Both hackney carriage and private hire vehicles must be licensed.
In addition to the statutory requirements we may attach to the grant of a licence such conditions as we consider reasonably necessary. The Act specifically states that the Council shall not refuse a licence for the purpose of limiting the number of vehicles.
However in the case of hackney carriages the numbers may be limited if we can show there to be no significant unmet demand for this type of vehicle licence.
We have placed a number of conditions on vehicles that are licensed as Hackney Carriages or Private Hire vehicles within the district.
The Acts require that the Council must be satisfied that the vehicle is suitable in type, size and design for use as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle and it is in a suitable mechanical condition, safe and comfortable.
In the case of a private hire vehicle it is also required that we are satisfied that they are not of such design or appearance as to lead any person to believe that the vehicle is a Hackney Carriage
Each application for the licensing of a vehicle will be treated on individual merit however conditions have been placed on the licensing of vehicles as part of Council policy.
Applicants wishing to licence vehicles outside of this policy should show sufficient reason for the Council to deviate from agreed policy.
Generally no application for the grant of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle will be accepted if the vehicle at time of application exceeds 5 years of age from date of first registration.
No application for the renewal of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle will be accepted if, at the time of application, the vehicle exceeds 8 years of age from date of first registration.
Certain vehicles that are either wheelchair adapted vehicles or prestige vehicles may, at the discretion of the Licensing Manager be licensed for up to 12 years.
A prestige vehicle is one that at the time of the application has a residual value in excess of £5,000 if sold privately 6 years after the date of first registration.
Type of vehicles
Any vehicle licensed for use as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle must:
- Have an engine capacity of not less than 1500cc.
- Have at least four doors and be of sufficient size to accommodate at least four and up to eight passengers. The minimum dimensions for any single seat shall be 18 inches (46 cm) wide measured from side to side and 12 inches (30 cm) from front to back. There shall be a minimum of 12 inches (30 cm) legroom.
- Be fitted with sufficient seat belts for the number of persons it will be licensed to carry.
- Have adequate storage for the luggage for the number of persons it will be licensed to carry.
Advice to Operators
Operators wishing to licence stretched limousines should note the Council's policy that it will only licence vehicles that have seats that face fully forward or fully to the rear. Operators of vehicles that do not comply with this policy may still apply for a private hire vehicle and operators licence but they would have to show reason why the Council should deviate from this policy. The licensing of any such vehicle would not set a precedent for other operators.
The Department of Transport in conjunction with VOSA have issued guidance in respect of the operating of such stretched limousines.
Where operators wish to supply alcohol as part of the hiring of any limousine this will be considered as a sale by retail notwithstanding that the price of the alcohol is included in the overall hiring of the vehicle. Operators are required to be in possession of a premises licence issued under the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 and to appoint a designated premises supervisor. The premises licence would normally be in respect of the operating base for the vehicle.
Contact the Licensing team
Telephone: 01304 872295