Private hire operator

Private hire operator's licence

A private hire operator's licence is required to enable a person to accept or invite bookings for private hire vehicles.

One person can be licensed and employ/sub-contract an unlimited number of licensed vehicles. However, a licensed private hire driver cannot accept any bookings unless he either holds or works for a licensed private hire operator. An operator may pass a booking to another licensed private hire vehicle operator provided that the operator is also licensed by the Council. 

Members of the public have initial contact with the operator and make the contract with them even if the operator does not provide the vehicle and/or the driver. 

Before an operator’s licence is granted the applicant must satisfy the Council that the address from which they intend to operate is suitable and, where applicable, satisfy any conditions that maybe attached to the licence in order not to disturb the ambiance of the area.

If you are a vehicle proprietor you may work for any existing Operator. However, if you wish to apply for your own licence to operate from premises which will be used as a booking office, you need to obtain Planning Permission from the Council allowing use of the building.

A Certificate of Public Liability Insurance is required where the public have access to the premises i.e. waiting room etc. However, where no public access or waiting facilities are provided or if you wish to operate your own vehicle from home, this insurance is not necessary.

New applicants will also be required to attend a safeguarding awareness session (booked through licensing).

Changes from April 2022 (Renewal Applicants Only)

From 4 April 2022, licensing authorities are responsible for carrying out certain checks on applications from individuals, companies and any type of partnership to make sure they are aware of their tax responsibilities or have completed a tax check.

If you make an application on or after 4 April 2022 you’ll need to complete a tax check, link below for information and how to apply:

Changes for taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence applications from April 2022 - GOV.UK (
(please note that you will be unable to complete a tax check until the 7th March 2022)

After you have completed the tax check you will be given a 9-character tax check code.

You will need to give the code on your application to the licensing authority, so we can confirm you have carried out a tax check.

Please note that the HMRC has powers to obtain information from licensing authorities:

Schedule 23 to Finance Act 2011 (Data Gathering Powers) and Schedule 36 to Finance Act 2008 (Information and Inspection Powers), grant HMRC powers to obtain relevant information from third parties. This includes licensing bodies being required to provide information about licence applicants.

From 15th December 2016 all operator licences have been issued with a new set of conditions. To view these changes please view our policy (see appendix 10).

Once the application form has been completed, you need to make an appointment to visit our Offices, bringing with you the following documentation:

  • a reference from your banker
  • certificate of Public Liability Insurance (if applicable)
  • copy of Planning Permission
  • licence Fee
  • applicants will require a Basic Criminal Conviction Certificate which can be obtained from Disclosure & Barring Service (Tel: 0300 020 0190 or website the date of issue shall be no earlier than one calendar month before the giving of the application.
  • attend safeguarding awareness training 
  • A copy of your policy on employing ex-offenders in roles of booking and dispatch staff      

Applications will not be accepted without production of the above.

How long does the process take?

The outcome of your application will be determined within 28 days of receipt of all required documents.

We look forward to receiving your application and if you have any difficulty with any of the forms or have any questions, please contact us on the above contact details.

How long is it valid?

Licence's granted after 1st October 2015 are valid for a period of 5 years or for such lesser period as may be considered appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

How much does it cost?

The cost of this application is £480.00.

The licence is valid for a period of 5 years or for such lesser period if considered appropriate in the circumstances of the case. During the licence period there is no limit on the amount of vehicles that may be operated

Related Pages

Hackney Carriage / Private Hire (Joint/Dual) Drivers Licence

Hackney Carriage Vehicle (Taxi)

Hackney Carriage Driver

Private Hire Vehicle (minicab)

Taxi Licensing

Taxi Ranks

Licensing Enforcement

C.A.B.S - Care About Being Safe


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Last updated: 31 March 2022 16:05:05