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Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles

The Licensing Authority is empowered to impose such conditions, as it considers reasonably necessary, in relation to the grant of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licence.

In accordance with those powers the Licensing Authority has set standard conditions of licence with respect to hackney carriages and private hire. These are provided in Appendix F for Private Hire and Appendix G for Hackney Carriage vehicles in the Taxi Policy. However where it considers it reasonably necessary additional conditions may be imposed. In considering what is reasonably necessary the Licensing Authority will take into account its licensing objectives.

For more information read our answers to your questions:

I want to offer a card machine as a method of paying, am I allowed to set a minimal payment for a journey?

Yes, as long as you give the customer an option of paying cash for the journey. However, you cannot charge additional money, because someone is paying using a card.

Can I pick up and drop off passengers at taxi ranks?

Dual driver- driving a Hackney Carriage vehicle with this Authority– Yes, you can pick up from a taxi rank within South Gloucestershire Council but not outside of South Gloucestershire Council

Private Hire driver- driving a Private Hire Vehicle with this Authority- No, you must not pick up or drop off in any rank,  every fare has to be pre-booked through an operator.

What do I do, if I have an accident or incident in my vehicle?

The licence holder must inform this Licensing Service immediately or the next working day at the latest. And an accident/ Incident report form must be completed within 5 working days.

Are there any restrictions on vehicles?

Yes. Before investing in a vehicle remember to check its age as there are age criteria conditions in place.

Vehicles being licensed for the first time

The age of a vehicle is determined by the date of first registration on the V5 document (log book).  A vehicle will only be accepted for licensing if the date of first registration is less than 5 years from the date of application.

Existing licensed vehicles

A currently licensed vehicle will continue to be re-licensed for up to 15 years from the date of first registration providing that all other licensing requirements relating to that vehicle have been complied with.

Can my spouse drive my vehicle?

Only if they hold a Private Hire Drivers Licence with South Gloucestershire Council and have the appropriate insurance. If you are unsure, email Licensing@southglos.gov.uk.

Do I have to display my plates when I’m not working?

Yes- plates must be displayed at all of the time. It doesn’t matter if you are working or not. If you use your vehicle for social, domestic and pleasure purposes, the plates still have to be displayed.

Can I tint my vehicle windows?

Only manufactured/factory fitted privacy glass is permitted. Aftermarket tints are not permitted and must be removed before licensing. Any other modifications will be considered on a case by case basis. You will need to e-mail your enquiry to Licensing@southglos.gov.uk

I want to put CCTV in my vehicle, am I allowed?

You must notify this Licensing Service in writing prior to installing such equipment. The vehicle licence holder will be required to sign- a partnership agreement on the management of in-car CCTV camera systems at Appendix I of the current Taxi Policy to state that they agree to abide with the CCTV code of practice.

Can I smoke in my licensed vehicle, when I’m not working?

Smoking is not allowed in a licensed vehicle, whether the driver is working or not. Should smoking be witnessed in a licensed vehicle the person smoking will face a monetary fine. If the person smoking is the driver then they may also have penalty points added to the licence they hold.

I am not the registered keeper of the vehicle? Can I apply for the vehicle to be licensed?

Yes, the owner of the vehicle must supply permission in the form of a letter or email stating they give authority for the vehicle to be used as a licensed Vehicle and they will not have access to use the vehicle for the duration of the license.

Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Vehicle Permission letter template

I (owner full name) give permission for my vehicle, Registration number (XXXX XXX) to be used as a South Gloucestershire Council Private Hire Licenced Vehicle by (Applicants full name & badge number).

I understand I will not have access to use the Vehicle for the duration of its licence.

Signed: (owner)

Date:

Owners Address:

I have bought a brand new registered vehicle do I need to obtain an MOT?

If the vehicle is brand new, then an MOT is not required.

On the application form we will ask for the first date of registration- please note that an MOT is not required for a Private Hire vehicle up to 3 years from first date of registration and 1 year from first date of registration for a Hackney Carriage vehicle.

I have sold my vehicle, can I transfer the licence to someone else?

Yes. The Licensing Service will require the new keeper to attend the appointment. The original keeper is not required to attend the appointment, if the transfer form has been completed and the paper licence given to new keeper to hand in. We will require a new Insurance Certificate, New Keeper Slip/Log Book and receipt for the purchase in the new owner’s name will need to be produced and these should be the original documents.

Do I have to carry a spare wheel/ run flat or inflation kits?

A spare wheel, run flat or working inflation kit must be carried at all times. Without it, the licence can be refused or suspended until such time that one is produced.

Can I plate an insurance category A/B/ S/N (previously C/D) vehicle?

South Gloucestershire Council will not accept any of the above category vehicles.

This may affect existing vehicles that have been involved in an accident while licenced- it means that the vehicle suspension will not be removed.

Private Hire Vehicles – Can I work under more than one Private Hire Operators?

Yes you can work for more than one Private Hire Operator. However, on the application form you need to inform this Licensing Service who you work for.

Who is responsible if I rent my vehicle from a third party? e.g. if the vehicle has defective tyres

Both the driver and vehicle owner are responsible for the vehicle. Be aware that if you are using a vehicle with poorly maintained tyres (damaged, below the legal limit or wrongly inflated) that you are putting yourself, your passengers and the public at risk. If you are dealt with by the Police; DVLA penalty points may be added to your DVLA and South Gloucestershire Council licence.

Can I use bus lanes within South Gloucestershire?

There are currently eleven fixed bus lane enforcement cameras in South Gloucestershire.  You should refer to the individual bus lane signage to see if you are able to use it or not

Some lanes are NOT designated for Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire vehicles.

What do I do if I’ve lost or my plate(s) have been stolen?

If you believe your plates have been stolen, you need to report this to the Police and obtain a crime ref number online.  If they are ‘lost’ then it is not necessary to report it to the Police. You can send an email to Licensing@southglos.gov.uk .

You will be emailed the relevant form that must be completed and given an appointment to come into the office and pay for your replacement plates and licence.

It is licence condition and both plates must be displayed, unless an exception is in place.

What do I do with lost or found property in my vehicle?

The driver shall, as soon as reasonable practicable, check the vehicle for any property, which may have accidentally left there. Any high value items phones, laptops etc. should be taken to the Police station but nothing else.

For other items- there is a Facebook group (TAXI – Lost and Found (Bristol)) for property left in HC’s and the expectation is that PHD’s/PHO’s will sort out their own found property as they should know who the customer was.

How do I renew my vehicle licence?

Contact the Licensing Service before your vehicle licence expires. Email: Licensing@southglos.gov.uk

If you do not contact us in advance you will not be able to renew your vehicle licence.

Do I need to display door signs?

Door signs are not currently required.

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