Hackney carriage and private hire policy - Appendix K - Supplementary Testing Manual

Supplementary testing manual

The Licensing Of Hackney Carriages And Private Hire Vehicles

Vehicles will be tested to MOT Standard unless otherwise indicated in this supplementary testing manual.

Section 1 Vehicle Exterior
Section 2 Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Signs
Section 3 Licence Plates
Section 4 Tyres and Spare Wheels
Section 5 Boot/Luggage Compartment
Section 6 Engine Compartment/Transmission/Mountings
Section 7 Interior of Vehicles
Section 8 First Aid Kit
Section 9 Fire Extinguishers
Section 10 Road Test
Section 11 Meters

Exterior of the vehicle

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes
The exterior of the bodywork, the underside of the vehicle and the engine compartment must be free from mud, oil and grease to allow for proper inspection of these areas (see Notes), i.e. steam cleaned. Contamination  preventing proper inspection. If the vehicle comes for annual inspection in a filthy condition the inspection will not be carried out.
Check the operation of all external door catches and locks to ensure that all doors can be securely closed and easily opened. Defective external door catches which prevent a door opening and closing properly. Missing or ineffective door locks  
Check all doors to ensure that they are properly aligned and will close easily. Poorly fitting doors to the vehicle.  
Ensure that the door hinges are in good condition allowing free movement of the door. Defective door hinges.  
Check all wind-check positions to ensure that doors are held in place when opened. Wind-checks which fail to hold the doors in place when opened. Any wind check straps must be of a type approved by the manufacturer.
Examine the external body panels and structure for evidence of corrosion, damage and/or unsatisfactory repairs. Corrosion or damage to the vehicle body or structure which adversely affects the appearance and/or safety of the vehicle. Engineers certification may be required to satisfy the vehicle examiner that repairs have been properly carried out.
Examine the external paintwork for damage which adversely affects the appearance of the vehicle (see Notes).

Exterior of vehicle so dirty that the overall finish of the paintwork cannot be assessed. Paintwork so deteriorated, damaged, rust blistered or stone chipped, that it detracts from the overall appearance of the vehicle. Renovations to paintwork which produce runs, flat or uneven finish or of nonmatching colour, i.e. not  compatible with adjacent panels. Repairs incomplete in primer or undercoat. Vehicle resprayed in unapproved colour or colours.

Overspray on glass or other fittings.

Vinyl roof covering dirty, stained, discoloured, painted (other than with vinyl refurbishment product), torn or becoming detached.

Roof covered in unapproved material. 

Finisher moulding insecure, incorrectly fitted or missing.

Private Hire Vehicles should be one solid colour.

Wheelchair accessible purpose built vehicles (except mini bus conversions) may be any colour.

Check that the nearside and offside  door/wing mirrors are fitted to the vehicle in a secure manner and that they function correctly.

Missing or defective door/wing mirrors.

Ensure that the front and rear bumpers are in good order (without damage) and are securely fixed to the vehicle. Damaged or inadequately secured front or rear bumpers.  
Examine the rubber seals to every door for serious damage, looseness or absence. Damaged, missing or loose door seals which are likely to cause draught, rainwater penetration, unreasonable road noise or a trip hazard. The vehicle will fail the test where defects in a door seal are considered to be likely to cause rain penetration, excessive draught, excessive road noise inside the vehicle or represent a trip hazard to users of the vehicle.
Ensure that the vehicle boot lid opens, closes and locks properly, and that the hinges and opening mechanism adequately support the lid when it is in the open position. Worn hinges to boot lid, defective boot lock, weak or defective boot opening device.  
Check the operation of the number plate light, reversing lights and front and rear fog lights. Inoperable or insufficient number plate, reversing or fog lights.

Lights may be insufficient intensity when incorrect bulbs have been fitted.

Any lamp fitted must work correctly and be properly aligned.

Signs - Hackney Carriage Signs

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes
Examine the roof mounted sign affixed to the vehicle (see Notes), and ensure that its size, design and  construction conform to the Council’s standards. Ensure that the sign is undamaged and the lettering clearly legible. A sign that does not conform to the Council’s standards affixed to the vehicle.

