Toggle menu

Private Hire And Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy 2021 - 2026

Appendix P - Conditions of private hire operator licence

Private Hire Operator Licence Conditions

1. Planning approval

The Operator shall ensure that any premise from which he intends to operate has been granted the appropriate planning approval for such operation prior to commencing business. If the planning consent is time restricted, it is the operator's responsibility to ensure that a new permission is applied for prior to the current planning permission expiring.

2. Records

The record required to be kept by the Operator under Section 56(2) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 shall either be kept in a suitable book duly approved by the Council, the pages of which shall be numbered consecutively and dated, or on a suitable computerised record system previously approved by the Council, and the Operator shall enter or cause to be entered therein, before the commencement of each journey, the following particulars of every booking of a private hire vehicle invited or accepted by him/her, such entries to be made in strict chronological order with each entry immediately following the preceding entry:

  • the time and date of the booking and how made (i.e. telephone, personal call etc.)
  • the name and address of the hirer (if given), date and time of pick-up
  • the point of pick-up
  • the destination
  • the time at which a driver was allocated and the registration number of the vehicle allocated for the booking and the name of the driver
  • number of passengers to be carried (when known)
  • amount to be charged for hiring where requested or agreed
  • any variation in the original contract must be recorded

The Operator shall also keep records of the particulars of all private hire vehicles operated by him/her, which particulars shall include details of the proprietors, registration numbers and drivers of such vehicles, together with any radio call sign used. The Operator shall also keep records of all desk clerks employed by him/her.

The Operator shall notify the Licensing Section within two working days when any vehicle ceases to be in his/her employ, or any vehicle commences in his/her employ.

All records kept by the Operator shall be preserved for a period of not less than one year following the date of the last entry.

3. Standard of service

The Operator shall provide a prompt, efficient and reliable service to members of the public and for this purpose shall in particular:

  • ensure that when a private hire vehicle has been hired to attend an appointed time and place, the vehicle shall, unless delayed or prevented by sufficient cause, punctually attend at the appointed time and place
  • keep clean, adequately heated, ventilated and lit any premises which the Operator provides and to which the public have access, whether for the purpose of booking or waiting
  • it is not considered appropriate for novelty vehicles and/or stretched limousines to be used for standard hirings and Operators shall only send such a vehicle when it has been specifically requested by the hirer

4. Fares

The fare to be charged and/or the method of determining the same by Private Hire Operators shall be agreed with the hirer at the time of booking.

The method of calculation of fares shall not consist of the "round trip" or "office to office" method. The Council expects Operators to charge a reasonable fare for each hiring.

When taximeters are to be used the Operator must notify the Council of the fare rate and any subsequent changes made to that fare rate during the period of this licence.

5. Taximeters

Where any vehicle operated by him/her is fitted with an approved taximeter, the Operator shall ensure that the taximeter is set to the fare rate notified to the Council and properly sealed in accordance with Council Policy.

6. Facilities for passengers

The Operator shall ensure that where any passenger waiting area or room is provided, it is kept physically separate from any driver rest area and operations room.

The Operator shall, where a waiting area or room is provided for the use of passengers or prospective passengers:

  • provide adequate seating for the use of those passengers or prospective passengers
  • ensure that such a room or area is kept clean, adequately heated, ventilated and lit
  • ensure that the interior and exterior of the premises is kept in good repair, to the satisfaction of the Council
  • ensure appropriate public liability insurance has been taken out for premises that are open to the public and produce evidence of this on request

 7. Animals

The Operator shall ensure that a driver shall not carry in a private hire vehicle any animal belonging to, or in the custody of, themselves or the proprietor or operator of the vehicle.

The Operator shall advise the driver that any animal belonging to or in the custody of any passenger may, at the driver's discretion, be conveyed in the rear of the vehicle.

Note: This discretion does not apply to a disabled persons' guide, hearing or assistance dog which must be carried in a private hire vehicle without any additional charge, unless the driver holds a Certificate of Exemption on medical grounds issued under the Equality Act 2010.

