Hackney carriage and private hire

We provide licence holders with written copies of our conditions governing their licence upon its initial issue. We inform licence holders in writing of any amendment to those conditions during the duration of their licence.  We do not provide copies of the legislation governing licences but will answer specific questions upon the relevant legislation. Licence holders are expected to make themselves conversant with the legislation that governs their chosen trade and ignorance of the law is not an excuse for failure to comply with it.

 
 

What do I need to do to get a vehicle licensed?

Before a vehicle can be licensed it has to be of a model and age acceptable to the Council and have passed a mechanical inspection at the Council Depot.  Full details of the vehicle specification and a list of currently licensed models are available from the Licensing Department.  Other vehicles will be inspected on request.

What is the oldest vehicle I can licence?

5 years, taken from the date on the registration document.

Is there an upper age limit beyond which licences cannot be renewed?

No, the current licence holder may continue to renew the vehicle licence for as long as the vehicle remains fit for the purpose.  See the vehicle specification available from the Licensing Department.

Which vehicles are the council looking to licence?

Large family saloons, estates and MPVs. The Licensing Department provides a list of models of vehicles it has accepted for licensing and is willing to examine any vehicle that may be appropriate.

How long does the licence last?

Generally a year from the date of issue. 

If I substitute one vehicle on my licence for another during the year is it cheaper?

A new licence for the vehicle would be issued with a new expiry date, generally a year from the date of issue.  The full fee would be charged.

If I surrender my licence am I due a refund for the unused portion?

No, there is no provision for refunds on any unused portion of any licence.

Can I renew the licence of a vehicle I have obtained from somebody else?

Yes, if the vehicle is 5 or less years old and the previous licence holder has notified the Licensing Department in writing that they have transferred the vehicle to you.  If the vehicle is older the transfer must take place on or before the expiry of the current licence otherwise the vehicle is not licensable.

Do I always have to display the licence plate?

Yes, the plate must be displayed in the manner set out in the licence so long as the vehicle is licensed.  The only exceptions to this are for stretched limousines, 'special vehicles' (vintage cars or replica vintage cars) and executive vehicles (doing contract work only).  An exemption certificate is issued at the point of licensing these particular vehicles.

Does taking the licence plate off the vehicle unlicense it?

No, the licence plate is merely to identify the vehicle as a licensed vehicle, it is not the licence therefore its removal does not alter the status of the vehicle.

Can friends and family members drive the car once it has been licensed?

Only if they also hold a licence to drive hackney carriages/private hire vehicles issued by this Council.  The dictum in law is that 'once a licensed vehicle, always a licensed vehicle' until the licence has been surrendered, revoked or has expired.

What do I have to do if I sell my licensed vehicle?

You are required to notify the Licensing Department in writing of the name and address of the person to whom the vehicle has been transferred within 14 days of the transfer.

What do I do if I have an accident in my licensed vehicle?

If the accident affects the appearance, performance or safety of the use of which it is licensed you must report the accident to the Council as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case within 72 hours of the accident.  Failure to do so may jeopardise any insurance claim.

Can I put advertising on my vehicle?

Yes, if it is approved by the Council.  The Council consent, without reference to them, to advertising on the front doors and sun-strip, giving details of the operator and their telephone number only.  All other advertising must be referred for approval.

List of pre-approved vehicles

The following vehicles (not coupe versions) are capable of meeting the HBC specification for private hire and vehicles and hackney carriage licences 11 to 45.  All models shown with (*) will require an inspection to establish the licensed passenger carrying capacity which will depend upon door and seat configuration. All vehicles must have a spare wheel.  Applicants will need to contact the Licensing Department for any vehicle not listed.

MAKE

MODEL

AUDI A4 (4), A5 TDI 2.0 (3), A6 (4), A8 (4)
BMW  3 SERIES (4), 5 SERIES (4)
CHRYSLER VOYAGER (4)
CITROEN BERLINGO (4), C4 PICASSO (4), XSARA PICASSO (4), RELAY (*),  C5 (4), DISPATCH (*)
DACIA LOGAN MCV TDI ESTATE (4)
FIAT SCUDO (*), DOBLO (4)
FORD GALAXY (4), MONDEO (4), TOURNEO (*), TRANSIT (*), S MAX TITANIUM (4)
HONDA ACCORD (3)
HYUNDAI i30 ESTATE (4), i40 TOURER/ACTIVE (4), i800 (*), IONIQ (4)
JAGUAR  X TYPE (4)
KIA    SEDONA (4), CARENS (4),  CEE'D - ESTATE ONLY (4)
LDV    CONVOY (*)
LEXUS IS 220D (4)
LTI   TX4 (6)
MAZDA    6 (4)
MERCEDES  C SERIES (4), E SERIES (4), S SERIES (4) VITO (*), VITO MX7 - AUTOMATIC ONLY (*), VIANO (*), 270 (4), A160 (4), SPRINTER (*), TRAVELINER (*)
PEUGEOT 307 ESTATE (4), 308 ESTATE (4), 406 (4), 407 (4), 607 (4), 806 (*), 807 (*), BOXER (*), E7 (*), EUROBUS (*), EXPERT (*), EXPERT TEPEE (*) - not suitable for wheelchair access due to headroom,
RENAULT  LAGUNA (4), TRAFFIC (*), SCENIC (4), MEGANE (4), MASTER (*), ESPACE (4)
SAAB 93 ESTATE (4)
SEAT  ALHAMBRA (4)
SKODA SUPERB (4), OCTAVIA (4), RAPID SE (4)
TOYOTA AURIS ESTATE ONLY (4), AVENSIS (4), PRIUS (4)
VAUXHALL  VECTRA (4), ZAFIRA (4), VIVARO (*), ASTRA ESTATE ONLY (4), INSIGNIA (4)
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF ESTATE ONLY (4), PASSAT (4), SHARAN (4), LWB (*), TRANSPORTER (*), CADDY (4)
VOLVO  S80 (4) 

Other vehicles may be submitted for consideration however all vehicles must be 'capable' of complying with the HBC specification whether or not they are on this list.  

'Capable' means that generally these vehicles are or can readily be made compliant with the specification and must comply before a licence is issued.

In respect of mini-buses and MPVs, seat layout and access are particularly important and such vehicles must be capable of complying with all relevant aspects of the specification.

HBC licensing authority retains the sole discretion to approve or reject any vehicle if it is not considered suitable for any reason.

If you wish to purchase any other car not on the above list or have any queries please contact the Licensing Department before you spend any money.