Hackney Carriage vehicles 

All Hackney Carriage vehicles often referred to as taxis require a licence. They may ply for hire, be flagged down or hired at a taxi rank. These vehicles have a roof sign and display a yellow plate on the rear of the vehicle. Hackney Carriage drivers must also wear an ID badge issued by the Council, which includes his/her photograph.

Private Hire vehicles

Private hire vehicles must only operate on a  pre-booked basis. They may not ply for hire in the street or wait for customers at a taxi rank.  Journeys must be pre-booked, normally by phone or in person at a private hire operators office.  

The council cannot regulate fares for private hire vehicles. The cost of a journey will normally be based on a rate per mile. It is recommended that fares are agreed at the time of booking and recorded.

Private Hire Vehicles licensed by the Council must display a blue plate on the rear and a smaller internal plate. Roof signs are permitted but must not use the words "cab" or "taxi". Private Hire drivers must also wear an ID badge issued by the Council, which includes his/her photograph.

Vehicles operating with a plate exemption

The above legislation allows Local Authorities to allow some vehicle to be exempt from the requirement to display the licence plate on licensed vehicles. Hart District Council has recently reviewed and revised its policy on allowing exemptions. The Licensing default position is always to display plates but Hart District Council acknowledges that there is a demand for business offering a "higher end" private hire service for corporate and other customers desiring a higher specification of vehicle without signage and licence plates on display. Under section 75(3) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, a local authority may exempt a vehicle from the requirement to display a licence plate and a driver from the requirement to wear his or her badge.

The Exempt Vehicle Policy now in place sets out the councils approach to granting exemptions from displaying the licence plate which should be read before making an application for an exemption.

Any vehicle granted an exemption will be restricted to the type of private hire service and vehicles outlined in the revised policy. No other private hire work will be permitted in exempt vehicles.

There are many different laws affecting proprietors and vehicles but the main acts of Parliament covering the licensing of Private Hire Vehicles are contained in Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

For a vehicle to be licensed, whether it is Hackney Carriage or Private Hire, it must pass an MOT and garage test to ensure safety.  We ensure that the vehicles are suitable and adequately insured to maintain high standards of safety.

Private Hire operator licence

All private hire vehicles and drivers must be booked through a licensed private hire operator. The operator licence authorises a person or company to make provision for the invitation and acceptance of bookings for a private hire vehicle

They will usually operate from a business address or may operate a small number of vehicles from their domestic address.

Conditions are included on the licence in respect of record keeping and other matters. The licensed operator may only operate vehicles and drivers licensed by the same Authority who issues the operator licence.

Bookings made may be sub contracted to other licensed operators. However,  but the operator receiving the initial booking remains responsible for that booking and ensuring that any sub contracted bookings are undertaken using only a licensed operator and licensed vehicles and drivers.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

The Council has a duty to publish a list of all wheelchair accessible vehicles across the district.

Here you can view a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles and their contact details. 

Taxi licence policy

All of the above licence applications are considered having regard to the councils Taxi licensing Policy and all licences are issued subject to a range of licence conditions which can be found in the policy below.

Trade Newsletters

Please read our Taxi Newsletter to keep up to date with taxi and private hire matters.

How to contact Licensing:


Phone: 01252 622122

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