The Council’s Licence Conditions require that a Hackney Carriage must be equipped with an illuminated sign on the roof.
The sign must:

  1. clearly display to both the
    front and rear of the vehicle, the word “TAXI”.
  2. be capable of being lit internally so that it is illuminated when the taxi is “for hire” and not so illuminated otherwise.
  3. be fixed in such manner and position and be of such size as approved by the Council.
Examine the fixing brackets which affix the roof mounted signs to the vehicle to ensure that the signs are secured in a satisfactory manner and are not likely to work loose. A sign that is not satisfactorily secured to the vehicle. No other signs must be displayed on the roof of the
Check that roof mounted signs are properly illuminated (see Notes). A sign which is damaged or has lettering which is not clearly legible. The roof sign should be connected to the meter switch so that the cancelling of the meter automatically illuminates the sign and activating or switching off of the meter by other means (e.g. an isolator switch) automatically extinguishes the sign.
Check that the roof mounted sign may be switched off by separate switch. A sign which cannot be switched off by separate means.  
Examine the signs where affixed to the vehicle to ensure that they comply with the Council’s vehicle
licence conditions.
Non-compliance with conditions.

The Council’s licence conditions require:-

No top signs are allowed on Private Hire Vehicles No signs including the words ‘Taxi’, ‘Cab’, ‘for hire’ are allowed on private hire vehicles which may lead the public to think that the vehicle is a taxi.

Signs - Advertising On Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles

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.

Any proposed advertisements on the rear window of vehicles which shall cover the entire window shall use “Contra Vision” or similar technology to enable the 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.

Licence Plates

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes
Inspect the vehicle licence plate fixed to the rear of the vehicle for signs of damage or excessive wear, and ensure that it is securely fixed. Ensure that the information on the plate is clearly legible. A damaged plate or a plate with information not clearly legible.

The Council’s licence conditions require:-

The licence plate to be displayed at all times
immediately above/on/below the bumper so as not to
obscure the registration mark.

Examine the plate fixing to the vehicle to ensure that it is securely fixed using bolts or screws, or in accordance with the Local Authority’s Conditions (see Notes). A plate which is not adequately secured to the vehicle. Plates should be secured to the vehicle using bolts or
screws but must be able to be removed by the Police or an authorised Officer of the Council.
Ensure that the licence disc is affixed to the interior of the vehicle and is clearly visible to the passenger. Missing or damaged disc with information not clearly visible.  

Tyres and Spare Wheel

(Where wheel trims are fitted these should be removed by the driver before the test to enable the wheel to be properly checked)

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes

Tyres must all be of the same type (see Notes).

Ensure that the tyre provided on the spare wheel is of the same size and construction as those fitted to the road wheels (see NOTES)

If a spare wheel is not issued as standard by the manufacturer a space saver wheel, aerosol inflation or sealant device must be provided. The space saver wheel, aerosol inflation or sealant device must be manufacturer issued (see notes)

If a vehicle is fitted with ‘run flat’ tyres the vehicle must be fitted with a tyre pressure sensor / warning device.

Variation in type of Tyre.

A spare wheel, space saver, aerosol inflation and sealant device (where manufacturer issued) has not provided with the vehicle.

A tyre (including the spare wheel) is of a different size or construction.

If the vehicle has run flat tyres and there is no tyre pressure sensor / warning device.

Spare wheel:

A spare wheel must be carried at all times, unless an exception to this is permitted (see below). A wheel brace and jack to enable the effective change of a tyre and wheel must be carried.

Space-saver spare tyres, where fitted, by the manufacturer, as standard equipment to the vehicle, will be accepted.

Provision must be made for the defective standard road wheel to be secured in the vehicle should a space saver tyre be used in an emergency.

Where an aerosol inflation and sealant device is supplied with the vehicle, by the manufacturer, as standard a spare tyre need not be carried.

If a vehicle is fitted with ‘run flat’ tyres the vehicle must be fitted with a tyre pressure sensor / warning device.

All tyres, including the spare tyre, space saver wheel or inflation/sealant device must comply with the vehicle manufacturers’ specification.

If a car has tyres in a combination which conforms to current legal requirements (e.g. radial and cross ply), the carrying of one spare wheel/tyre cannot be accepted since it can only be used in limited circumstances. The vehicle must therefore fail the test, even if the spare tyre is in good condition and matches one pair of the tyre’s fitted to the vehicle.

