Hackney carriage - taxi licence

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Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licensing

It is necessary that a vehicle is licensed if it is to carry passengers for hire or reward. If the vehicle is capable of carrying 8 or less passengers this is licensed by the Local Authority. Vehicles capable of carrying 9 or more passengers are classed as Public Service Vehicles (PSV's) and are licensed by the Traffic Commissioners.

Vehicles are licensed for a year and are required to pass a MOT and compliance test every 6 months. The plates are issued to the vehicle and should be displayed on the exterior of the vehicle to the rear and one internally so that it is clearly visible from both inside and outside the vehicle.

When a vehicle is licensed as either a Private Hire Vehicle or a Hackney Carriage it can only be driven by a person who is licensed to drive that type of vehicle by the licensing authority. The vehicle is used for carrying passengers for hire and reward and is not a private vehicle for general use by the owner, family or friends.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy

The current version of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy came into force on the 16 April 2018.

Private Hire

These are vehicles that have to be pre-booked with the vehicle operator prior to use. There are no set fares as with Hackney Carriages. Fares have to be agreed with the operator or driver prior to the journey or are decided using a meter displayed in the vehicle. These vehicles must not stand or ply for hire or be hailed down in the street.

Vehicle Criteria

  • Has to be suitable in type, size and design (normally capable of carrying at least 4 passengers).
  • There are no restrictions regarding colour.
  • The vehicle must not have tinted windows (Standard light tinting fitted on manufacturing may be acceptable).
  • Must not be of such a design or appearance to lead people into thinking it is a Hackney Carriage.
  • Must not have any third party advertising on the vehicle (Other than the company's name and phone number)
  • Must carry complaint forms/cards
  • Must display no smoking signs and have a copy of a valid insurance certificate in the vehicle

Hackney Carriage

These vehicles can stand or ply for hire or be hailed down in the street. The fares are set by the local authority and are decided by way of a meter.

Vehicle Criteria

  • Has to be suitable in type, size and design (normally capable of carrying at least 4 passengers)..
  • The vehicle has to be either white or silver in colour (Silver means silver, not grey or metallic hues, irrespective of the colour stated on the registration document V5).
  • The vehicle must not have tinted windows (Standard light tinting fitted on manufacturing may be acceptable).
  • Must be fitted with a meter and display the current fare tariffs in the vehicle.
  • Must not have any third party advertising on the vehicle (Other than the company's name and phone number).
  • Must carry complaint forms/cards
  • Must display no smoking signs and a valid insurance certificate in the vehicle.
  • Must display the official TMBC logos on both the drivers and front nearside passenger doors.
  • Must have a roof sign displaying the word "Taxi" capable of being illuminated.

Application Procedure

Hackney Carriage and private hire taxi application form (print and complete part 1; 2 and 5)

The applicant has to attend at the Council Offices (see times below) and complete an application form and pay the appropriate fee (see below)

  • The applicant has to produce a valid insurance certificate to cover the vehicle for carrying passengers for hire and reward as either a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage (Whichever is applicable)
  • The applicant has to produce the registration document for the vehicle (If this is a new vehicle or just purchased this may be at DVLA, therefore an order form/receipt is acceptable and the registration document must be produced when received from DVLA).
  • The applicant will then be issued with a voucher to produce at one of the Council approved testing stations.
  • The applicant is responsible for submitting the vehicle for the test at the approved testing station (Fee payable to the garage)
  • On successfully passing the test the applicant will be issued with a pink slip by the garage. The applicant then produces this slip at the Council Offices where it will be exchanged for the plates(This can be done at the reception between the hours of 09:00 -17:00).

Licensing Officers are available between 10:00 - 12:00 Monday to Friday at the Council Offices. If you are unable to attend the offices within these hours you must make an appointment to guarantee an officer will be available.

Fees

  • A new one year hackney carriage licence will cost £240.00* and a renewal will cost £220**
  • A new one year private hire vehicle licence will cost £230.00* and a renewal will cost £220**

* Includes costs of plates (and door insignia in case of Hackney Carriage, does not include plate holders)
** Includes cost of replacement external and internal plates (does not include plate holders)

You can pay by cash, credit card or cheque, made payable to "Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council" or "TMBC".

Hackney Carriage authorised maximum fares

Hackney Carriage Fare Chart 19 May 2017

The Fare Chart displayed in a taxi is a combination of time and distance. Nearly all taxi journeys are a combination of distance and time.

If you get into a taxi and are driven straight off, and the distance does not exceed 0.50 mile for the whole distance of your journey with no waiting time, then the fare will be £3.00.

If you get into a taxi and it does not move, you will be charged waiting time. This is calculated at 20p per 30 seconds. £3.00 divides into 20p 15 times… 15 x 30 seconds = 450 seconds (7 minutes and 30 seconds before the minimum fare of £3.00 is reached without moving).

Associated Legislation

Further Information and to report any concerns

Phone: 01732 876368
Email: licensing.services@tmbc.gov.uk