Private Hire Operator

Private Hire

Please read the information contained on this page in conjunction with the Bassetlaw District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy which can be viewed here

Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1976 a Private Hire Operator’s Licence is required to enable a person to accept or invite bookings for Private Hire (pre-bookings only) licensed vehicles. 

To operate a business as a Private Hire Operator the applicant must ensure that:

  • The operating base is within the Bassetlaw District Council area
  • All the licensed drivers they employ, and the licensed Private Hire vehicles used in their operation, are also licensed with Bassetlaw District Council.

Before an Operator’s Licence is granted the applicant must satisfy the Council that the address from which they intend to operate is suitable and, where applicable, satisfy any conditions that maybe attached to the Licence in order not to disturb the ambience of the area.

Planning Considerations 

The applicant mustinitially need to contact the Council’s Planning Department who will confirm if planning permission is required on the property or written confirmation that planning permission is not required.

The property which is intended for use may require a “change of use” through planning and may be affected by:-

  • The number of vehicles the applicant intends to employ
  • The surrounding area’s use (be it residential or commercial)
  • the use of signage and radio masts outside the property

If you would like to discuss your business plans and any queries relating to the relevant legislation concerned with the operation of a Private Hire business and associated Private Hire vehicles, then please contact us.

Licence Duration and Fees

The Private Hire Operator’s Licence is a three or five year Licence. The fees are based on the number of vehicles operated. Please contact the Licensing Depaqrtment for further information on our current fees.

Trading Names

You will be asked to declare you (proposed) trading name(s) within your application.

The Council will seek to prevent the use of names which may offend or cause confusion from being used in connection with the provision of private hire services in the area.

In particular, applications will not be granted where the proposed trading name is the same or substantially similar, either phonetically or visually, as: 

  • An expletive, derogatory or offensive term
  • A term associated with inequality
  • A term with political implications
  • A registered trademark (unless the applicant can demonstrate a right to use that mark)
  • The trading name of an existing Private Hire Operator, either licensed in the Bassetlaw area, or trading in a neighbouring area
  • The trading name used by a Bassetlaw hackney carriage proprietor, where the proprietor has previously notified the Council of the use of that name and the name has been used regularly since
  • A name which implies official recognition or endorsement by the Council or another regulatory body
  • A term in any language other than English which when translated would fall within any of the preceding categories.

Legally, only hackney carriages may display the words ‘taxi’ or ‘cab’ on their vehicles. For this reason, trading names which include the words ‘taxi’, ‘cab’, ‘hackney’ or ‘public hire’, or which are phonetically or visually similar, will not be permitted by private hire operators.

If, the you are also providing bookings to hackney carriages, a variation of the permitted trading name including one of these terms may be displayed on advertising specifically in respect of those vehicles, but not in respect of any matter relating to the wider business or to private hire vehicles

Where an operator licence has been revoked, the name (or a similar name) cannot be used by another operator until such time as six months has elapsed since the date of revocation or the date on which all appeal processes have been concluded (whichever is the longer).

Door Signs/Advertisements

Vehicles must display the operator’s door signs in prescribed positions at all times. This is set out in further detail in the Bassetlaw District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy.

Any signs on a vehicle shall be confined to a notice fixed to one or both front door panels of the vehicle containing the following information 

(a)  Name of the Operator; and

(b)  Telephone number of the Operator

A sample or proof of the proposed door sign should accompany an initial application for an operator’s licence, or if this is not possible, should be supplied to Council as soon as practicable following the confirmation of grant of the licence.

A door sign that has not been approved cannot be used on a vehicle

No other advertising material shall be exhibited on the vehicle without the prior written consent of the Council. Any requests for such consent shall be reserved for consideration and a decision by the Council's Licensing Committee and shall relate only to the rear passenger doors and rear window of the vehicle.

Any proposed advertisements on the rear window of vehicles which shall cover the entire window shall use “Contra Vision” or similar technology to enable to driver to be able to see out of the rear window whilst allowing the advertisement to be seen from outside the vehicle. Details of the specification of the Contra Vision” or similar technology shall be included with the application to the Council. 

Complaints Procedures

Operators are required to keep a record of complaints made to them, their agents or employees in relation to any aspects of the business.  The records have to be maintained for the duration of the Licence and should be available at all times for inspection by Officers of the Council, a Police Officer or any other Authorised Officer.

Complaints involving any element must be reported to the Council's Licensing Department, in writing, within 48 hours of the complaint being made. These include: 

  • the fitness of a licenced driver to drive; and/or
  • the driving ability of any licenced driver
  • the condition of any licenced vehicle 

Executive Vehicles/Exemptions to Displaying Plates

The Council will consider requests from operators to be exempt from displaying rear vehicle plates. Exemptions are only granted in exceptional circumstances and for specialist businesses (for example, those providing novelty vehicles such as stretch limousines and/or executive chauffeur businesses)

Requests for exemption from one or more of the licence requirements must be made in writing, setting out the exemption sought and the justification as to why this exemption may be considered appropriate, in accordance with the criteria set out in the Bassetlaw District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.

Where exemptions are granted, additional conditions or requirements, which may stipulate an alternative way of achieving the initial requirement, or a close alternative can be applied to the licence.

