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Private hire vehicles

How to apply to licence a private hire vehicle

Private hire vehicles

Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked through a private hire operator. They cannot be flagged down.

Before you apply

Before you apply, your vehicle must pass a specific vehicle test (along with a VOSA MOT) carried out by one of our approved testing stations:

Your vehicle should:

  • be less than five years old
  • have done less than 70,000 miles

There are exceptions to the above. Further details can be found in the private hire and licensing procedures and conditions booklet, section 3.11 - age requirement.


You can apply for a vehicle licence online. You can now track the progress of your application through registering for our My Account service.

You'll be able to view personalised information, including your renewal date and the details we hold for your licence.

Registering for an account is easy and will allow you to securely access our services 24/7.

To apply for a private hire vehicle licence you'll need:

Apply for a vehicle licence

Afterwards, you'll need to send us the following supporting documents:

  • a vehicle test certificate (from one of the approved testing stations)
  • a current insurance certificate and schedule
  • your V5 or proof of purchase


The fee is £118 for a new private hire vehicle (one year) licence

For our full fees see our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Fees document. Your fee must be paid before your licence is valid.


Once your private hire vehicle is licensed, a sign must be displayed clearly on each of the front side doors. You can choose from the following signage:

A: Pre-booked only and a declaration about insurance

B: Operator name with the telephone number for booking 'pre-booked only

Pre-booked only signs


Please complete the signage request application form to tell us your preferred sticker choice and enclose the fee of £19. Our sign maker Mr Signs will contact you when the signage is ready.

Accidents and damage to a vehicle

If you have an accident (regardless of whether there are passengers on board), you must report to this to us. This must be reported within 72 hours.

Please use our report an accident form.

If, as the result of an accident you need to get a replacement vehicle via an insurance company. Please use our lease vehicle application form.

You'll need to book an appointment with us to bring in the form and the supporting documentation that's asked for.

Change of address

If you change your address, you must tell us within seven days. Please complete our change of address and/or name form.

Transferring a Vehicle

If you transfer vehicle to a new owner the vehicle licence can be passed over to them.

Please complete our transfer form, and provide the supporting documentation asked for.

The fee is currently £27.50.


There are a number of conditions you need to be aware of, including:

  • the number of passengers that are allowed in the vehicle
  • the safety equipment that must be present
  • how to safely use communications equipment

Please take time to read our conditions booklet. This can be found in our documents downloads below.

Cameras in vehicles

If you own a licensed vehicle you can, subject to the written approval by us, install and use a visible closed circuit TV (CCTV) surveillance camera in your vehicles. This must:

  • face outward and;
  • be for insurance purposes only;
  • must not record audio sound within the vehicle.

If you wish to have an inward facing camera inside your vehicle you also need written approval from us, and you need to be registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). Please see the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.

Use of trailers

If you need to use a trailer for the transportation of luggage (see conditions booklet 3.73) you are required to attached a specific plate on the rear of the trailer. It must be the same as the vehicle licence plate with the addition of the trailer plate mark. Please complete our application for a trailer plate form.