Irish dopers, what are Hackney cabs

What are they? Living in NI near the border I see a lot of cars with ROI registrations and a small yellow badge saying “Hackney” and some small print on the front bumper. I’m assuming this isn’t a taxi firm but some specific type of taxi cab. Are there any special regulations that apply to them? I don’t seem to remember any ordinary taxis coming across border into town but I may be mistaken. My home town has a reputation for its proliferation of taxis, probably due to the fact that its one of the most deprived areas of the north west (which is saying something.)

Hackney just means a hired vehicle. I’m not Irish (Scottish, I think) but what you’re seeing probably just means the vehicles are registered, legal taxis. Those plates are on the backs of taxis here in Boston, too.

Hackney cabs are unmetered and can only be booked on the phone or at the cab office etc. - you can’t flag one down off the street. I’m sure there are other differences.

“Hackney cabs are unmetered and can only be booked on the phone or at the cab office etc. - you can’t flag one down off the street. I’m sure there are other differences”

Ruadh, you’ve got it the wrong way round. A Hackney cab in the Uk is one that can stop and pick people up from the streets. These are the famous/infamous Black cabs in London. The unregulated minicab businesses aren’t allowed to do this and officially should be pre booked.

Some history here :-


He’s not wrong sanjak. Ruadh is irish like meself and in Ireland it works the way Ruadh said.

The question was about Ireland, not the UK. If you have any confusion as to what’s what, I recommend this thread ;). As a British ex-pat I initially found the inversion of the terms confusing too. I’m sure there’s some historical reason for it, but I can’t find it and don’t know.

Cool, Apologies for the mis read.

The difference between a hacnkey and a Taxi is that, until recently in Ireland a Taxi Licence was worth €100,000.00 The Taxi drivers controlled who had the licences and refused to allow more than a few new ones to be issued every year. This made them very valuable and worth about the price of a small house.

It also made it difficult to get a Taxi at busy periods eg most of the time. It’s also interesting to note that the Taxi drivers didn’t regulate the actions of the drivers themselves - this was done by the Carriage office - a division of the police. On a tangent, even the views of the police were sometimes ignored when they opposed the issuing licences leading to terrible consequences.

In reaction to the unavailability of Taxis, Hackney companies sprang up. These were effectively drivers who would hire their services to the public. they could only be hired by phone or in person at the Hackney’s office and could not pick up people from the street or from Taxi ranks. They did not have meters and the fare was agreed at the start of the journey. the upside ? was that there was a minimal fee for a licence and it was easy to set up as a hackney.

Recently a minister (who resigned in the middle of a scandal yesterday) broke the taxi “cartel” and allowed more licences to be issued.

It’s still hard to get a taxi though.

This is correct. In Ireland, hackneys have a yellow plate on their car number plates. A proper taxi has a large sign across its roof, saying TAXI, and giving its taxi number. The sign should light up when the taxi is free.

There are indeed other differences as Ruadh says. Hackney drivers are mere mortals. If you listen to taxi men, you will find that they are all perfect drivers and also know everything. Cecil Adams learned all he knows from a taxi driver.:smiley:

Slan is beannacht.

::: Moderator hunts feverishly for Irish-English dictionary. Realises merely friendly farewell. Changes pants. Relaxes :::

Location, incredible knowledge and attitude does not nationallity make :wink:

Always thought he was Irish. Appears I’m wrong.

You’re wrong twice: she.

Oops. I’ll get it right eventually :smiley:

Yet :wink: