Last Modified February 14, 2013
There are a number of criteria which must be met if a vehicle is to be used for private hire / as a taxi:
The vehicle should be no more than eight years old
The minimum number of passengers for which a vehicle will be licensed is four and the maximum is eight. Vehicles with a passenger capacity above eight are classified as a Public Service Vehicle and cannot be licensed as either Hackney or a private hire vehicle.
Where one of the seats in the vehicle will be used for three passengers it must measure no less than 48 inches across (between the nearest interior fittings on either side).
All vehicles require testing, regardless of age. You must make an appointment at one of our council-appointed testing stations: the details of these can be found in our application pack.
Your vehicle will have an MOT test, for which a normal MOT certificate will be issued, as well as a council test. Both inspections must be done at the same nominated testing station and both certificates must be dated within one calendar month at the time the vehicle licence is issued. For this reason it is advisable to delay having your vehicle inspected until our Licensing Officer advises yuo to do so i.e. after your Criminal Records Bureau check and medical examination have been confirmed as satisfactory and you have passed your knowledge and driving.
There are no restrictions on the colour of a vehicle but the paintwork must be clean and in good condition.
The interior must be clean and in good condition. All vehicles must be provided with a fire extinguisher and first aid kit.
Roof signs - for Hackey Carriage Vehicles only
Lettering on the sign should state ‘TAXI’ and a separate sign illuminated in the windscreen, ‘FOR HIRE’. The sign must light up whenever the vehicle is available for hire.
Roof signs are prohibited from private hire vehicles.
Hackney carriages must have a taximeter fitted but private hire vehicles are not obliged to do so. All meters will be checked by the garage. The meter must be positioned so that the passengers can clearly see the charge being made.
London style cabs
This style of vehicle is only suitable for Hackney Carriage licences and will not be licensed within Hertsmere as a private hire vehicle.
Certificates of insurance for Hackney Carriages will only be accepted if either HIRE AND REWARD or PUBLIC HIRE is stated on the certificate. For Private Hire insurance, certificates will only be accepted if HIRE AND REWARD or PRIVATE HIRE is stated. All insurance documents must be shown before the vehicle licence can be granted.
All drivers shown on the insurance certificate must be licensed drivers as only a licensed driver can drive a licensed vehicle. Therefore, once you have licensed your vehicle, only you, as a licensed driver, will be able to legally drive the vehicle. This applies even if a non-licensed driver wishes to drive the car only for social or domestic purposes. Any non-licensed person found driving a licensed vehicle will face prosecution, as well as potentially invalidating the vehicle's insurance.
The following application forms and guidance information may help further: