Private Hire Operators

Important information →

Tax Checks → With effect from 4 April 2022 HMRC have introduced a new tax check for Local Authorities to ensure licence holders are aware of their tax obligations, and where appliable are registered for tax. Further information is available on GOV.UK (external link).

You will also need to complete a tax check form when you submit an application to the Licensing Team.

Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards → Stage 1 of these standards relating to drivers, operators and local authorities was approved by the Regulation Committee on 3 September 2021. Further information can be found on Regulation Committee agenda and minutes. The new standards came into effect on 1 December 2021, unless stated otherwise.

Under the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 we are responsible for licensing private hire operators within the Borough.

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 and cars are then sent to customers through the use of radios or computerised systems.  However, app-based taxi services are becoming increasingly more popular with the introduction of smartphones. 

There are no restrictions on the number of vehicles and drivers that can be operated under a private hire operator licence.

Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards

Stage 1 of these standards relating to taxis and private hire vehicles came into effect on 1 December 2021 unless stated otherwise.  Further information can be found on Regulation Committee Report (external link).

Making an Application

Prior to making an application please ensure that you have read through the guidance notes.  Failure to do so could lead to a delay with your application.

  • Operator Licence Guidance Notes

You are also advised to read through and familiarise yourself with the conditions which will be attached to your licence should it be issued:

Renewal applications can be made up to 8 weeks prior to the expiry date.  You are advised to submit an application no later than 2 weeks prior to the expiry date.

Please note:

R  Any applicant or company director that is not currently a licensed private hire or hackney carriage driver will be required to provide evidence of a Basic Disclosure (external link), at least once in a 12 month period.

We aim to determine your application within 5 working days (subject to receipt of a complete application).  Failure to submit a completed application, including supporting documents and the appropriate fee will delay the processing times.

Licence Conditions

The conditions attached to all private hire operator licences have been updated in connection with the Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards.  These conditions came into effect on 1 December 2021. 

  • Private Hire Operator Conditions

Annual Fees

There is an annual fee payable each year for the licence to remain in force.  All annual fees become due and payable on the anniversary of the grant of their licence.  Failure to pay an annual fee will result in the suspension of the licence until such time as the fee has been paid.  During any period of suspension it would be unlawful to operate private hire vehicles.


If you wish to make a complaint in relation to a private hire operator, please contact the Licensing Team.

Can we add the new Licensing contact form here?


COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person.  Face coverings are largely intended to protect others, but also provide some protection for the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.

Face coverings must now be worn by passengers and users of public transport in England, unless they are exempt.  Operators must make sure that they communicate this information, either by:

  • Displaying appropriate notices prominently in offices and, where possible, in vehicles; or
  • Taking other appropriate measures to ensure that passengers are aware of this requirement.

It is advisable that operators do both of these steps, and communicate to passengers in advance of travel, where possible, to promote compliance with the requirements.

Operators must also not prevent any person from wearing a face covering or ask them to remove it, except where briefly required to verify a person’s identity.

Face coverings can be sourced via the CCS Office Supplies framework (external link) and from other suppliers.

© Wigan Council