Examine the tyres for signs of damage or excessive wear (see Notes), ensure that the spare tyre complies with all legal requirements
for tyres when fixed to the vehicle.

Damaged, worn, substandard or otherwise illegal tyres (“fit for purpose” – see notes) 

Tyres below the Council’s minimum
tread depth (see Notes)

A mix of steel and cord radials on one axle will not be accepted.

Recut tyres are not acceptable.

Check all tyre pressure(s) to ensure that it is inflated to the correct pressure for the vehicle (if a spare wheel is required – see NOTES at point 4.1)

Under or over inflated spare tyre (if a spare wheel is required – see NOTES at point 4.1)

A remould will only be acceptable if it carries a
clearly legible manufacturer’s mark that the tyre conforms to the current British Standard – BSAU144E.

Tyre tread pattern should be a minimum of 2 mm in depth throughout the complete circumference and tread breadth of the tyre

Examine the jack and wheel brace provided with the vehicle to ensure that they are in good working order (if a spare wheel is required - see
Notes at point 4.1)
Failure to provide a suitable jack and/or wheel brace with the vehicle (if one is required - see Notes at point 4.1)

Fit for purpose means that a tyre must:

  • not have any lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial failure of the
  • not have a cut or tear in excess of 25 mm or 10% of the sectional width of the tyre, whichever is the greater, and which is deep enough to reach the ply or cord,
  • not have any part of the ply or cord exposed.
Check the spare wheel fixing bracket (or similar securing device) to ensure that the wheel is properly secured in the correct position (if a spare wheel is required – see NOTES at point 4.1)

Failure to satisfactorily secure the spare wheel (if a spare wheel is required – see NOTES at point 4.1)

Check the rims of all wheels for any signs of distortion or damage    


Boot/Luggage Compartment

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes
Examine for evidence of damage, corrosion or water penetration Damage or corrosion to the floor inner wing panels or lid  
Examine floor covering to ensure that it is in good condition and offers adequate protection to luggage
Excessive wear, damage or staining floor covering  
Examine the interior for accumulations of dirt, dust, grease, litter etc. or staining of any surface
with which luggage may come into contact
Accumulations of dirt, grease, rubbish etc. which could soil or damage luggage stores therein  
Check for the presence of containers of any flammable or corrosive material (e.g. oil, petrol) Containers for the storage of oil, petrol or any flammable or corrosive material shall not be carried in the vehicle  
Ensure that all interior panels are in position, covering electrical wiring and associated fittings Panels insecure or missing

These materials are a fire hazard.

They may also contaminate passengers luggage, taint food etc.

Note: Where applicable, a jack, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and wheelchair ramps may be carried in the luggage compartment.

Engine Compartment/Transmissions

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes
Carry out a visual inspection of the engine compartment for signs of oil or fuel leaks.

Any fuel leakage.

Any oil leakage where oil contamination is apparent over parts of the engine or underside of
the vehicle or where oil is seen to be dripping from the vehicle

Inspection to be carried out from both above and below the vehicle
Examine all rubber/plastic hoses for signs of wear or deterioration Significantly worn or deteriorated hoses  
Check the fan belt or signs of incorrect adjustment and/or deterioration An incorrectly adjusted or deteriorated fan belt  
Examine the engine mountings for signs of deterioration Insecure or deteriorated engine mountings  
Ensure that the radiator is properly secured to the vehicle and check for signs of any leaks A leaking or inadequately secured radiator  
Examine the inner wing panels and suspension mounting tops for evidence of corrosion (see Notes) Corrosion to the inner wing panels and suspension mounting tops This should include any corrosion around headlamp mountings
Check the master cylinders for any signs of spillage or leakage of fluid Leaking master cylinders  
Check the clutch mechanisms for correct operation Fluid leakage or mechanical component wear in the clutch mechanisms  
Check the operation of the bonnet release catch Defective bonnet release catch/mechanism  


