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Hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licence

Apply for a vehicle licence

 Guidance notes


Only vehicles meeting the city councils conditions will be licensed for taxi or private hire use. These conditions include age, size, standards of comfort and ease of accessibility.

The range of vehicles includes saloons, estates, MPV's as well as purpose built and wheelchair accessible. All new additional hackney carriage vehicles (Taxi’s) must be wheelchair accessible. Existing licensed hackney harriage vehicles can be transferred to a new proprietor and that licence can continue to be issued to saloon, estate type vehicles.

Hackney carriage vehicles

  • must be white
  • must display Gloucester City taxi roof sign
  • must display blue licence plates in the window and on the rear of the car
  • must have a meter that must be checked at an approved testing station and display current tariff card in vehicle
  • can use the Gloucester taxi ranks and be hailed in the street
  • can also be pre-booked

Private hire vehicles

  • can be any colour except white
  • must display yellow bus lane sticker
  • must display stickers indicating that passengers will not be insured if the journey is not pre-booked through the operator
  • must display a yellow licence plates in the window and on the front and rear of the vehicle
  • can only take fares that are pre-booked through a licensed Gloucester private hire operator (summoned to collect passengers)
  • must not use taxi ranks or use a roof sign

The important difference between the two types of licensed vehicles is that hackney carriages (taxi’s) may be flagged down, may use taxi ranks and may be pre-booked. Private hire vehicles, however, must be pre-booked or the journey will not be insured. 

All vehicles

  • must not be more than 5 years old from date of first registration on first licensing
  • must meet Euro 6 emission standards (This information will be on the V5 registration document) 
  • must meet size and vehicle requirements – see council’s conditions, rules and policies relating to Private Hire​ and Hackney Carriage licensing
  • must have 4 doors
  • must carry first aid kit and fire extinguisher
  • must display ‘No Smoking’ stickers
  • may seat up to 8 passengers
  • must display their associated licence plates - the plates show the licence number, the vehicle details and the expiry date of the licence
  • are licensed for 12 months at a time
  • are subject to an annual inspection at a council approved testing station. Current list of approved testing stations
  • taxis charge according to the fare showing on the taximeter. The tariff is regulated by the council. Current tariff and estimated costs

How to apply

Download and complete the Application Form

This form allows the proprietor of either a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle to apply:

1. for a new vehicle licence
2. to permanently change a vehicle
3. to temporarily replace a vehicle that is currently licensed. 
4. to transfer the ownership of a currently licensed vehicle to a new owner
5. to change the vehicle registration number on the licence

Download and read the conditions in the rule book for private hire or hackney carriage licensing.

Download the Hackney carriage rule book
Download the Private hire rule book
Download the Private hire operators rule book.

  • Carry out a vehicle inspection test at an approved vehicle testing station
  • Pay the correct fee. Check the cost by clicking on Fees and Charges 2019/2020

​The application fee must be paid in full when you submit your application.  Applications cannot be accepted until the correct fee is paid; a copy of the payment receipt must be provided upon application to demonstrate the correct fee had been paid.

Please note: 

Applicants for licences will now be seen by appointment only. If you wish to see an adviser you'll need to phone Customer Services on 01452 396396 to book an appointment.

All applicants must produce all of the relevant original documentation to support the application and must make payment in full. 

Payments for licences are no longer taken in Reception and applicants must pay in one of the following ways:

  • Pay online via the Council website
  • Pay over the phone by calling 01452 396396

Accident Reporting

A holder of a Hackney carriage / private hire vehicle licence MUST notify the Licensing Authority as soon as reasonably practicable and NO LONGER THAN 72 HOURS AFTER ANY ACCIDENT 

Additional forms:

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