Taxi safety in Sunderland

Everything you need to know about how to travel safely by taxi or private hire in Sunderland.

As Sunderland’s longest established taxi company, we pride ourselves in providing our customers with a safe, reliable and unrivalled taxi service.

Unfortunately, since the funding for Taxi Marshalls was discontinued, there is now a potential for disorder in the City Centre at certain times.

Also, there have been several recent high profile incidents locally as well as nationally, involving offenders who deliberately set out to target vulnerable women and girls.

It is therefore essential that everyone takes note of the following information and tips to make sure you, your friends and family are kept safe when travelling by taxi in Sunderland.

Use a licenced Sunderland vehicle

A licenced vehicle will display a licence plate on the rear of the vehicle and the driver must wear an identity badge.

Why does this matter?

Using a licenced vehicle ensures that your driver is licenced, the vehicle is roadworthy, and correctly insured to transport you.

What is the difference between a Taxi (Hackney Carriage) and a Private Hire in Sunderland?

It is important that you know who is taking you home, and we want to make sure you are in the know about what to look out for and the differences between a Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle.

Taxi (Hackney Carriage)

  • All Sunderland Taxis are white in colour
  • They have a ‘Taxi’ roof sign
  • They display the Sunderland City Council decals on the front doors
  • Taxis have a meter which has a maximum fare by mile set by the Council
  • You can hail a taxi anywhere in the city when available for hire or at a designated Taxi Rank
  • Taxis can also undertake pre-booked work
  • This is what a Sunderland Taxi (Hackney Carriage) licence plate looks like.
  • Hackney plate
  • This should be displayed on the rear of the vehicle.

Private Hire

  • Can be any colour except white
  • May display a roofsign with company name, ‘Private Only’ and company telephone number
  • Is not required to have a meter, but can choose to use one
  • A Private Hire can only undertake pre-booked work through a licenced operator
  • A Private Hire can not pick up at taxi ranks or be hailed on the street
  • This is what a Sunderland Private Hire Vehicle licence plate looks like.
  • Private license
  • This should be displayed on the rear of the vehicle.

So, what about Station Taxis?

Station Taxis has almost 200 vehicles which consist of both Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles.

This means that not all Station Taxis are white.

You can identify a Station Taxi by:

Our Hackney Carriage vehicles are all white and display our logo on the bonnet and our telephone number and red stripes on the sides.
Our Private Hire vehicles are any colour except white and display our logo on the sides as well as our red stripes.

Station Taxis Hackney Carriage

Hackney carriage

Station Taxis Private Hire

Private hire

Other white Hackney Carriages, that are not Station Taxis, are Independent Hackney Carriages who work from the licenced taxi ranks in the city.

What we do to you make sure your safety is our priority:

Our Drivers are:

  • All uniformed
  • Enhanced DBS Checked
  • Passenger Assistance Trained
  • Trained in Safeguarding
  • Display a licence badge at all times

Our Vehicles are:

  • Clearly branded
  • Many of our vehicles are now fitted with CCTV for your piece of mind
  • All vehicles are GPS tracked
  • Regularly checked to uphold Station Taxis standards

Our Booking Technology

  • We have a Ringback facility to let you know when your taxi has arrived
  • For customers who book from a mobile phone we have a Textback facility that lets you know the colour, make, model and number of your taxi
  • If you book using our App, you can even track your taxi and view the driver and vehicle details from your phone
  • Our booking and dispatch system allows us to track any of our vehicles so we know exactly where they are

Remember to:

  • Never hail or get into a Private Hire vehicle that you have not pre-booked, this is illegal and can invalidate the vehicle insurance
  • Check the vehicle has a licence plate on the rear and that the driver is wearing their Taxi or Private Hire identity badge
  • Always sit in the rear seats of the vehicle and carry a mobile phone if possible
  • Be cautious when making a booking in a public place to make sure your details are not heard by strangers
  • Don’t forget any luggage, bags or valuables when leaving the vehicle
  • Ensure you have sufficient funds to pay for your journey

Other Useful Links:

Sunderland City Council Taxi Licensing

Sunderland City Council Taxi Fare Setting

Taxi Ranks in Sunderland

Northumbria Police – Operation Sanctuary

Please Share this with your friends and family to make sure that they are in the know about what to look out for in Sunderland and how to travel safely by taxi!