A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire, with a driver, for a single passenger, or small group of passengers, typically for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice. In modes of public transport, the pick-up and drop-off locations are determined by the service provider, not by the passenger, although demand responsive transport and share taxis provide a hybrid bus/taxi mode.
Four distinct forms of ‘taxicab’ can be identified, by slightly differing terms in different countries: Hackney Carriage, also known as public hire, hailed or street taxis, available for hire and reward and for hailing on street; Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs), also known as minicabs (Private Hire vehicles in London are only available by pre-booking, not (legally) available for hailing on street; it is also illegal to pass off a Private Hire vehicle or minicab by calling it a taxi); Taxibuses, also known as Jitneys, operating on pre-set routes for hire and reward, typified by multiple stops and multiple independent passengers; and Limousines, specialized vehicle licensed for operation by pre-booking.
Although types of vehicles and methods of regulation, hiring, dispatching, and negotiating payment differ significantly from country to country, many common characteristics exist.