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Private Hire Vehicle

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 an Operators office. Failure to do so is an offence and may invalidate the vehicle's insurance cover. Fares for Private Hire Vehicles are not regulated by the Council and should be agreed with the Company before the journey.

Private Hire Vehicles licensed by the Council must display a white plate on the rear and a smaller internal plate inside the vehicle. Roof signs are not permitted. Private Hire Drivers must also wear an ID badge issued by the Council, which includes his/her photograph.

There are many different laws affecting proprietors and vehicles but the main Act of Parliament covering the licensing of Private Hire Vehicles are contained in Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

This Act says we cannot limit the number of vehicle licences and must grant a vehicle licence if we are satisfied that:

  • Your car is suitable in type, size and design for use as a Private Hire Vehicle.
  • The mechanical condition is to be confirmed by a detailed inspection report undertaken by the Council
  • The Inspection Report is to be completed and signed by the Council mechanic who carried out the inspection.
  • In the case of a recently acquired vehicle a report from the garage which sold the care will not be accepted.
  • Your car must be insured for Private Hire work.
  • Your car is constructed and adapted to seat no more than 8 passengers.
  • You are responsible for the keeping and running of the vehicle either solely or in partnership with other persons.
  • You have been honest in supplying information to us and must not, under any circumstances, make a false statement at any time to obtain your vehicle licence as this is a serious offence.

There are many different makes and styles of vehicle on the road today. Not all vehicles would be suitable for use as a Private Hire Vehicle and you should contact the Council to discuss the matter.

The specifications we generally apply to vehicles are as follows:

  • That your vehicle is in an immaculate condition both mechanically and cosmetically.
  • There is no age limit on this type of licence, but vehicles are expected to remain in a first class condition.
  • That your vehicles is right hand drive. We will not accept any 'conversions' from left to right hand drive under any circumstances.
  • The vehicle must not have less than four road wheels.
  • That your vehicle (if a car) has a minimum of four doors giving adequate access and egress from the vehicle. The design can be a saloon, hatchback or estate.
  • That your vehicle has a wheelbase (when measured) from the centre of the front wheel to the centre of the rear wheel) of at least 2540mm (100inches).
  • That your vehicle has a back seat width (when measured in a continuous line from edge to edge) of at least 1220mm (48 inches)
  • That your vehicle provides easy access from a door to any passenger seat and no 'tip up' seat mechanism shall be accepted
  • That your vehicle is constructed or adapted to carry a minimum of four passengers in comfort.
  • That your vehicle (if a minibus or 'people mover') has sufficient doors of sufficient size to allow passengers to get in and out quickly and safely. It is a requirement of the Council that seat belts be provided for all persons, irrespective of age and according to the licensed capacity of the vehicle.
  • The licence number shall be displayed both on the outside and the inside of the vehicle on the official plates provided.

What information must you provide us? To help us consider your application it is our policy for you to show us:

  • That the proprietor (or Company) making the application has an operating base within the Council's area.
  • That the proprietor making the application holds a Private Hire Driver's Licence issued by this Council
  • That you can produce the following documents:

    • Vehicle Registration Document. We cannot process your application without seeing this document.
    • MOT Certificate (if applicable).
    • Valid Policy or Cover Note of Insurance covering the vehicle for Private Hire for you and/or your drivers.
    • That your vehicle is mechanically suitable. Your vehicle must pass an inspection carried out by the Council.
    • The vehicle is also subject to a visual inspection carried out by an authorised Licensing Officer of the Council.
    • That you have an efficient and approved fire extinguisher suitable for use on motor vehicles.
    • That the appropriate fee is paid (details on request).

A copy of the relevant legislation can be viewed at the Council Offices where you can also obtain an application form and a copy of our standard conditions.


Licensees are advised to acquaint themselves with the provisions of Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the adobe icon NFDC Taxi Policy [171kb]

Contact Details:

Licensing Services
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court

SO43 7PA

Tel No: 023 80285505


Application Request Form

Updated: 2 Nov 2018
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