Interior of Vehicle 

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes
Examine the floor and upholstery inside the vehicle for accumulations of dust, dirt, litter, general debris, staining or excessive wear A vehicle which is in a dirty condition with accumulations of dust, litter, debris etc. or staining to the carpets or upholstery Vehicle will be failed if cushion/backrests, upholstery, carpeting or matting is collapsed, holed, split, temporarily repaired, dirty or
Check that there are no excessive unpleasant odours noticeable inside the vehicle Unacceptable smells of vomit, food or other contaminants  
Remove any mats from the floor and examine the carpeting for signs of leakage of water into the vehicle Evidence of leakage of water into the vehicle from rainwater penetration or leaking cooling/
heating system
Examine any mats provided to ensure that they are not worn or damaged    
Sit in each of the passenger seats within the vehicle to ensure that all seat cushions and backrests are in a good condition and offer proper
support to passengers and the driver
  Correctly fitted seat covers will be acceptable 
Examine all seats to ensure that they are properly secured to the vehicle; with a fixed rear seat ensure that the seat cushion is not loose Seats which are not adequately secured to the vehicle  
Check the operation of the interior light within the vehicle, both the manual switch and the door
operated switches
Faulty interior light fitting. Faulty interior light switch. Faulty interior light door switches   
Examine the interior rear review mirror and ensure that it is securely fixed A loose, damaged or missing rear view mirror   
Check the operation of the heater/windscreen demister to ensure that it is in satisfactory working order Defective heater/windscreen demister   
Examine the clutch and brake pedal rubbers for signs of excessive wear Worn or missing brake and/or clutch pedal rubbers  
Check the operation of all window winders ensuring that they allow all windows to be fully lowered and raised easily Window winders that do not allow windows to be easily lowered or raised  
Check the operation of all door release catches to ensure that doors can be opened easily from within the vehicle

Window winders that do not allow windows to be easily lowered or raised

Defective interior door release catches

Ensure that childproof locks (if fitted) to rear doors are in working order

Defective childproof locks


Check that a no smoking sign is displayed and visible to all occupants.

The no smoking sign must refer to the prohibition on the use of e-cigarettes in the vehicle

No sign fitted
Not visible
Does not refer to e-cigarettes
If a metal grille or luggage bar(s) is fitted, check to ensure that there are no sharp or exposed parts which could cause injury to a passenger
or driver
Loose or incorrectly fitted grille or exposed parts which could cause injury The fitting of a metal grille is not compulsory
Check that estate cars are fitted with a luggage guard; net or cover Luggage guard/cover not fitted or ineffective  
Check that there is a sign in the vehicle, issued by Bassetlaw District Council, detailing how passengers can make complaints about the
driver, vehicle or operator

No sign fitted
Not visible.


First Aid Kit

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes
Ensure that a first aid kit is provided within the vehicle. Examine the kit to ensure that the contents conform to the requirements laid down in the Council’s specification (see
Failure to provide a first aid kit, or a kit which does not conform to the Council’s specification
A first aid kit which is sited in a position which is not conspicuous or readily accessible to the 
passengers and where there is no legible sign
displayed on the dashboard indicating the location of the kit

The Council’s specification for first aid kit states that each kit should contain the following:-





Burn Relief Dressing 10 cm x 10 cm







Washproof Assorted








Eye Pad Dressing with

Bandage Sterile







Foil Blanket Adult Size




Large HSE Dressing 18 cm x 18 cm Sterile








Medium HSE Dressing

12 cm x 12 cm Sterile








Nitrile Gloves Pair




Mouth to mouth

Resuscitation Device with Valve







Finger Dressing

with Adhesive Fixing 3.5 cm







First Aid Guidance









Bandage 7.5 cm x 4 m







Microporous Tape

2.5 cm x 5 m







Cleansing Wipes




Safety Pins Assorted




Single Use Triangular

Bandage 90 cm x 127 cm







Universal Shears

Small 6”







Eye Wash 250 ml




Ensure that the first aid kit is correctly sited (see Notes) A first aid kit which is not permanently legibly marked with the Registration No. Or the Licence Plates No. Of the vehicle. The first aid kit should be sited in the
front centre of the vehicle or in the front
passenger compartment and should be
visible from the front and rear seats of the
vehicle. In certain circumstances where,
because of the design of the vehicle, the
kit cannot be sited in the above stated
positions, a clearly legible sign should
be affixed to the dashboard stating the
position of the first aid kit
See that the first aid kit is permanently legibly marked with the Registration No. or the Licence Plate No. of the vehicle being tested    

