What is a Private Hire Vehicle?
Private hire vehicles are commonly known as ‘mini-cabs’. A private hire vehicle cannot be hailed in the street and can only be used for pre-arranged bookings. These vehicles do not have a meter and the fare is pre-determined at the time of booking. They can be recognised by white stickers on the doors and a white licence plate displayed on the rear of the vehicle. To run private hire vehicles, a private hire vehicle operator's licence is also required. They can only be driven by Blaenau Gwent licensed private hire vehicle drivers at all times and must be booked through a Blaenau Gwent licensed private hire vehicle operator. Licences are normally issued for a maximum period of one year.
Are there any restrictions on the type of car I can use as a private hire vehicle?
The vehicle must be less than 4-5 years old at first licensing and can be licensed until it is deemed unroadworthy to continue to be licensed as a private hire vehicle by the Council's approved vehicle examiner. The vehicle must have at least four doors and be right hand drive. It must be able to carry at least four passengers and not more than eight, in addition to the driver. It must be of adequate size and design, i.e. a normal family saloon type car.
Will the vehicle be tested or will my normal MOT be sufficient?
The vehicle will need to be tested, to MOT standards, by the Council's approved vehicle examiner before a licence is issued.
Do I need to get special insurance cover?
You must ensure that the vehicle is covered for hire and reward purposes, for private hire use. You must also ensure that cover is available for all other licensed taxi drivers to allow you to employ them, if applicable.
What legislation controls Private Hire Vehicle Licences?
The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
Who can apply?
Anyone with a legal interest in a vehicle can apply for a private hire vehicle licence.
What is the application process?
Applicants must submit the following documents as part of the application process:-
- Application form completed by all parties
- A Basic DBS
- Licence fee
- Registration document (‘log book’)
- Motor insurance certificate/cover note for private hire purposes
- Proof of ownership
- MOT certificate if vehicle is over 3 years old
Applicants are advised to contact the Licensing Team and make arrangements to submit the above documents. Licensing officers will then make the necessary appointment with the Council’s Approved Vehicle Examiner for the vehicle to be examined to ensure it is roadworthy to be licensed as a private hire vehicle.
If the vehicle passes the test, the examiner will affix the rear licence plates and door stickers and issue a certificate of compliance. The paper licence and internal licence plates will be issued by the Licensing officer.
Can I apply online?
No, online applications are not accepted for this type of licence.
How much does it cost?
On initial application, the licence fee is £295 and the renewal application fee is £239.
How long will it take to process my application and will tacit consent apply?
The application process time is normally between one and two weeks however this depends on the availability of an appointment for the vehicle to be inspected.
Tacit consent will not apply to these licences, i.e. if you do not hear anything within the specified time; you cannot automatically assume that the application has been granted.
If you have a complaint regarding any issue relating to licensed or unlicensed taxi activities, please contact the Licensing Team on 01495 355485.