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Licence for a taxi vehicle

All vehicles that are used to provide a taxi service in Harborough District must be licensed. There are 2 types of taxis that we provide licences for:

Apply for a licence

Apply for a hackney carriage vehicle licence (ODT, 8KB). You will also need to provide supporting documents.

Apply for a private hire vehicle licence (ODT, 8KB). You will also need to provide supporting documents.

Applications cost £160. There is a £15 deposit for the initial vehicle plate.

Completed forms should be returned to the Regulatory Services and Licensing Team, email licensing@harborough.gov.uk or post to Regulatory Services and Licensing Team.

The application will be determined within 10 working days.

The licence will last for 1 year.

Private hire cars must be under 6 years of age at first registration, people carriers must be under 8 years old, and London Taxis must be under 10 years old.

Supporting documents

The following supporting documents should be submitted with your application form:

The Registration document/bill of sale: You will need to produce the original so a photocopy can be taken. The minimum engine size currently allowed for private hire vehicles is 1274cc.

Insurance certificate/cover note: Your original document must be produced so that a photocopy can be taken. The insurance must be for driving a taxi and cover must start, at the latest, from the date and time on which the vehicle is being tested.

The full fee: The current fee for applications is £160 plus £15 for the initial vehicle plate.

Vehicle Testing

Vehicles are subject to a mechanical inspection to ensure they meet our standards. These tests are to a higher specification than an MOT.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to pay for the MOT and the applicant should include proof of purchase with the application.

Garages that carry out our Taxi Tests:

  • Lutterworth Ford Lutterworth - 01455556888
  • Lutterworth MOT Centre, Lutterworth -01455557001
  • Protheroes, Market Harborough - 01858 466000
  • S R Parr Autocare (Steve/Emma/Carly) - 01858 465470-1
  • Houghton Garage - 01162416132
  • Meadowbrook Kibowrth - 01162792542

Lost plates

There is a standard charge of £15 for replacement of a plate.

Vehicle specification

Before you purchase a vehicle for use as a private hire or hackney carriage you should pay careful attention to the exact specification needed for a vehicle to be allowed to be used in the Harborough area.

Hackney Carriage specifications

The vehicle must meet the following specifications:

  • Saloon vehicles shall not be more than 6 years old when first licensed
  • London type taxis shall not be more than 10 years old when first licensed
  • Transit vehicles shall be no more than 8 years old when first licensed
  • The age of vehicles will be judged by, so far as can be ascertained, the date of manufacture or first DVLA registration of the vehicle
  • Vehicles shall have at least four doors and should not have an engine capacity of less than 1274cc
  • They are to be suitable for carrying not less than 4 passengers in comfort with adequate luggage space
  • Seating should be padded
  • Slatted wooden seats are considered inadequate
  • Where seats are continuous, 1ft 4ins. measured horizontally along the front of each seat should be allowed for each passenger
  • Any vehicle which is constructed or adapted to seat more than 8 passengers cannot be licensed as a private hire vehicle

Condition of Vehicle

The condition of the vehicle must meet the following gudielines:

  • The proprietor shall ensure the hackney carriage vehicle shall be maintained in a sound mechanical and structural condition at all times and be capable of satisfying the council’s mechanical and structural inspection at any time during the continuance of the vehicle’s licence
  • The vehicle shall have displayed the name of the Taxi Company and telephone number in a prominent position on the vehicles doors
  • The interior and exterior of the hackney carriage shall be kept in a clean condition and maintained in a safe condition by the proprietor
  • The proprietor shall not allow the mechanical and structural specification of the vehicle to be varied without the written consent of the council

The owner of the vehicle must:

  • Provide sufficient means by which any person in the hackney carriage may communicate with the driver during the course of hiring
  • Cause the interior of the vehicle to be kept wind and water tight
  • Provide windows and means of opening and closing the same with not less than one window on each side of the passenger compartment
  • Cause the seats in the passenger compartment to be properly cushioned and covered
  • Cause the floor in the passenger compartment to be provided with a proper carpet, mat or other suitable covering
  • Cause fittings and furniture of the hackney carriage to be kept in a clean condition and well maintained and in every way fit and safe for public use
  • Provide facilities for the conveyance of luggage safely and protected from inclement weather
  • Provide at least two doors for use of persons conveyed in such hackney carriage and private hire and a separate means of ingress and egress from the driver

Private Hire vehicle specifications

The vehicle must meet the following specifications:

  • The vehicle must not be an Austin FX4
  • The vehicle must not be left hand drive
  • The vehicle must not be a convertible ie have a soft top
  • The vehicle must have at least 4 doors
  • Private hire cars may be licensed for up to 8 passengers (small mini-buses etc) with the approval for the use of such vehicles depended upon
    • All seats positioned to ensure the comfort and safety of the passenger
    • There must be at least two separate means of exit for all passengers seated to the rear of the driver’s seat
    • The exits and paths to the exists must be unobstructed by seating, wheel arches, engine cowling, vehicle trim or other protrusions, so that passengers have a second means of exit in case the first is unavailable either because of malfunction or accident
    • Tip-up seats are not permissible

Condition of the vehicle

The condition of the vehicle must meet the following gudielines:

  • The proprietor shall ensure the private hire vehicle shall be maintained in a sound mechanical and structural condition at all times and be capable of satisfying the council’s mechanical and structural inspection at any time during the continuance of the vehicle’s licence
  • The interior and exterior of the private hire vehicle shall be maintained in a clean, safe condition by the proprietor
  • The proprietor shall not allow the mechanical and structural specification of the private hire vehicle to be varied without the consent of an Authorised Officer of the Council

The proprietor of the vehicle shall:

  • Provide sufficient means by which any person in the private vehicle may communicate with the driver during the course of the hiring
  • Cause the interior of the vehicle to be kept wind and water tight
  • Provide windows and means of opening and closing same with not less than one window on each side of the passenger compartment
  • Cause the seats in the passenger compartment to be properly cushioned and covered
  • Cause the floor in the passenger compartment to be provided with a proper carpet, mat or other suitable covering
  • Cause fittings and furniture of the private hire vehicle to be kept in a clean condition and well maintained and in every way fit and safe for public use
  • Provide facilities for the conveyance of luggage safety and protected from inclement weather
  • Provide at least two doors for use of person conveyed in such private hire vehicle and a separate means of ingress and egress from the driver

Types of vehicle

Hackney Carriage Vehicles

These vehicles may pick up at formal taxi ranks or be flagged down by people. They may also be pre-booked by personal or telephone requests.

They must exhibit a yellow plate on the rear and they must also have a roof sign.

All vehicles are fitted with a fare meter which is calibrated in accordance with fees formally agreed by us and periodically checked.

A standard fee or "flag drop" is made for picking up a passenger and then the meter advances through distance or duration of the journey.

Vehicles must be no older than 6 years when first licensed as a Hackney carriage.

Private Hire Vehicles

These vehicles may only be used to pick passengers up as a result of a call to a licensed Private Hire Operator. The vehicles are not insured to pick up passengers other than those who have pre-booked the journey. Private Hire vehicles may not wait at taxi ranks or accept work from people that flag them down.

Private Hire vehicles must exhibit a green licence plate on their rear and may not be a roof sign fitted to these vehicles.

Vehicles must be no older than 6 years when first licensed for Private Hire use.