All exemptions granted will be subject to periodic review and may be withdrawn at any time and without prior notice if the Licensing Authority can no longer be satisfied that the exemption is necessary, or if there is evidence to suggest it is no longer suitable.

Required Informaton

You must produce the following documents/information:

Insurance Requirements

Private Hire Operators are required to have the relevant insurance policies in place: 

  • Vehicle;
  • Public Liability;
  • Employers Liability (where applicable) 

Copies of these documents must be produced to Officers of the Council within 48 hours upon request.

References

New applicants are required to produce the details of two persons who can act as referees to support their application. One of these persons should be your current or last employer and one from the list of acceptable professional persons below. The referee should not be related to you or a family friend:

The list of acceptable referees are:

  • Bank or Building Society Official
  • Police Officer
  • Civil Servant
  • Minister of a recognised religion
  • Teacher/Lecturer
  • Accountant
  • Solicitor
  • Barrister
  • Engineer (with professional qualifications)
  • Chairman/Director of a Limited Company
  • Chemist
  • Commissioner for Oaths
  • Councillor - Local or County
  • Dentist
  • Director/Manager of a VAT registered Charity
  • Director/Manager/Personnel Officer of a VAT registered Company
  • Approved Driving Instructor
  • Fire Service official
  • Funeral Director
  • Journalist
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Nurse (RN, SEN or holder of a BA in nursing)
  • Optician
  • Paralegal (Certified or Qualified Paralegals and Associate Members of the Institute of Paralegals)
  • Person with honours (e.g. OBE, MBE etc)
  • President/Secretary of a recognised organisation
  • Surveyor
  • Valuers and Auctioneers (Fellow and Associate members of the incorporated society)
  • Social worker
  • Chiropodist
  • Member of Parliament
  • Medicals for New Applicants

Right to Work In The UK

Following the implementation of the relevant section of the Immigration Act 2016 Bassetlaw District Council is required to conduct checks to ascertain that an applicant is not disqualified by their immigration status from holding a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Drivers Licence. These checks must be performed when you first apply for a new licence or you first apply to renew or extend your licence on or after 1st December 2016.

If you have time-limited permission to be in the UK and work, the check must be repeated at each subsequent application to renew or extend the licence until such time as you are able to demonstrate that you are entitled to remain indefinitely in the UK, without restriction on your ability to work.

The documents referred to in the list of acceptable documents (see below) will indicate whether you have temporary permission to be in the UK or if you are entitled to remain indefinitely in the UK.

Bassetlaw District Council must be satisfied you are not disqualified from holding a licence before we issue you with a licence.

Supporting Documents

Criminal Records Checks

A basic disclosure must be obtained and supplied in respect of the sole individual applicant, or each individual applicant where the application is made by multiple individuals, or each director of a limited company applicant. Certificates must be issued in the full name of the relevant individual and must have been issued no earlier than two months before the date on which the application was made.

Exemption - The requirement to provide a Basic Disclosure certificate may not apply to any applicant (or director) who holds a current enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate, which has been issued more than two months before the date on which the application for an Operator’s licence is made and was obtained in support of a private hire or hackney carriage driver’s licence issued by Bassetlaw District Council. These individuals have already been assessed for their fitness and propriety during their application for that licence, and as such no further checks of any criminal record history for that particular applicant will be considered necessary. Applicants who have applied simultaneously for a driver’s licence will also be exempted from the Basic Disclosure requirement, as they will be obtaining a higher level of disclosure certificate as part of that application. 

The operator’s licence application will not be determined until any such disclosure certificates (including enhanced certificates as part of a simultaneous driver’s licence application) have been received.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Passenger Training 

The training was introduced across Nottinghamshire in in early 2016 for holders of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers Vehicle Licences. Applicants for Carriage and Private Hire Drivers Vehicle Licences are required to undertake the training, and pass the assessment, before applying for a new licence or renewing their current licence. This training course is designed to either maintain or establish a person’s status as a ‘fit and proper’ Carriage and Private Hire Drivers Vehicle Licences with us. Applicants can either attend a course which is hosted by Bassetlaw District Council or by any of the following District Councils:

  • Newark and Sherwood District Council
  • Broxtowe District Council
  • Rushcliffe District Council
  • Ashfield District Council
  • Mansfield District Council 

The training will take around two hours and at the end of the session there will be an assessment containing nine questions. The questions in the assessment are based around what has been discussed in the training session. The assessment pass rate is 66% (six out of nine questions). If you feel you require additional assistance at either the training or assessment, please speak to the Licensing Enforcement Officers at the time of booking. 

If you are applying or renewing a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers Vehicle Licences with Bassetlaw District Council, or Private Hire Operators Licence, you need to contact Bassetlaw District Council's Licensing Department to book a place on any of the above listed sessions. You will need to state the date, location and time at which you wish to attend. You can make a booking in any of the following ways:

By email to licensing@bassetlaw.gov.uk

By telephone to 01909 533137

The cost of the training and the assessment is £17.00. This fee has to be paid to Bassetlaw District Council no later than 48 hours before the date of the course you are attending. If you fail to make payment you will not be allowed access onto the course and your space will be released to allow others to book on.

How to Apply/Renew?

Please read the  Bassetlaw District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and complete the application form.

Application Form

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