Private Hire

Private Hire licensed vehicles are different from Hackney Carriage vehicles. The main difference between the two is that Private Hire vehicles have to be booked in advance. Private Hire vehicles cannot pick 'fares' up from the street or use the designated taxi ranks we have in the area.

To be able to run a Private Hire business, you will need to obtain an Operator licence from the council. Vehicles are tested annually and on passing the test they will be licensed to carry a maximum number of passengers, the number permitted to be carried will be shown on the plate attached to the rear of the vehicle.

Vehicles are tested annually or biannually and on passing the test they will be licensed to carry a maximum number of passengers, the number permitted to be carried will be shown on the plate attached to the rear of the vehicle.

The drivers must be licensed by the council.  Please see the Taxi Drivers Licence page of this website.

Applying

Before applying for a Private Hire vehicle licence, applicants are advised to carefully read the Councils Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Policy (386 kb pdf) as this contains the relevant criteria for vehicles.  The Policy can be found under related documents on this page.

To apply for a vehicle licence, you will need the following:

  • The insurance details of the vehicle you are planning to use. This Insurance policy must state that it covers the use of a ‘Taxi’ business
  • A valid M.O.T certificate
  • The vehicle must pass the ‘plating test’ (inspection) by a council nominated testing centre
  • A completed application form
  • You will also need an 'operators licence' if this is not already in place
  • There are fees to accompany the applications, please see the schedule of fees section of this website
  • Registration Document.

Temporary Plate

If you have an accident or your licensed taxi is off the road for any reason, you can apply for a temporary plate which enables you to use another vehicle for a short period of time (maximum of 14 days).  You will need to produce a valid MOT certificate and insurance policy for the vehicle before you are issued with a temporary plate.  A deposit is also required which is refunded once the plate is returned.  You will also need to bring in your existing vehicle plate which will be kept at the council offices until the temporary plate is returned.

Change of details

If you have an existing licence and you move house or change your name, please fill out the form under related documents to notify the licensing team of the changes.

For further information or guidance please fill in the general enquiry form on the right hand side of this page or contact customer services on 01643 703704.