There are many different kinds of operator including:
Whatever type of private hire service you intend to provide you will need to be licensed by us before you start operating. Anyone who receives payment for taking bookings or supplying drivers for hire without an operator's licence is breaking the law and may be prosecuted.
To support the completion of your application, it is important that you read and fully understand the Private Hire Operator - Licensing Guidance Notes (PHV/102) before completing the forms. The PHV/102 notes provide important guidance relating to:
In addition, there is further information in the PHV/102 notes relating to:
We have the statutory discretion to decide how long an operator's licence should last, up to a maximum of five years, based on the circumstances of each individual case. We take into account all the circumstances of an application, including the possibility of future regulatory changes, when considering the length of any licence issued.
Once you have read the guidance notes and believe that you can meet all of the required criteria, you can request an application pack by calling us on 0343 222 4444 (TfL call charges) or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application pack.
You will be asked to provide some personal details in order that we can create an account for you and issue you with the required pack.
An application pack contains the following items:
To submit an application to us, it must contain
We have introduced changes to the structure and level of fees for London private hire operators. These changes are to ensure that we cover the costs of regulatory, licensing and enforcement activities associated with private hire operators, including both pre- and post-licensing costs and to ensure that the fees reflect the regulatory, licensing and enforcement costs generated by operators of different sizes.
The licence fee comprises two parts:
This is the fee structure, along with associated fees:
You will need to pay a fee when you apply for a licence, depending on the expected size of your operation.
|5 year fee (£)||Licence fee as an
average annual cost (£)
|Application||Grant of licence||Total|
* The grant of licence fee due will be the fee at the time the licence is issued.
We are asking applicants to confirm the number of PHVs which they will have available at any one time. This should be for the duration of the 5 years (or shorter period) from the point of the licence being granted. Applicants should consider any changes to the number of PHVs which will be available to them during this period.
We will discuss any applications received with you at the time of submission. We will offer support and guidance by providing an opportunity to discuss the application at the pre-licensing inspection stage and again prior to any grant of licence fee being taken.
If you have any questions prior to submitting your application, please contact us at email@example.com.
Send completed applications to:
Transport for London
London Taxi & Private Hire
PO Box 177
Before you apply for a licence, you must have:
*We are currently carrying out a review of our policy on shared venues' private hire operator licences. Until this review is carried out, applications to add a shared venue may not be accepted. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. However, where the proposed centre is shared with a third party which provides a separate service and public access for the purposes of that service, the application is unlikely to be accepted: a typical example would be a nightclub or bar.
Further information is available under the Review of 'Shared Venue licence policy' below.
Following the initial review, we will carry out a detailed analysis of the application materials. The analysis will confirm whether the applicant is compliant with relevant legislation, licensing and regulatory requirements. We will also establish the nature of the service that is proposed.
For more complex applications, such as a new, novel or ridesharing service, as set out in our policy paper, there will be discussion and correspondence on the operating model and system infrastructure.
We may also carry out a technical review of the applicant's system infrastructure.
During this stage we will also consider a number of factors to determine that the applicant is fit and proper.
The applicant's licensing history will also be considered (if applicable).
This is an iterative process where we will engage with the applicant to fully understand the proposed solution and to request relevant documentary evidence. This may include face-to-face meetings to allow the applicant to present its proposed solution.
As part of the application it will be necessary to carry out a physical inspection of the proposed operating centre. This will be carried out by Compliance Officers who will confirm that the premises complies with local planning conditions.
This stage provides an opportunity to explain to the applicant its record keeping obligations e.g. bookings, drivers, vehicles, insurance, complaints, etc. We will also confirm that the applicant has appropriate systems and process in place to ensure records are kept correctly.
If the applicant is licensed an authorised officer of Transport for London can, on request and at any time, inspect the records maintained by the operator.
During the inspection we will check the information provided in the application is correct. It will establish that the applicant can meet all licensing requirements including, but not limited to, the need to provide the customer with a booking confirmation, complaint handling processes, which booking channels are available for customers and whether appropriate back office functions are in place.
This stage also provides an opportunity for the applicant to understand the role of a Compliance Officer and what checks they can undertake and why.
This stage will culminate in a final report, that alongside other materials provided during the initial assessment and detailed analysis stages, will be considered by the licensing team as part of the final determination.
Once all the information is available, we will carry out a full review of all the information available to determine whether a licence should be issued. At this stage we will also consider the duration of the licence and whether any conditions should be imposed.
We will then communicate our decision to the applicant. If a decision is made to grant a licence, the applicant must reconfirm the size (tier) of the licence and pay the appropriate grant of licence fee.
A licence will then be issued. The operator cannot begin to operate until they are in receipt of a physical licence and have it displayed in the operating centre.
A typical application can take up to 16 weeks to process, depending on the circumstances. Applications relating to new, novel or ridesharing services that require further information to determine the suitability of the application can take significantly longer to process.