Demand for Taxis and Private Hire Cars in Edinburgh

Closed 5 Jun 2017

Opened 13 May 2017

Results updated 22 Feb 2018

A report will be submitted to the Regulatory Comittee outlining the results of this consultation and giving recommendations


There are two types of licensed vehicle in Edinburgh: taxis and Private Hire Cars.

Taxis in Edinburgh are generally purpose built wheelchair accessible cabs and have an illuminated TAXI sign on the roof. Taxis should be the only vehicles picking up passengers at ranks in Edinburgh.

Private Hire Cars are usually saloon vehicles and must have door stickers visible with “Pre-Booked Hires Only” on them. Private Hire Cars must be pre-booked.

City of Edinburgh Council follows a policy of limiting the number of taxi licences across the city*.

This means that the Council is required to undertake regular surveys of passenger demand to ensure that the limit set is at the correct level. An independent survey of taxis and Private Hire Car demand is now being carried out by CH2M on behalf of the Council.

The independent survey is considering taxi activity across the city, in addition to consulting with stakeholders in the market and the general public across Edinburgh.

* The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 gives the City of Edinburgh Council the right to limit the number of taxi licences available if the Council can demonstrate that there is no significant unmet demand for the services of taxis in the Council’s area.  City of Edinburgh Council has operated a policy of limiting taxi numbers since 1990 and there are currently 1,316 taxis in Edinburgh.

Why we are consulting

Consultation with the public is an important element of CH2M’s independent review of taxi and Private Hire Car services in Edinburgh.

In addition to understanding the demand for services, CH2M need to understand the public perception of taxi services across Edinburgh.  We want to hear from both users and non-users of taxi and Private Hire Car services in Edinburgh to understand how your opinions of services differ, if services are meeting your needs, and if not what could be done to improve services for those living in and visiting the city.  

What happens next

Report to the relevant Council committee.


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