Private hire vehicles
A private hire vehicle must be pre-booked through a licensed private hire operator office before a member of the public can use it for a journey.
These vehicles may not apply for hire from a rank or be flagged down in the street.
They do not meet the legal definition of a 'taxi' and so cannot use the exemption given to taxis in traffic regulation orders. This means they are not permitted to drive in bus lanes.
Licences for drivers, vehicles and operators must all be issued by the same licensing authority. Application forms are available below for vehicles and for individuals on the taxi licensing page.
The guidance notes below set out the pre-licensing requirements for private hire vehicles and describe the process involved. As a wide range of vehicles may be licensed for private hire, some are wheelchair accessible and some are not. We will publish a list of private hire vehicles that are wheelchair accessible on this page as soon as it is ready.
Private hire operators
All private hire vehicles must be operated from an official private hire office licensed by us. Planning permission may be required for new operators' offices - contact our planning department for more information.
The application form for a private hire operator's licence is available below, together with the guidance notes.
Apply for a taxi operator licence
You can apply for a taxi operator licence using the quick link at the top of this page.