Global car hire firm Hertz hopes to allow its cars to be rented through the controversial Uber smartphone application that caused London cabbies to protest last week, president Michel Taride has said.

Four-year-old Uber's taxi service, valued at US$18.2 billion dollars, operates in London, Manchester, US and Europe. It equips its drivers with a smartphone app which works out fares via a connection to a remote server.

The app monitors time and distance travelled akin to a black cab meter. Uber then takes an average of 20 percent of its drivers' fares.

Only black cabs licenced by Transport for London (TfL) are allowed to use fare meters in London under law, and so the body has asked the High Court to rule on whether Uber's app is legally binding. Black cab drivers took to London's streets to protest the competitor's intrusion onto their patch.

When asked whether Hertz cars could be hired via the app, Taride said the door was open to such a move but said the firm had not taken any decisions, Reuters reported.

"You could," he said. "We could cooperate with these people, absolutely yes."

"We're having conversations, I can't disclose with whom, when so forth..."

"We are even having a group of high potential employees doing studies for us ... Contacts are being made. There is a need for cooperation here."

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