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Conditions of fitness and directions - Private hire vehicles

These conditions set out the requirements that the City Council expects all private hire vehicles to meet.


1. This document sets out the minimum requirements for vehicles being presented for licensing as private hire vehicles. 

A private hire vehicle is a motor vehicle constructed or adapted to seat fewer than nine passengers, (other than hackney carriage or public service vehicle), which is provided for hire, with the services of a driver for the purpose of carrying passengers. Such a vehicle may not ply for hire from a stand or in a street, but must be pre-booked.

General construction

2 Every cab must comply in all respects with the requirements of any Acts and Regulations relating to motor vehicles in force at the time of licensing including the Motor Vehicle (Type Approval) Regulations 1980 and 1980, and the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1984. It must also comply fully with all other test requirements and conditions imposed by Leicester City Council and in force at the time of licensing.

3. The vehicle must have no less than four doors.

Passenger compartment

4. The vehicle must be suitable to seat at least four passengers. Any continuous rear seat must be a minimum length of 122 centimetres (48 inches). 


5. The steering wheel must be on the offside of the vehicle.


6. The vehicle must use diesel, unleaded fuel, LP Gas or hydrogen. The vehicle may be wholly or partially powered by electricity. 

7. LP Gas conversions must be carried out in accordance with “Code of Practice 11, Autogas Installations” and by an installer approved by the LP Gas Association. 

Engine capacity

8. The engine capacity must not be less then 1290cc or in the case of hydrogen, electric / hybrid engines not below 80hp. 

Engine emissions

9. . Engine emissions must meet a minimum of Euro 4 standard. 


10. The vehicle must have adequate capacity for luggage.

Fire appliances

11. The vehicle must be provided with a Dry Powder type fire extinguisher, minimum capacity 1 kilo (1 litre), meeting current British Standards. The extinguisher must be fixed in the vehicle in such a position so as to be readily accessible for immediate use.

Livery, paintwork, and body finishes

12. Vehicles licensed for the first time from 1 February 2008, cannot be wholly or substantially black in colour, or be so dark as to be apparently black. 


13. No advertisements are permitted in any window of the vehicle unless specifically approved by the Leicester City Council.

14. Applications for approval of advertisements must be made in writing to the Licensing Officer of the Leicester City Council.

Vehicle age

15. At the time a vehicle is first presented for licensing by Leicester City Council, it must be no more than five years old, based on the date it was first registered.

16. The maximum age for re-licensing a currently licensed vehicle is eleven years.