Vehicles must be licensed if they're hired with a driver for money or any other business benefit. That's unless they're being used solely in connection with a wedding or a funeral. Licensed vehicles can only be driven by holders of 'Private Hire' or 'Hackney Carriage' drivers' licence.
Funeral and Wedding Vehicles
There's no requirement for a vehicle to be licensed when it's used in connection with a funeral, or is being wholly or mainly used by someone carrying out the business of a Funeral Director.
A vehicle doesn't need to be licensed whilst it's being used in connection with a wedding. The exemption only applies to journeys directly relating to the wedding service. This could be, for example, taking the bride or groom to the service. Transport to other places, such as the airport, would require a licence.
A Private Hire Vehicle cannot pick up people from a taxi rank. They also cannot be flagged down in the street. They can only be used for pre-booked jobs.
Vehicle tests are carried out by Watson's MOT & Service Centre. These can be done up to 6 weeks before the vehicle licence expires.
New vehicles to the fleet cannot be licensed if they are over the age of 5 years, as per the date of registration shown in the vehicle's V5 document.
How to book an inspection
To book in the vehicle test you'll need to pay us. Please contact the Licensing team about this. You'll be issued with a receipt showing the registration of your vehicle. Please then telephone Watson's Garage on 01757 213650 to book the test date. Quote the payment reference number when you call. You'll need to show the payment receipt to Watson's on the date of the test. The garage will not carry out the test without proof of payment.
How many tests will my vehicle require each year?
- Vehicles between 0 and 1 year old - 1 check per year
- Vehicles between 1 and 5 years old - 2 checks per year
- Vehicles between 5 and 12 years old - 3 checks per year
When the application has been processed, you'll be issued with licence plates. These must be clearly displayed at all times in the correct place.
- The large licence plate must be securely attached to the back of the vehicle
- The small licence plate must be fixed in a position easily visible to passengers.
- Private Hire vehicles will be given a second licence plate for the front of the vehicle.
- Loss or damage to the plates must be reported immediately at the licensee's expense. No hiring contract is to be entered into without a licence plate affixed to the vehicle.
All Hackney Carriage vehicles must be fitted with a taximeter. Installation of taximeters must be carried out by an appropriate installer and accompanied with a certificate of installation and calibration, set to the Council's agreed charging distances and tariffs.
The Air Quality (Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles Database) (England and Wales) Regulations 2019
We're required to provide information to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) about air quality for all hackney carriages and private hire vehicles. The information given includes registration marks of vehicles, the date from which licences have effect, the date on which licences are due to expire, whether vehicles are taxis or a private hire vehicles and such other information we hold for the purposes of ensuring the accurate identification of vehicles. This enables Defra to create a database to support the operation of charging clean air zones by local authorities or other air quality plans.
A tacit consent doesn't apply to a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle application, meaning that your application will not be automatically granted after a specified period of time. Each application must be considered on its own merits to ensure the vehicle meets all safety requirements.