The private hire regulations have recently changed. You should familiarise yourself with the changes before submitting your application.

Please see our guidance for more information:

In order to qualify for a PHV licence the vehicle must meet the following age criteria:  

  • Vehicles already licensed by us must be no older than 10 years at time of licensing
  • From 1 January 2018 all PHVs licensed for the first time must have a Euro 6 petrol or diesel engine, or a Euro 4 petrol-hybrid engine in order to meet new emission requirements.

There are certain exemptions to this criteria.

Book a vehicle inspection

You must make a booking to have your vehicle inspected. You will need to present the following original documents when you take your vehicle in:

  • Existing PHV vehicle licence (if applicable)
  • V5c DVLA Vehicle Registration Certificate
  • Hire and reward insurance documents
  • MOT certificate issued within the last 14 days
  • Vehicle modification documents
  • Any other relevant documentation relating to the vehicle, where appropriate, such as Voluntary Individual Vehicle Approval (VIVA)
Application fee £84 (non-refundable)
Grant of licence fee

Vehicle licences are issued for a period of 12 months from date of inspection.

If you are ready to book your vehicle in for an inspection, you can:


To comply with air quality standards, all taxis and PHVs must be within certain age limits to be licensed. However, a few exemptions mean some vehicles can be licensed for an additional period. Find out more about the exemptions:

Other exemptions

Displaying front and rear licence discs

All PHVs must display their vehicle licence discs. An exemption from displaying the discs may be applied if we feel it is appropriate to do so. We will consider:

  • Any exceptional circumstances
  • The nature of the work to be carried out
  • The security of the passengers

Displaying rear licence disc only

Exemptions will only be granted if you can prove that displaying the rear licence disc is not possible due to the design of the vehicle eg the vehicle has no rear window.

Exemptions from seatbelt/seating capacity requirements

You must prove that due to the age and/or the original vehicle manufacturer's construction, the current vehicle licensing criteria related to seatbelt and seating capacity requirements does not apply.

Passenger safety is our main priority so this type of exemption will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and only if you can demonstrate the need to operate a specialist vehicle (eg vintage/historical vehicle) due to the services you offer your customers.

Exemption from the right hand drive requirements

All PHVs must be right-hand drive vehicles. An exemption from this requirement can be applied if you can prove that the right-hand drive requirement is not possible due to the services and type of vehicle being used.  The following will be considered:

  • Details of the vehicle and why you have chosen to licence it as a private hire vehicle
  • Details of your business and the service offered
  • Details as to why other vehicles with right-hand steering could not provide the same service

You can apply for any of the above exemptions by completing and sending us an application form and any supporting evidence as required.