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Private hire vehicle (Minicab)

Private hire vehicle (Minicab)

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 a cab office. Failure to do so is an offence and invalidates the vehicle’s insurance cover. Fares for private hire vehicles are not regulated by the council - the cost of a journey will normally be based on a rate per mile or should be agreed with the company before the journey.

Private Hire Vehicles licensed by the council must display a yellow plate on the rear and a smaller internal plate. 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 Acts 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 (see technical specifications below).
  • Your car does not look like a taxi.

  • Your car is mechanically suitable. The mechanical condition is to be conformed by a detailed inspection undertaken at the expense of the proprietor by a suitable garage or other vehicle maintenance business. The inspection report is to be completed and signed by the fitter who carried out the inspection and his signature and qualifications are to be authenticated by the addition of the name and address of the garage by means of business rubber stamp. In the case of a recently acquired vehicle a report from the garage which sold the car will not be accepted.

  • Your car is 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. This is a serious offence.

Technical specifications for private hire vehicles

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 the council has therefore approved certain standards to guide proprietors on the type of vehicle considered suitable bearing in mind public comfort/safety and the legal requirements previously mentioned.

The specifications we apply to vehicles are as follows:

  1. 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.
  2. That your vehicle 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.
  3. That your vehicle (if a car) has a minimum of 4 doors giving adequate access and egress from the vehicle. The design of the car can be saloon, hatchback or estate.
  4. 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 (100 inches).
  5. That your vehicle has a back seat width (when measured in a continuous line from edge to edge) of at least 1220mm (48 inches).
  6. That your vehicle provides easy access from a door to any passenger seat and no “tip up” seat mechanism shall be accepted.
  7. That your vehicle is constructed or adapted to carry a minimum of 4 passengers in comfort.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The seat belt notice (provided by us) is to be displayed inside the vehicle.
  11. The licence number shall be displayed both on the outside and inside of the vehicle on the official plates provided.

What information must you provide to 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 West Lindsey area.
  • That the proprietor making the application holds a private hire driver’s licence issued by this authority.

That you can produce the following documents:

  • Vehicle registration document - we cannot process your application without seeing this document.
  • MOT Certificate (if applicable).
  • Policy or cover note of insurance covering the vehicle for “public and/or private use” for you and/or your drivers.
  • That your vehicle is mechanically suitable. Your vehicle must pass an inspection carried out by a qualified mechanic (see legal requirements). The vehicle will also be 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. Alternatively, you can download a copy of the form to apply for a licence to operate private hire vehicles by clicking on the link below. You can then print it off, fill it in and return it, along with the appropriate fee, to the address shown at the bottom of the form.

For current fee details, see Business Licence Fees.

Licensing registers are available to view by prior arrangement at the council offices.

Licensing

West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall, Marshall's Yard
Gainsborough
Lincolnshire
DN21 2NA

Email:  licensing.2003@west-lindsey.gov.uk

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