Private Hire Vehicle

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

Private Hire Vehicles cannot 'ply for hire' in the street or at taxi ranks. Journeys must be pre-booked (normally by phone or in person at an operator’s office). Failure to pre-book a journey is an offence and invalidates the vehicle's insurance cover.

Fares for private hire vehicles are not regulated by the Council - the cost of a journey will normally be based on a rate per mile or should be agreed with the company before the journey.

Private Hire Vehicles licensed by the Council must display a yellow plate on the rear and a smaller internal plate. Roof signs are not permitted. Private Hire drivers must also wear an ID badge issued by the Council, which includes his/her photograph.

There are many different laws affecting proprietors and vehicles but the main Acts of Parliament covering the licensing of Private Hire Vehicles are contained in Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

This Act says we cannot limit the number of vehicle licences and must grant a vehicle licence if we are satisfied that:

  • Your car is suitable in type, size and design for use as a private hire vehicle (see technical specifications).
  • Your car does not look like a taxi.
  • Your car is mechanically suitable. The mechanical condition is to be confirmed by a detailed inspection undertaken.
  • Your car is insured for private hire work.
  • Your car is constructed and adapted to seat no more than 8 passengers.
  • You are responsible for the keeping and running of the vehicle either solely or in partnership with other persons.
  • You have been honest in supplying information to us and must not, under any circumstances, make a false statement at any time to obtain your vehicle licence. This is a serious offence.

Technical specifications for Private Hire Vehicles

There are many different makes and styles of vehicle on the road today. Not all vehicles would be suitable for use as a private hire vehicle and the Council has therefore approved certain standards to guide proprietors on the type of vehicle considered suitable bearing in mind public comfort/safety and the legal requirements previously mentioned.

The specifications are set out in detail in the Bassetlaw District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy a copy of which can be viewed here. In summary the specification is as follows:

  • Your vehicle is in an immaculate condition both mechanically and cosmetically.
  • Your vehicle is not older than five years on initial application (from date of first registration).
  • Your vehicle is right hand drive. We will not accept any "conversions" from left to right hand drive under any circumstances. The vehicle must not have less than four road wheels.
  • Your vehicle (if a car) has a minimum of 4 doors giving adequate access and egress from the vehicle. The design of the car can be saloon, hatchback or estate.
  • Your vehicle has a wheelbase (when measured from the centre of the front wheel to the centre of the rear wheel) of at least 2540mm (100 inches).
  • Your vehicle has a back seat width (when measured in a continuous line from edge to edge) of at least 1220mm (48 inches).
  • Your vehicle provides easy access from a door to any passenger seat and no "tip up" seat mechanism shall be accepted.
  • Your vehicle is constructed or adapted to carry a minimum of 4 passengers in comfort.
  • Your vehicle (if a minibus or "people mover") has sufficient doors of sufficient size to allow passengers to get in and out quickly and safely.
  • It is a requirement of the Council that seat belts be provided for all persons, irrespective of age, and according to the licensed capacity of the vehicle.
  • The licence number shall be displayed both on the outside and inside of the vehicle on the official plates provided.

Licencing Conditions 

The licence will be issued subject to the following:

Identification Plates

The identification plate shall remain the property of the Council at all times and shall be affixed to the exterior rear of the vehicle and shall be maintained and kept in such condition that the information printed on the plate is clearly visible to the public at all times.

Maintenance of Vehicle

The vehicle and all its fittings and equipment shall at all times when the vehicle is in use or available for hire be kept in an efficient, safe, tidy and clean condition and all relevant statutory requirements (including in particular those contained in Motor Vehicles Construction and use Regulations) shall be fully complied with.


The proprietor shall not permit any animals to ride in the vehicle except an animal in the custody or control of the hirer, which should be conveyed in the rear of the vehicle (please see the Bassetlaw District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy for exemptions and requirements relating to Assistance Dogs)

Safety Equipment

Luggage Rack

A suitable rack must be fitted in an estate type vehicle to prevent luggage entering the passenger compartment should the vehicle stop suddenly.

Fire Extinguisher

All vehicles must carry a Fire Extinguisher as specified in the Supplementary Testing Manual (see the Bassetlaw District Council Hackney Carriage Private Hire Policy). The Fire Extinguisher shall be securely fixed to the vehicle and to be readily visible and available for immediate use in an emergency.

First Aid Kit

All vehicles must carry a First Aid Kit as specified in the Supplementary Testing Manual (see the Bassetlaw District Council Hackney Carriage Private Hire Policy

Communication Equipment

Two Way Radios

The proprietor shall ensure that any radio equipment fitted to the private hire vehicle is at all times kept in a safe and sound condition and maintained in proper working order.

Mobile Telephones

Mobile telephones may only be used with a hands-free kit. Ideally this kit should be a hard wired, professionally fitted facility within the vehicle.

Vehicle Insurance

At all times during the currency of the Licence the proprietor shall keep in force in relation to the use of the vehicle as a hackney carriage a Policy of insurance complying with the requirements of Part V1 of the Road Traffic Act 1984. The proprietor shall produce to the Council a new Certificate of Insurance or cover note within 7 days of the expiry of every Certificate of Insurance or cover note prior to renewal date.

Insurance must be held in the name of the registered keeper of the vehicle.

If you are not the registered keeper, for example you will be renting a vehicle to use for hire, the vehicle proprietor can name you as a driver on their policy.  Some larger rental companies will take out insurance cover which states any driver can use the vehicle with the policy holder’s permission. 


A licence in respect of which the fee has been paid by cheque shall not be effective until the cheque has been cleared.

No Smoking Requirements

Smoking in a smoke-free place is prohibited under the Health Act 2006. In this context a ‘smoke-free place’ will include a Taxi/Hackney Carriage Vehicles. In the context of the Health Act 2006, smoking relates to the smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products

Electronic cigarettes, (also known as vaporisers or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)) are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine by heating a solution of nicotine, flavouring, additives and propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine (glycerol). The devices typically consist of a mouthpiece, battery and cartridge or tank containing the nicotine solution. The use of these devices is prohibited in Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Vehicles.

All licenced vehicles must display a no-smoking sign. This sign must also indicate that the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes is prohibited in the vehicle. 


You must inform us, in person, within 72 hours of of the accident taking place.  You will be required to complete an accident report form (see below) which will be placed on your vehicle licence file

Accident Reporting Form

What information must you provide to us?

To help us consider your application it is our policy for you to show us (as part of your application):

  • That the proprietor (or company) making the application has an operating base within Bassetlaw District Council's area.
  • That the proprietor making the application holds a private hire driver's licence issued by this authority

You must produce the following documents/information:

  • A completed application form
  • The relevant fee
  • Vehicle registration document - we cannot process your application without seeing this document.
  • MOT Certificate (if applicable).
  • Policy or cover note of insurance covering the vehicle for "public and/or private use" for you and/or your drivers.

Apply for a Vehicle Licence

To apply for a Private Hire Vehicle Licence please contact the Licensing Department on 01909 533283 or