8. Complaints

The Operator shall immediately upon receipt, notify the Council in writing of any complaints concerning a contract for hire or purported contract for hire relating to or arising from his business and of the action (if any) which the Operator has taken or proposes to take in respect thereof. The Operator shall also notify the complainant of his/her right to forward the complaint to the Council.

All complaints shall be investigated immediately by the Operator, and the complainant notified of the outcome within a reasonable time. Where a complaint is investigated by an Authorised Officer of the Council, the Operator shall conform to any reasonable directions of the Officer in respect of that complaint.

9. Change of address

The Operator shall advise the Council in writing of any change of any correspondence address that appears on the licence within 7 days of such a change taking place. If an Operator wishes to change the base from which they operate they shall obtain written approval from the Council prior to any change taking place.

10.  Convictions

An annual basic DBS disclosure certificate is required for Operators or if the operator is a company or partnership each partner/director of that company unless they are already a licensed driver subject to bi-annual DBS enhanced disclosure checks.

The Operator shall within seven days disclose to the Council in writing details of any conviction or caution imposed on him/her (or if the Operator is a company or partnership, on any of the directors or partners) during the period of the licence.

11.  Vehicle and driver licences

The Operator shall not operate any private hire vehicle if a current licence issued by the Council is not:

  • in force for the vehicle under Section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976; or
  • held by the driver under Section 51 of the said Act

12.  Touting etc.

The Operator shall not:

  • tout or solicit on a road or other public place any person to hire or be carried out for hire in any private hire vehicle; or
  • cause or procure any other person to tout or solicit on a road or other public place any person to hire or be carried for hire in any private hire vehicle

In this condition, road means any highway and any other road to which the public has access, including bridges over which a road passes.

13.  Parking

Where adequate off-street parking is not available at the address identified on this licence the Operator shall identify in writing to the Council specific locations as bases where they would park their vehicles when waiting for bookings.

14.  Operator licence

Operators shall operate wholly from those premises specified on the licence. These premises must be in the controlled district of the Council. If an operator wishes to change the base from which they operate they shall seek written approval from the Council prior to any change taking place.

The Operator shall display a copy of this licence in a conspicuous position at the licensed premises.

A private hire operator licence is not transferable and operators must notify any proposed changes, substitution or removal of the person(s) authorised to operate under the terms of the licence to the Council immediately in writing prior to the changes taking place.

15.  Booking and dispatch staff

Operators are required to keep a register of all staff that take bookings or dispatch vehicles. Operators are required to evidence that they have had sight of a Basic DBS check on all individuals on the register upon commencing appointment and then once every 3 years. DBS certificates provided by the individual should be no more than 28 days old when submitted and this should be evidenced. A record that the operator has had sight of a basic DBS certificate (although the certificate itself should not be retained) should be retained for the duration that the individual remains on the register. Should an employee cease to be on the register and later re-entered, a new basic DBS certificate shall be requested and sight of this recorded.

16.  Policy on employing ex-offenders

Operators are required to produce and provide a Policy on employing ex-offenders in booking and dispatch roles. This should include as part of their employment contract, a requirement on staff to advise the operator of any convictions while they are employed in this role. Operators shall ensure any staff employed are compatible with their policy on employing ex-offenders. Operators shall have regard to the assessment of previous convictions annexed to the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards when preparing their policy on the employment of ex-offenders.

17.  Outsourcing booking and dispatch functions

Operators may outsource booking and dispatch functions, but they cannot pass on the obligation to protect children and vulnerable adults. Operators are required to evidence that comparable protections are applied by the company to which they outsource these functions.

18.  Use of passenger carrying vehicles (PCV) licensed drivers

The use of a driver who holds a PCV licence and the use of a public service vehicle (PSV) such as a minibus to undertake a private hire vehicle booking is not permitted without the informed consent of the booker.

Where a private hire vehicle is unsuitable, for example where a larger vehicle is needed because more than eight passenger seats required or to accommodate luggage, the booker should be informed that a PSV is necessary, and that a PCV licenced driver will be used who is subject to different checks and not required to have an enhanced DBS check.

19.  Data protection

Operators have a duty under data protection legislation to protect the information they record. The Information Commissioner's Office provides comprehensive on-line guidance on registering as a data controller and how to meet their obligations.