What is a VTC license
? How can you get one
? Why is there a conflict between companies like Uber or Cabify and the taxi drivers’ union?
We answer all these questions about one of the hottest topics today.

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What is VTC
In general terms, the VTC license is the permit to carry out the activity of renting vehicles as a driver . Specifically, the acronym corresponds to “tourist vehicles with driver”. As we will see later, it is the car rental companies that acquire these licenses to offer their fleet to companies such as Uber and Cabify.
Therefore, Uber and Cabify do not manage the granting of licenses or monitor the activity of drivers , but only put passengers and drivers in contact through their platform. Passengers download the applications on their mobile devices and hire the services of a transportation professional.

Differences between VTC and taxis
In practice, a driver with a VTC license and a taxi driver offer the same service, but there are three differentiating points.

1. Hiring
VTCs have a prepaid service. This means that the passenger pays for a transport service through the application and a driver goes to the contracting point. This can also be done through the taxi application, but the main difference is that taxis can be hailed on the street and have specific stops in areas of the city, such as those found at airports and train stations.
The Uber application, a problem for the taxi sector. | Image from: Social networks.

2. Price

The price of the taxi is more stable, although normally more expensivethan that of the VTCs. Take, for example, a ten-minute journey that costs eight euros by taxi. The same journey ranges between 6 and 10 euros in a VTC vehicle, depending on the peaks in demand. The most expensive hours to contract with Uber or Cabify are usually from 8 to 9 in the morning and between 6 and 7 in the afternoon.

3. Licenses

Taxi drivers cannot acquire more than two licenses per person, while VTC licenses are inexhaustible. Car rental companies acquire them and provide them to services such as Cabify and Uber, which in turn allocate the vehicles to fulfill the services offered by their application. The price of licenses is also different, since taxi licenses are somewhat more expensive.

How to get a VTC license
Some transport professionals such as chauffeurs and limousine drivers had this license, but with the appearance of companies such as Uber and Cabify, many freelancers and professionals outside the transport sector have applied for a VTC license. As we have already pointed out, it is the car rental companies that acquire them to give them to drivers, but said drivers must meet three requirements:

  • Have nationality of any country of the European Union or a work permit to practice as a driver.
  • The vehicles must meet the characteristics and be below the maximum age established by each city council.
  • Not have a criminal record.

Why do they maintain a conflict with taxi drivers?
The appearance of platforms such as Uber or Cabify has caused a real earthquake in the taxi sector, which has experienced a significant drop in income and is concerned about the passivity of the administrations to deal with these companies that take advantage of a legal loophole to offer their services. The differences in the price of licenses and fees is another reason for the tension.
Mobilizations of taxi drivers in Barcelona. | Image from: EFE.
Beyond these differences, taxi drivers complain that many VTC drivers do not wear the badge or comply with basic safety standards. In fact, they ensure that the vehicles they use should not go through the same technical inspectionthat they strictly comply.
For this reason, the taxi sector has periodically mobilized in recent months, demanding that the administration regulate VTC licenses more strictly and protectionist with the taxi union. For the moment, taxi drivers have already announced the mobilizations for the celebration of the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid. If the consistory does not propose satisfactory measures, they do not rule out continuing with the protests.

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