Private hire vehicle licences

What a private hire vehicle is, how to apply and pay for a licence, how to renew private hire licence, how to change/surrender your licence, how to get your vehicle tested and who regulates private hire vehicles. Also what type of vehicles can be used and what happens if you do not apply for private hire vehicle licence.

Renew your Private Hire Vehicle Licence

What is a private hire vehicle?

Vehicles must be licensed if they are hired with a driver for any reward (i.e. money/business benefit) unless they are being used solely in connection with a wedding or funeral.

A private hire vehicle cannot pick up off a taxi rank, cannot be flagged down in the street, they can only undertake pre-booked jobs from a private hire operator.


How do I apply for a private hire vehicle licence?

A private hire vehicles licensed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council can only work for a private hire operator also licensed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

A private hire vehicle licence will not be issued unless it is confirmed which private hire operator, it will work for.

Your vehicle will need to meet the vehicle specification, detailed in the below taxi and private hire services policy. Please note: Private hire vehicles cannot be white in colour. 

Taxi and Private Hire services policy ( word 2.4mb, opens in new window)

Equality Act 2010,

Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010 has been adopted in the East Riding of Yorkshire, meaning all wheelchair accessible licensed vehicles, deemed capable of carrying a reference sized wheelchair (120 x 70 cm, with a maximum combined weight of 300kg)  will be published in accordance with section 167 of the Equality Act 2010. 

All drivers of these vehicles are therefore required to carry out the full duties under the Equality Act 2010 as follows 

  • Carry passengers whilst in the wheelchair 
  • make no additional charge for doing so
  • if a person chooses to sit in a chair, carry the wheelchair 
  • take such steps as reasonably necessary to ensure the passenger is carried safety and reasonable comfort
  • to give passengers such assistance as reasonably required

 Section 166 of the Act makes provision for licensing authorities to issue exemptions to drivers where they are satisfied it is appropriate to do so:

  • On medical grounds; or
  • On the ground that the person’s physical conditions makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the person to comply with those duties.

A driver will only be exempt therefore if an exemption certificate has been issued and notice of exemption issued by the Council is exhibited on the vehicle in the prescribed manner.

You can view the list of designated vehicles on the below link

List of accessible vehicles under section 167 of the Equality Act 2010, open in a new page

Making an application

Apply online for a private hire vehicle licence online 

To licence a vehicle as a private hire vehicle it will need to meet the requirements of the private hire vehicle specification.

You can book your vehicle in to be tested at one of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's vehicle depots.Unless your vehicle is less then 12 months old, no compliance certificate is required for a vehicle under 12 months old.

You will then need to submit your completed application form and fee of £200 (including the plate and stickers) for a standard private hire vehicle and £220 (excluding executive plate) £35 

All supporting documents must also be sent to the Licensing Team for consideration without such documents your application cannot proceed, the application will be turned around within 7 days at which point an officer will contact you to book a plate appointment.

The supporting documents must include:

  • A valid certificate of fully comprehensive motor insurance (stating for hire and reward), naming all drivers 

  • A valid certificate of compliance (if applicable) for vehicles 6 months old or older.

  • Proof of vehicle ownership

  • £10 to attach your vehicle to the private hire operators licence (if applicable)

Plate appointments are made available between 10am - 12 noon or 2pm - 4pm Monday–Friday, at Beverley Customer Service Centre, Cross Street, Beverley.

You will need to bring to your appointment

  • your Private hire/Hackney Carriage driver's licence.

Tacit Consent

A tacit consent does not apply to a private hire vehicle application as all application must be considered in order to ensure the vehicle meets all safety requirements.

How do I pay for a private hire vehicle licence?

You can pay by credit/debit card by calling the licensing team direct on (01482) 396218.

The current licence fees are:

  • New standard Private Hire Vehicles - £200
  • New executive/limousine/novelty vehicle - £220 + £35 executive plate


What other permissions may I need?

To drive a licensed private hire vehicle you must be badged as a licensed private hire/hackney carriage driver. You would need to make an application for a private hire/hackney carriage driver's licence to the licensing team also.

If you wish to work for yourself with a private hire vehicle or use/employ others with a private hire vehicle you will be required to hold a private hire operator's licence to accept or make provisions for accepting bookings.


What if I have an accident?

If your licensed vehicle has been involved in an accident you need to inform us within 48 hours of the accident. You will need to complete the below form.

Report a vehicle accident online

Vehicle Accident reporting form (pdf 187kb opens in new window)

How do I renew my private hire vehicle licence?

Your vehicle licence will end after 12 months, unless before the end date you apply to renew your vehicle licence.

The current fee to renew your private hire vehicle is £145 or £220 for an executive/novelty vehicle.

Renew your private hire vehicle online

It is your responsibility to ensure you renew your licence before the current licence ends.

Please note: if your vehicle is 7 years of age or over and you fail to renew your licence in time, the authority cannot licence the vehicle again. Vehicles that are over 11 years of age cannot be re-licensed.

We strongly recommend you submit your completed renewal application 10 days before your current license expires to ensure you receive your new licence in good time.

Can I surrender my licence?

If you no longer want your private hire vehicle licence, you must email the taxi hub to confirm the licence surrender at: taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk 

How do I transfer my vehicle licence?

Apply online for a vehicle transfer 

An application to transfer a private hire vehicle licence must be submitted to the licensing team no more than 14 days after the sale of the vehicle has been made.

