Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Vehicle Licences

Until 01.08.2020 (for new vehicle applications and change of existing vehicle applications) and until 01.09.2020 for (renewal vehicle applications and interim six-monthly Compliance Tests) the requirement for vehicles to undergo Compliance Testing is suspended.

So long as a vehicle holds a current valid MOT, that will suffice when submitting applications for new vehicle licences, renewing vehicles licences, change of vehicle applications, and transfer of ownership.

Therefore, any vehicle licence application needing to be submitted before the above dates does not require a Compliance Test to be booked or carried out.





Types of Vehicle Licences

Ashfield District Council issues two types of annual vehicle licences:

Hackney Carriage Vehicle (commonly known as a Taxi): These vehicles have an illuminated taxi roof box sign, are fitted with a taximeter, and display a white licence plate. Hackney Carriages can undertake pre-booked work, can wait at ranks within the district, and be flagged down in the street. The tariffs used by Hackney Carriages when carrying out their work are set by the local Council, and the tariff chart must be displayed within the vehicle.

The current Hackney Carriage Tariff Chart can be found here Tariff Chart.

Hackney Carriages are permitted to undertake pre-booked work provided by Private Hire Operators anywhere in the country, however, when licensing a vehicle as a Hackney Carriage, the Licensing Authority expects the vehicle to predominantly be providing transport services to those who live in, work in, and visit the Ashfield District.

Private Hire Vehicle: These vehicles are not fitted with a Taxi sign roof box, but can be fitted with a taximeter. The vehicles display a yellow plate on the rear of the vehicle, and will have the livery and telephone number / email address / mobile app details of the Private Hire Operator company on the side doors.

Private Hire work is solely by way of pre-booked journeys made directly to a Private Hire Operator. However, an Operator may sub-contract a booking to another Operator to fulfil that journey. The driver of a Private Hire vehicle may not negotiate the fare. The fare must either be agreed between the customers and the Private Hire Operator, or the journey may be carried out using the taximeter, using the tariffs set by the Operator. The Operator tariff chart must be produced to the passenger upon request.

How to Licence a Vehicle for the First Time

In order to obtain either a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence or a Private Hire Vehicle Licence you will need to view our Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Vehicle Application Pack to see if the vehicle you wish to licence will meet with our age and specification criteria.  Vehicles put forward for the first time for a licence (or those replacing an existing licensed vehicle) must be less than 5 years of age (from date of first registration as detailed on the V5 Log Book) at the time of submitting the application to the Licensing Team. Under no circumstances will a vehicle that has been an insurance write-off be licensed by the Council, and as part of the application process you must provide us with an HPI Certificate / Report that proves that the vehicle has not been the subject of an insurance write-off.

All new applications for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence must be made for wheelchair accessible vehicles. A list of our current Designated Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles can be found here Designated Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.

All vehicles must undergo 2 x Certificate of Compliance Tests for the period of the licence (these Tests are designed to ensure that the vehicle meets with our criteria for licensed vehicles) at our Motor Transport Depot, and all vehicles aged 1 year old or more are also required to hold a valid M.O.T. Certificate.

Once you have purchased your vehicle (or hired / leased it from a car supplier), you will need to call the Motor Transport Depot on 01623 457885 to book your Certificate of Compliance Test. When making the booking at the Motor Transport Depot, you will be required to make payment for the 2 x Certificate of Compliance Tests and the licence fee (Hackney Carriage £359.90, Private Hire £344.10).

Bookings are non-refundable if the customer fails to attend. In the case of cancelled bookings, refunds are subject to a £65 charge).

Having secured the time and date for your Compliance Test, contact the Licensing Team to pre-book a Virtual Appointment to submit all of the documents as detailed within the Application Pack.

A Virtual Appointment is just that - Virtual - you do not physically attend - rather you submit your application electronically ahead of the time and date of the Virtual Appointment. The reasons for creating Virtual Appointments are to enable the Licensing Team to structure the significant volume of demands placed on it, and to ensure that your application is turned around within  no longer than one working day.

When submitting your application and accompanying documents to the Licensing Team, if everything is satisfactory, you will be issued with the Vehicle Identification Plate which will be posted to you with the paper Vehicle Licence.

Vehicles that are 5 years of age or more:

Should you be considering applying to licence a vehicle that is 5 years of age or more, then such vehicles will be considered by the Licensing Authority as new applications, subject to them meeting all of the other specifications and criteria as detailed in the Vehicle Application Pack, and:

1. If the vehicle is to be a Hackney Carriage Vehicle, that it is a fully Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.

2. If the vehicle is to be a Private Hire Vehicle, then it must be either a fully Wheelchair Accessible Vehilce or be a vehicle for which the CO2 emissions as detailed on the V5 Log Book are no higher than 120.

3. That the vehicle application is supported by an Auto-Engineer Report that states that the vehicle is in "exceptional" condition (The Motor Transport Depot can carry out such an inspection for an additional fee of £65.00).

Renewing a Vehicle Licence

The Licensing Team will issue you a “Reminder Letter” approximately 2 months before your vehicle licence is due to expire.

Simply follow the instructions on the letter and in the Application Pack, in order to renew the licence.

The costs to renew a licence are the same as those for a New Licence, however a list of all applicable fees and charges can be found here.

Changing a Licensed Vehicle

If you wish to change the vehicle that is currently licensed the replacement vehicle must be less than 5 years of age at the time that you submit your application to the Licensing Team. The procedure to be followed can be found within the Vehicle Application Pack. In effect it is the same procedure as that for a New Vehicle Application.

Transferring the Ownership of a Licensed Vehicle

If you sell a licensed vehicle you must inform the Licensing Team in writing that you have done so (including to whom, when, and details of the licence number, and the make and model of the vehicle). If you purchase a vehicle that is already licensed, you must complete a “Transfer of Ownership” application and submit your application by way of a pre-booked Virtual Appointment with the Licensing Officer within 14 days of you purchasing the vehicle.

The procedure for a “Transfer of Ownership” can be found within the Vehicle Application Pack. There is no separate charge for a Transfer of Ownership application.

Loss of Licence Plate

If for any reason you lose the licence plate, you must contact the Licensing Team immediately to arrange and pay for a replacement plate, which will be posted to you. The cost of a replacement plate is £29.00. If you also need a replacement "plate holder bracket" these can be obtained from the Motor Transport Department and currently cost £10.00.

Compliance Checks of Licensed Vehicles

The Licensing Team regularly carries out compliance checks of drivers and vehicles. Our objectives are to ensure that the fleet of vehicles presented to the public promotes a positive image of the Ashfield District, and that the vehicles are safe for the public to travel in. Vehicle Licence holders are expected to maintain their vehicles to an exceptional standard at all times (both visually and mechanically).

Any matters of non-compliance are dealt with at the time of the inspection, and followed up in writing to the vehicle proprietor. Serious or repetitive failures to maintain cars to the required standard may result in the Council not considering a person or company "fit and proper" to continue to hold or be granted vehicle licences.

Our Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy provides further details as to our enforcement operations and techniques. 

Please contact the Licensing Team if you have any further questions.