Any vehicle that seats up to eight passengers and is available for hire with a driver requires a private hire vehicle (PHV) licence. It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to apply for a licence.
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:
From 1 January 2020 all PHVs licensed for the first time must meet new emission requirements:
- PHVs under 18 months old must be zero emission capable (ZEC) and meet the Euro 6 emissions standard when licensed for the first time
- PHVs over 18 months old must have a Euro 6 (petrol or diesel) engine when licensed for the first time
Please note that PHVs which are fully electric or have a hydrogen fuel cell will meet the new licensing requirements.
Book a vehicle inspection
You must make a booking to have your vehicle inspected. The method through which you book your vehicle inspection will depend on the licensing and ownership status of your vehicle.
New to licensing:
- If you are the owner or registered keeper of a private hire vehicle that has never been licensed in London and wish to make a booking online, you will either need to create an online account or use your existing account of you already have one.
- During the booking process, you will need to provide information about your vehicle. Please ensure you have your V5/log book readily available for this.
- You can book your inspection by calling 0343 222 5555 (TfL call charges apply) or if you are the owner or registered keeper of a single vehicle you can book your inspection slot through your online account
- If you have applied or renewed your private hire driver licence online, you will have an online account already set up. Please log in to your account and your vehicle licence will already be listed under the vehicle or licences tab. You do not need to create another account.
- If you cannot see your vehicle licence through your online account please call 0343 222 5555.
- If you do not already have an existing online account you can create one by going to our account page. You will be required to provide unique information regarding your vehicle licence which can be found on your renewal letter or obtained by calling 0343 222 5555.
Retests and Refunds
- If you would like to book a retest (within 28 days of the first inspection) you can do so by calling 0343 222 5555 or your online account.
- If you would like to request a partial refund you can call 0343 222 5555
You will need the following original documents as they need to be presented when you take your vehicle in for inspection:
- 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)
|Grant of licence fee
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:
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.