Vehicle Eligibility

This page was updated on 16 August 2023.

Applicants are advised to read through and familiarise themselves with the below information, including the conditions which are attached to all vehicle licences, prior to submitting an application  Failure to do so could lead to an application being rejected or refused.

As part of the application process the Licensing Team will begin carrying out a comprehensive check to verify vehicle details.

All Vehicles / Applications

The following applies to all applications / vehicles:

  • Vehicles must have engines capable of producing 90 bhp but where that cannot be proven or there is any doubt, then the engine capacity must be at least 1600cc.
  • No vehicle will be licensed if it has been written off in categories A or B.
  • Vehicles that have been written off in categories S and N will be permitted to be licensed providing the application is accompanied by a satisfactory AutoLIGN inspection report and certificate.
  • No advertising other than Council approved signage is permitted.
  • For the purposes of calculating the passenger capacity of a vehicle each single seat shall be counted as one passenger and for bench seats, a distance of 40 cm measured across the front of the seat and a distance of 35.5 cm deep shall be the minimum requirement for each
  • There shall be available a space consisting of a flat area of floor 30cm square measured at right angles to a line from the vertical plane of the front of any passenger seat and that area shall not include any bulkhead or any other intrusion.
  • It is strongly recommended that the design of the vehicle shall be such that there is path available to all passengers seated adjacent to the driver's seat from their seat to not less than two doors.
  • The design of the vehicle shall be such that there shall be no side facing seats in the vehicle.
  • The vehicle shall be right hand drive.
  • Any proprietor 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.
  • The age policy is as follows:
    • Saloon Vehicles (PHV only): 10 years off
    • Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles: 15 years off

N.B. The coming off age will be enforced at that end of the transitional period.  This states that no vehicle over the above age will be eligible for renewal after 1 April 2026.

New or Vehicle Change Applications

The following applies to all new or vehicle change applications:

  • There will be no age limit when submitting an application.
  • All vehicles must be emission compliant (Euro 4, Petrol or Euro 6 Diesel).
  • The specification for window tints will now apply and is as follows:
    • Front windscreen – min. 75% light transmission
    • Front side door glass – min. 70% light transmission
    • Remaining glass or rear side windows (exc. Rear window) - allow manufacturer’s tint to a minimum 20% light transmission.

N.B. This requirement will not apply to those vehicles who are in receipt of any exemption from displaying plates and stickers, as they do executive and contract work only.

  • All vehicles must conform to the M1 standard (any modified vehicle at M2 standard must have an appropriate test certificate to ensure conformity with single vehicle type approval).
  • Retrofitting of engines into older vehicles is not permitted.  LPG conversions will be accepted.
  • Where retrofit emissions technology is installed, it shall be approved as part of the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS).

The following additional information applies to hackney carriage vehicles only:

  • Saloon vehicles will temporarily be permitted onto fleet.  However, such vehicles will not be permitted to remain on fleet beyond the 1 April 2026, regardless of the age.
  • The colour requirement will not apply to saloon vehicles (as per the above point).
  • The colour requirement will still apply to wheelchair adapted vehicles, unless the vehicle is purpose built.  The specified colour is black.

N.B. A purpose-built Hackney Carriage is a vehicle that has been manufactured and sold by the relevant Manufacturer as a Hackney Carriage.  A vehicle that has been manufactured and registered, but subsequently converted is not considered to be purpose built.  Whilst vehicles converted by an approved company post manufacturing process may be permitted onto the fleet, it does not meet the definition of purpose built.

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