Private Hire Vehicle Operator's Licence

What is a Private Hire Vehicle Operator’s Licence?

Anyone wishing to start a taxi business, and intending to provide private hire vehicles, or a combination of private hire vehicles and hackney carriages, requires an operator’s licence.  Wherever you intend to operate the business from, you may require planning permission from the Council's planning department, for which there is a fee and landlord's consent if you rent the premises.  To determine whether a licence can be granted, a criminal record check must be carried out, for which there is also a fee payable.  Licences are granted subject to conditions, e.g. records must be kept of all bookings, and records must be made available for six months and be produced on demand to an officer of the Council or a police officer.  Licences are normally issued for a maximum period of five years.

What legislation controls Private Hire Vehicle Operator’s Licences?

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

Who can apply?

Anyone over the age of 18 years can apply for a private hire vehicle operator’s licence.

What is the application process?

Applicants must submit the following documents as part of the application process:-

  • Application form completed by all parties
  • Licence fee
  • Driving licence
  • A Basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Proof of planning permission or confirmation that planning permission is not required
  • Proof of landlord’s consent

Applicants are advised to contact the Licensing Team and make arrangements to submit the above documents.  If the DBS/PNC identifies convictions, then the matter may be referred to the Council’s Licensing Committee for determination, who will decide if the licence should be granted.

Can I apply online?

No, online applications are not accepted for this type of licence.

How much does it cost?

The licence fee is £340 for new applications and £312 for renewal applications.

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.

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. 

Consumer complaints

If you have a complaint regarding any issue relating to licensed or unlicensed taxi activities, please contact the Licensing Team on 01495 355485.