Private hire vehicle (minicab) regulations

Private hire vehicles cannot ply for hire in the street or at taxi ranks.

Journeys must be pre-booked, normally by phone or in person at a cab office. Failure to do so is an offence and invalidates the vehicle's insurance cover. Fares for private hire vehicles are not regulated by the council - the cost of a journey will normally be based on a rate per mile or should be agreed with the company before the journey.

Private hire vehicles licensed by the council must display a yellow plate on the front and the rear and a smaller internal plate. Roof signs are not permitted. Private hire drivers must also wear an ID badge issued by the council which includes his/her photograph. 

The main Acts of Parliament covering the licensing of Private Hire Vehicles are contained in Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. 

Under this Act the number of vehicle licences cannot be limited and must be granted provided:  

  • the car is suitable in type, size and design for use as a private hire vehicle. See Appendix 5, 6C & 6D of the 'Doncaster Council's Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy'
  • the car does not look like a taxi
  • the car is mechanically sound. This must be confirmed by a detailed inspection undertaken at the expense of the proprietor by a suitable garage or other vehicle maintenance business. The inspection report is to be completed and signed by the fitter who carried out the inspection and his signature and qualifications are to be authenticated by the addition of the name and address of the garage by means of business rubber stamp. In the case of a recently acquired vehicle a report from the garage which sold the car will not be accepted

NB: The vehicle will also be subject to a visual inspection carried out by an authorised licensing officer of the council.

  • the car is insured for private hire work
  • the car is constructed and adapted to seat no more than eight passengers
  • the applicant is responsible for the keeping and running of the vehicle either solely or in partnership with other persons
  • the applicant has supplied all the information required

NB: making a false statement at any time to obtain a vehicle licence is a serious offence.

Information required

It must be shown that:

  • the proprietor (or company) making the application has an operating base within the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough
  • the proprietor making the application holds a private hire driver's licence issued by this authority                

The following documents must be produced: 

  • vehicle registration document
  • MOT Certificate (if applicable)
  • policy or cover note of insurance covering the vehicle for "public and/or private hire use" for all drivers

 The appropriate fee is paid (fee table below).          

Has the vehicle ever been classified as a category write-off?

Category A or B
Vehicles which have been classified as Category A or B will not be considered suitable to be a licensed.

Category C, D, S or N
Vehicles which have been classified as Category C or D (prior to 01/10/2017) or Category S or N (after 01/10/2017) will only be considered when a detailed report by a suitably qualified mechanic has been provided. Please see 'Independent Inspection Report Guidance' attached to this page under 'Downloads and Resources'

The Doncaster Council 'Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy' can be viewed on the following webpage Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy

Once the fee has been paid, the vehicle has passed the Council’s inspection test and the private hire vehicle insurance has been verified then the vehicle licence and identification plates will be issued to you from the licensing department.

Vehicle Test


Vehicle Retest (if required)


Vehicle Licence


Front Vehicle Plate


Rear Vehicle Plate


Plate Fixing Brackets (optional)




Dependent on the age of the vehicle, interim testing may be required during the period of the licence, as shown below.

Age of Vehicle

Test Frequency

Less than four years


More than four years but less than seven years

six monthly

More than seven years

four monthly

The age of the vehicle will be determined on the start date of the licence from the date of first registration as stated on the vehicle registration document.

Reporting an accident in a licensed vehicle

If a licensed vehicle is damaged, and that damage affects the safety, performance and appearance of the licensed vehicle or the comfort or convenience of persons carried then the accident MUST be reported in writing within 72 hours of the accident. The vehicle's proprietor is required to complete the following form:

Accident Report Form DMBC
Download (191KB - PDF)


Book Online

You will need to book an appointment for a vehicle test and meter seal online:

BOOK A VEHICLE TEST (New, Annual or Interim)


Appointments can be cancelled by telephone or email up to 48 hours before the appointment without incurring any costs. No refunds will be provided for cancellations made with less than 48 hours’ notice, failing to attend or any other action on your part which prevents the appointment taking place.

For further information, please contact us: 

Licensing issues


Related pages

Licensing Homepage

Care About Being Safe (C.A.B.S.)


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

Hackney Carriage Vehicle (Taxi)

Hackney Carriage Driver

Private Hire Driver

Private Hire Operator

Taxi Licensing

Taxi Ranks

Taxi Policy

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)

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Last updated: 15 July 2022 13:20:51