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Taxi Vehicle Licence

Taxi Vehicle Licence

In order to apply for a taxi vehicle licence the automobile must meet the following criteria:

  • All new vehicles or vehicles new to licensing must as a minimum meet the Euro 6 standards for emissions at time of licensing – from 1 January 2018 all taxis presented for licensing for the first time must be zero emissions capable
  • Vehicles already licensed by us must be no older than 15 years at time of licensing
  • The vehicle must meet the design standards set out in the fitness document.
  • All taxis must have a taxi meter.
  • All taxis must have the facility to accept card and contactless payments via an approved fixed card payment device installed in the passenger compartment, which must be capable of producing a printed receipt on demand

Inspection Documents Required

A driver must have their vehicle inspected formally. Every potential driver needs the following original documents as they need to be presented when you take your vehicle in for inspection:

  • Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5) or new keeper supplement slip. Or if recently purchased, a bill of sale and V5C/2 is required
  • Certificate of insurance (must be displayed in the vehicle)
  • The existing motor cab licence including plates (if applicable)
  • Emission equipment – fitment sign off declaration where applicable
  • Vehicle Excise Licence (road tax)
  • Certificate of Taximeter Installation issued within 30 days of licensing inspection
  • Any relevant document relating to the vehicle as appropriate, including any modification certificate and information relating to chassis/body replacement if applicable
  • An MOT certificate issued within the last 14 days

Vehicle licences are issued for a period of 12 months, for which there is an application fee of £66 (non refundable) and a grant of licence fee £44. Any vehicle re-testing can be done for free within 28 days.

Taxi Exemptions Allowed

To comply with air quality standards, all taxis must be within a certain age limit to be licensed. However, a limited number of exemptions are possible that allow certain vehicles to be licensed for an additional periods, such as:-

  • Age limit
  • Alternative fuel conversion
  • Disabled driver adaptations

Any vehicle that seats up to eight passengers and is available for hire with a driver requires a private hire vehicle (PHV) licence. It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to apply for a licence.

The private hire regulations have recently changed. Drivers should be familiar with the changes before submitting applications.

In order to qualify for a PHV licence the vehicle must meet the following age criteria:

  • Vehicles already licensed by us must be no older than 10 years at time of licensing
  • From 1 January 2018 all PHVs licensed for the first time must have a Euro 6 petrol or diesel engine, or a Euro 4 petrol-hybrid engine in order to meet new emission requirements.

There are certain exemptions to this criteria.

You must make a booking to have your vehicle inspected. You will need to present the following original documents when you take your vehicle in:

  • Existing PHV vehicle licence (if applicable)
  • V5c DVLA Vehicle Registration Certificate
  • Hire and reward insurance documents
  • MOT certificate issued within the last 14 days
  • Vehicle modification documents
  • Any other relevant documentation relating to the vehicle, where appropriate, such as Voluntary Individual Vehicle Approval (VIVA)
  • Taxi and Private Hire vehicle licensing inspection manual

Exemptions application fee is £84 (non-refundable) and a Grant of licence fee is £56. The Vehicle licences are issued for a period of 12 months from date of inspection.


To comply with air quality standards, all taxis and PHVs must be within certain age limits to be licensed. However, a few exemptions mean

some vehicles can be licensed for an additional period. Find out more about the exemptions:

  • Alternative fuel conversion
  • Disabled driver adaptations
  • Specialist needs adaptations
  • Wheelchair-accessible vehicles

Other exemptions

Displaying front and rear licence discs

All PHVs must display their vehicle licence discs, unless otherwise specifically stated:-

Exemptions will only be granted if drivers can prove that displaying the rear licence disc is not possible due to the design of the vehicle e.g.  the vehicle has no rear window.

Exemptions from seatbelt/seating capacity requirements

A driver must prove that due to the age and/or the original vehicle manufacturer’s construction, the current vehicle licensing criteria related to seatbelt and seating capacity requirements does not apply.

Passenger safety is our main priority so this type of exemption will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and only if you can demonstrate the need to operate a specialist vehicle (e.g. vintage/historical vehicle) due to the services you offer your customers.

Exemption from the right hand drive requirements

All PHVs must be right-hand drive vehicles. An exemption from this requirement can be applied if you can prove that the right-hand drive requirement is not possible due to the services and type of vehicle being used.  The following will be considered:

  • Details of the vehicle and why you have chosen to licence it as a private hire vehicle
  • Features of your business and the service offered
  • Details as to why other vehicles with right-hand steering could not provide the same service

You can apply for any of the above exemptions by completing and sending an application form with any supporting evidence as required.

Specialist Vehicles

Some vehicles that don’t fit into the most common categories, such as :-

  • agricultural or forestry tractors (category F)
  • road rollers (category G)
  • track-laying vehicles steered by their tracks (category H)
  • mowing machines and pedestrian-controlled vehicles (category K).

You don’t need a licence to drive these vehicles off the road, because there are minimum age limits for drivers.

If you have a full car driving licence (category B), you can drive a tractor (category F) or mowing machine (category K) on the road.

For any other specialist vehicle, you’ll need to apply to add a higher category to your driving licence and pass a test before you can drive it on the road.

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