday night, and on public holidays.

Class B taxis

These taxis will have:

  • a roof sign, coloured white to the front and yellow to the back
  • taxi plates with a wheelchair accessible logo on the front and back of roof signs
  • signs in the front windscreen and both rear passenger windows
  • a taximeter and printer fitted
  • a taximeter fare card prominently displayed

These taxis will be wheelchair accessible and can be hailed, pre-booked, and stand at taxi stands.  

Class C taxis 

Class C taxis can only be used on a pre-booked basis, booked at an operating centre and must carry details of their booking in the taxi during the journey.

They cannot be hailed and cannot be used on taxi ranks.

Examples of Class C taxis are vehicles used for chauffeur services, weddings, funerals, and courtesy transport.

These taxis must not display a roof sign or advertise as a taxi service, but must display a sign in the front windscreen. 

Class D taxis

These taxis are licensed to operate along set routes and are permitted to charge the passengers separate fares. Taxis operating this service can only do so under a Department for Infrastructure permit.

These taxis can also be pre-booked for executive or tour services; they can also provide services under contract for the education and health authorities.

Class D taxis do not need to display roof signs, but must display internal signs on the front windscreen and rear windows.

Taxi fares

There is information on the page below about what fares you should be charged when using a taxi of any class:

Making sure your taxi is legal

Don't use a taxi if:

  • the vehicle is not displaying the proper taxi licence signs or plates
  • the vehicle is in a state of disrepair
  • the driver has no ID badge - licensed taxi drivers should always wear this badge showing their licence number (the only time when this is not required is when the taxi is being used for a wedding or a funeral)
  • the driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol

Always carry the telephone number or have downloaded the app of a taxi company when you go out.

Taxi availability

There will be increased availability in Belfast at peak times. 

All taxis with roof signs can be hailed in Belfast from midnight until 6.00 am every Friday and Saturday night, and on public holidays.

Hailing a taxi

Outside Belfast, Class A taxis can be hailed on the street at any time.

Inside the Belfast Zone, Class A taxis can be hailed:

  • on Friday and Saturday nights from midnight until 6.00 am
  • from midnight the day before a public holiday until 6.00 am
  • from midnight on the public holiday until 6.00 am the day after the holiday

Class B wheelchair accessible taxis can be hailed anywhere in Northern Ireland.

Booking a taxi

If booking a taxi, confirm on its arrival that the taxi is for you by checking the driver knows your name and destination.

You should also always:

  • try to pre-book at busy times or if you have special requirements, including use of a wheelchair
  • ask how much the fare is likely to be (if the taxi has a taximeter, the exact fare will not be known until the end of the journey) 
  • check the fare card displayed in the taxi against the taximeter reading (where there is a taximeter) to make sure the fare you are charged is right

Travelling in a taxi

When in a taxi you should wear your seatbelt, and don’t:

  • distract the driver
  • drink alcohol
  • get in or out of the taxi while it’s moving
  • drop litter
  • spoil or damage the taxi - you may be liable to pay for this
  • smoke in the vehicle

Travelling with an assistance dog

If you have an assistance dog and want to use a taxi, you can find information on the following page:

Lost property

If you think you may have left any of your property in a taxi you should contact the driver or the taxi operator.

The operator has to keep a record of any lost property found in any taxi, including a description of the item and the date and place it was found.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the fare, quality of vehicle, driving or behaviour of the driver, or any other issue, make your complaint to the driver or the taxi operator.

A licensed taxi operator has a duty to record any complaints, including keeping details of actions taken following a complaint. 

In more serious circumstances you may make your complaint to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

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