Private hire drivers, operators and vehicles

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Changes to licensing service - In light of recent government advice, we have had to make some changes to the licensing service which may affect you and your business -  see further information on changes to the licensing service.

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Under the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 we are responsible for licensing private hire operators, vehicles and drivers who work within the Borough.

The purpose of this licensing is to safeguard the fare paying, travelling public by ensuring that vehicles are safe, reliable and comfortable, operators are efficient and that drivers are considered suitable.

Private Hire Vehicle's

A private hire vehicle is:

  • Usually a saloon type vehicle but may also, for example, be a minibus with up to 8 passenger seats
  • Has a yellow plate on the back stating that it is a private hire vehicle
  • Must be pre-booked through a licensed operator
  • Can only be driven by a driver licensed by us for private hire.

When working, a driver must wear his badge where it can easily be seen by members of the public.

It is very important for safety reasons that members of the public do not get into any vehicle that they think is a private hire unless it has the appropriate sign/plate and also the driver is wearing the correct driver's badge.

Operators

You need to have a licence to operate a private hire business in Wigan Borough.

Private hire operators are based throughout the borough and normally accept bookings over the phone. Cars are then sent to customers through the use of radios or computerised systems.

There are no restrictions on the number of vehicles and drivers that can be operated under this licence.

With effect from 1st October 2015, the council were required to issue licences for private hire operators for 5 years, unless any particular circumstances require a licence to be issued for a shorter period. This is as a result of the implementation of Section 10 of the Deregulation Act 2015.

We aim to determine applications within 21 days from receipt of a completed application, including payment.

You are advised to read through and familiarise yourself with the  Private Hire Operators Conditions. These conditions will be attached to the licence if issued.

Drivers

Drivers of private hire vehicles are legally required to have a licence.

To apply for a private hire drivers’ licence you must:

  • Be over 21 years-old
  • Have held a full DVLA driving licence or other European Union licence for at least 12 months
  • Be able to satisfy us you are a fit and proper person to hold the licence

With effect from 1st October 2015, the council were required to issue licences for private hire drivers for 3 years. Any application made to us from this date, which is subsequently granted, is therefore issued for 3 years, unless any particular circumstances require a licence to be issued for a shorter period. This is as a result of the implementation of Section 10 of the Deregulation Act 2015.

Please ensure that you read through the guidance notes on the application form thoroughly as they contain important information regarding which documents are required to make the application. Failure to produce the required documents will result in your application being refused.

You are advised to read through and familiarise yourself with the Private Hire Driver Conditions.  These conditions will be attached to the licence if issued.

Vehicle Licences

These vehicles must be licensed.

Before a licence can be issued, vehicles must be tested to make sure that they are mechanically fit, safe and comfortable.

The council are required to issue licences for private hire vehicles for any period between 6 to 12 months.

The council is concerned about the failure rate of licensed vehicles being inspected at the council’s Transport Depot. To address this issue we have prepared the above guidelines for vehicle proprietors.

These guidelines are produced to provide assistance to proprietors in ensuring that vehicles remain fit for use at all times when they are licensed.

You are advised to read through and familiarise yourself with the  Private Hire Vehicle Conditions.  These conditions will be attached to the licence if issued.

Fees and Charges

Our fees and charges page lists our current fees.

Reductions on vehicle licences are available for:

  • Applying for a six month licence
  • Wheelchair adapted vehicles
  • Vehicles propelled by LPG (contact us for schedule of conditions)
  • Vehicles showing c02 emissions reading no higher than 50
  • Ultra low emission ‘plug in’ vehicles.

New and Renewal Driver Application Process

Please complete the application form in full, and ensure that all sections are completed, as failure to do this may result in your application being rejected.

Renewal drivers are advised to submit their renewal application, at least 8 weeks before their licence is due to expire.

After you have completed the form, you will need to make an appointment online. When you have booked your appointment, a link to the DBS application will be emailed to you.

On the date of your appointment you will need to go to the Licensing Desk at Wigan Life Centre.

If you have not completed the online DBS application, or do not have all the necessary information or documents available with you at your appointment your application cannot be processed.

Please see the guidance notes on the application form for further information on the documents required.

Please note: Your licence will not be issued until we are in receipt of a completed DBS check (external link).

Therefore, please ensure that all renewal applications are submitted within a sufficient timescale to ensure your new licence is renewed before the expiry date of your current licence. Failure to do so may result in you being unable to drive private hire/hackney carriage vehicles until such time as a licence has been issued.

A completed medical form is only valid for 4 months from date of the examination. Do not complete your medical until closer to your appointment date to avoid incurring additional costs.

Complaints

If you wish to make a complaint in relation to a private hire operator, vehicle or driver please contact the licensing team.

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