Fire Extinguishers

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes
Ensure that the fire extinguisher provided is a minimum size of 1 kg dry powder or 1 ltr. A.F.F.F. foam of a stored pressure type which complies with both British and European Standards and is marked BS. EN3 Failure to provide a fire extinguisher, or a fire extinguisher of the stated type, within the vehicle  
See that the fire extinguisher is sited in a conspicuous and easily accessible position within the vehicle A fire extinguisher which is not in a conspicuous and readily accessible position within the vehicle A fire extinguisher may be secured in the boot area provided a sign to the effect is displayed prominently and legibly inside the vehicle
Examine the fire extinguisher to ensure that it is within the test date and that the seal is not broken. Where a pressure gauge is fitted ensure that the extinguisher is at the correct pressure
  1. A fire extinguisher which has a broken seal
  2. A fire extinguisher which is not pressurised (stored pressure
    type of extinguisher)
  3. A fire extinguisher which is more than 5 Years old from date of manufacture


Examine the fire extinguisher mounting to see that it is sufficiently well secured to the vehicle to prevent it becoming dislodged by normal use of the vehicle A fire extinguisher which is not securely fixed within the vehicle  
Check whether the fire extinguisher is permanently legibly marked with the Registration No. of the vehicle or the Licence Plate No. of the vehicle A fire extinguisher which is not permanently and legibly marked with the Registration No. of the
vehicle or the Licence Plate No. of the vehicle

Road Test

(All vehicles will undergo a road test)

Method of inspection Reasons for failure Notes
Check for any vibrations through the steering column or transmission Any unreasonable vibration through the steering column or transmission  
Check that the steering is true and positive and does not ‘pull’ to the nearside or offside Steering which pulls to the nearside or offside or which is not positive  
Check that the operation of the foot brake does not cause the vehicle to judder or to pull the
vehicle to the nearside or offside
Juddering or pulling to nearside/offside when the foot brake is applied  
Listen for any unusual noise from the engine and transmission Unacceptable engine or transmission noise   
Check the clutch for correct operation A clutch which fails to give proper clearance or slips in operation   
Check the operation of the gear lever for signs of wear in the mechanism  Evidence of wear in gear lever mechanism   
Test the vehicle exhaust emission for evidence of excessive smoke  Excessive smoke emission   
Observe the performance of the engine during the road test for signs of any misfiring, lack of engine power etc. or any indication that the engine is not functioning in the correct manner  Any evidence that there is a problem affecting the performance or reliability of the vehicle   
Check the operation of the speedometer Speedometer inoperative or defective  
Report any other matters which affect the fitness of the vehicle for use as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle    



Method of inspection Reasons for failure Note
Ensure that the meter is sited in a position where it can be clearly seen from all passenger
seats within the vehicle or in accordance with the Authority’s licence conditions
Absence of a meter, or a meter which is not suitably sited within the vehicle  Private hire vehicles are not required to have a meter fitted within the vehicle. When fitted to a private hire vehicle a meter must comply with the specifications as set out in this sheet 
Examine the meter mounting to ensure that it is satisfactorily secured within the vehicle A meter which is not adequately secured within the vehicle   
Check the meter to ensure that the figures indicating the fare are illuminated Lack of adequate illumination to the meter display   
Ensure that the meter is correctly calibrated and sealed in accordance with the agreed table of fares (see Notes) 

An incorrectly calibrated meter

An unsealed meter

The calibration test should be carried out by test driving the vehicle over the agreed ‘measured distance’ and ensuring that the appropriate
fare displayed corresponds to the distance covered

Check that the table of fares (in the formal laid down by the Council) is displayed in the vehicle in a position where it can be clearly seen by passengers in the front and rear of the vehicle 

Failure to display a table of fares in a conspicuous position within the vehicle 

Check all tariff rates

Applies to all hackney carriages and those private hire vehicles fitted with a
meter (optional)

Private hire vehicles with a meter should be tested using the tariff set by the P.H. operator and the private hire operators tariff card should be displayed in the vehicle 



Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024