Private hire vehicle (minicab) licence
- Category: Taxi and minicab licensing
- Last Updated: 07 December 2016
A Private Hire vehicle must be pre-booked and cannot pick up passengers off the street or off a rank.
What is a private hire vehicle?
With a Private Hire vehicle you
- Must be pre-booked,
- You cannot pick up passengers off the street or off a rank.
- You must display a plate, fastened securely to the rear of the vehicle, stating the district in which you are licensed, the number of passengers you are licensed to carry and details of the vehicle i.e. Private Hire, vehicle registration.
A private hire vehicle is constructed or adapted to seat less than nine passengers and is not a hackney carriage or public service vehicle provided for hire, with the services of a driver for the purpose of carrying passengers.
Licences are probably not needed where:
- Every passenger pays a separate fare
- The vehicle is an emergency ambulance
- The vehicle is an ambulance operated as part of a formal Patient Transport Service (not necessarily for the NHS). Vehicles driven by volunteers or on an ad-hoc basis for profit may still need licensing.
- Volunteer car drivers only receive expenses within the limits allowed by HM Revenue and Customs.
- Childminders carry children, unless it is a contractual requirement that a vehicle is provided as part of looking after a child.
- Transport is provided for weddings and funerals
Please read the policy guidelines attached to the application form available from the Taxi Licensing Officer or telephone on (01653) 600666.
What is required for a vehicle application?
When applying to licence a vehicle you must fill out the relevant application form i.e. Hackney Carriage Vehicle or Private Hire Vehicle, accompanied by the vehicle's V5 document, a current Insurance Certificate and if over 3 years old an MOT certificate. The vehicle on first application must be under 5 years old and can be renewed until it reaches 10 years old. If the vehicle is new and being licensed as a Hackney Carriage, once it reaches 1 year old the Hackney Carriage must then have a MOT certificate.
All vehicles must be inspected by the Council's Mechanic before being licensed.
Fees are charged for vehicle, driver and operator licences. Please see the PDF download for details.
What will happen if I fail to be licensed?
It is a legal requirement to be appropriately licensed and there are several penalties for not being licensed in the appropriate manner. Failing to have the appropriate licences in place can result in criminal prosecution for:
- Failing to hold an operators licence
- Failing to hold a vehicle licence
- Failing to hold a drivers licence
Each offence carries a maximum penalty of £1,000.
If you require any further information please email the Taxi Licensing Officer or telephone 01653 600666.
What do I do next?
In order to comply with the licensing laws up to three licences are required.
- An operator's licence. This is granted for one year and places various record keeping requirements on licence holders.
- A vehicle licence. This is granted for one year after completion of a compliance test.
- A driver's licence. This is granted for one year to a driver who can prove they are 'fit and proper' after satisfactorily completing a medical examination and enhanced criminal records bureau check.
All application forms are available to download below.