Applications that are received after 14 days will not be processed, the vehicle licence will lapse and the plate will have to be returned to the licensing team. Vehicles that no longer meet the required standard cannot be re-licensed.

To transfer a vehicle licence you must complete the below application form and submit it to the licensing team along with the following documents.

The current fee to transfer a vehicle licence is £80.

Once a transfer application has been processed you will be issued with a licence for the remaining time on the existing licence. A renewal application must be submitted prior to the end of the license period or it will lapse.

What types of vehicles can be used for executive use?

If you wish to use your vehicle for executive contract hire only, you can apply to licence your vehicle as a private hire and write to the licensing manager requesting a dispensation from displaying the door ovals and exterior plate.

The licensing manager will consider each application on its own merits, however, the following types of vehicles would be considered appropriate for executive use:

  • Rolls-Royce
  • Mercedes
  • Jaguar

This list is not exhaustive.

A vehicle issued with a dispensation from displaying the oval door stickers and private hire vehicle plate will have to abide by the conditions below, at all times:

(i) The vehicle will not be engaged at all in any specific passenger service contracts for the carriage of school children, young persons or vulnerable adults

(ii) the driver must follow a formal dress code

(iii) the minimum requirement of 24 hours pre-booking for all jobs taken.

Can I use a novelty vehicle or limousine? 

Vehicles must be licensed if they are hired with a driver for any reward (ie money/business benefit) unless they are being used solely in connection with a wedding or funeral.

If you want to operate a limousine or a novelty vehicle (for example; rickshaw, fire engine) for hire and reward you will require 3 licences:

  • a private hire operator's licence
  • a hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence
  • a private hire vehicle licence.

If you wish to licence a novelty vehicle please email licensing@eastriding.gov.uk for further advice.

If you want to offer alcohol and/or entertainment inside the limousines/novelty vehicle you will need a premise licence issued under The Licensing Act 2003.

Can I change my vehicle licence?

Change of address/change of name

Apply online to change your details. 

If your change of name is due to marriage or divorce, we will require a certified copy of your marriage certificate or divorce papers. Your documents can be certified at any customer service centre. Please use our customer service centre finder to locate your nearest centre.

Change of vehicle

If you want to change your vehicle, you will need to ensure any new vehicle meets the private hire specification.

This will be treated as a new application and a new plate number and licence will be issued.

Additional equipment

If you wish to place advertising on your private hire vehicle, written permission must be obtained from the Licensing Team.

You will need to put your request in writing, explaining which permission you seek to: email: taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk


If your wish to use a trailer with your licensed vehicle, you are required to undertake a risk assessment for its use.

How do I get my vehicle tested?

Please note: Your vehicle will not require a certificate of compliance if less then 6 months old.

Existing applicants can have their vehicle tested up to 30 days in advance of their current compliance certificate expiring. The new compliance certificate will then be run in line with their previous compliance certificate.

If your vehicle fails its compliance test the testing station will remove the plate from your vehicle and will not return the plate to you until your vehicle has the required work done to pass the compliance test.

You will not be able to renew your licence unless you have a valid compliance certificate at the time of renewal.

There are 3 council depots where you can have your vehicle tested.

Tests are by appointment, for the fees and to book a test you will need to contact the testing station.  

Who regulates private hire vehicles?

If you want to report an unlicensed taxi or you have a complaint about a taxi licensed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council you can contact the licensing team, by using one of the following ways:

Email:  taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk

In order for the licensing team to successfully investigate your complaint we will need as much information from you as possible.

The following information that would help us with our investigation:

  • vehicle registration number
  • plate number (on the rear of the vehicle)
  • vehicle make and model
  • journey details - time and date
  • trading name
  • drivers’ description, name and badge number

You will be asked to give your name and contact details to the licensing team. Your details will not be disclosed unless the investigation results in a prosecution. All complaints will be investigated in line with the licensing enforcement policy.

Unlicensed activities

If any person is found to be driving, operating or using a vehicle for the purposes of hire and reward or public hire without the correct authorisation in place East Riding of Yorkshire Council may prosecute.

Each case will be treated on its own merits, and determined individually in line with East Riding of Yorkshire Council's licensing enforcement protocols.

If a vehicle or driver is used without a licence, it may mean their insurance policy is invalidated, and the individual driving the vehicle may not have been police checked.

Breach of licence conditions

If you are the licensed driver, vehicle owner or private hire operator and you are found not to be complying with your license conditions, the licensing team can take the following actions in line with East Riding of Yorkshire Council's licensing enforcement protocol.

  • A written warning
  • referral to the licensing committee
  • prosecution

How do I know if a vehicle is licensed?

Private Hire vehicles licensed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council must yellow door stickers and pre booked only signage.

Every licensed vehicle must also display a license plate, located on the rear of the vehicle which will contain the following information:

  • vehicle registration details
  • vehicle make and model
  • number of passenger allowed to be carried
  • the private hire vehicle license number

A small windscreen disc display in the same data must also be displayed at all times.

What happens if I do not apply for a private hire vehicle licence?

If you use a vehicle for hire and reward carrying passengers without a valid private hire vehicle license in force you will be committing an offence under Section 46 of The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

The licensing team may prosecute for this offence, each case with be determined on its own merit and dealt with in accordance with our enforcement protocol.

The use of a vehicle for private hire without a licence in force may invalidate any insurance policy.