Taxi and private hire - private hire vehicle

Private hire vehicles are licensed to perform pre-booked work only, which is obtained through a private hire operator. 

We will licence any vehicle manufactured or adapted to carry up to 8 passengers (excluding driver) provided it meets the criteria set in the policy.

Application forms and fees

You may not licence your vehicle with us and another authority.

Vehicle specification

On a new application, the vehicle must be less than 4 years old from the date of first registration.

The maximum age of a vehicle that may continue to be licensed is 8 years from the date of first registration.

When the licensed vehicle reaches 8 years, it shall be permitted to remain licensed until the licence expires provided it continues to be mechanically sound and passes the vehicle licensing inspection.

A purpose built hackney carriage may continue to be licensed beyond 8 years provided that it continues to be mechanically sound and passes the vehicle licensing inspection. In any event each case will be treated on its own merit. 

Wheelchair accessible vehicles must be less than 5 years old from the date of first registration. These vehicles may continue to be licensed until 10 years from the date of first registration. When the licensed vehicle reaches 10 years from the date of first registration, it shall be permitted to remain licensed until the licence expires provided it continues to be mechanically sound and passes the vehicle licensing inspection.

Private hire vehicles may be any colour other than white but must not resemble a hackney carriage in colour.  Private hire vehicles shall not resemble a London type hackney carriage.

Further information can found in the taxi and private hire policy.

Application procedure

An application can take up to 5 working days to process from receipt of a valid application. 

Licences are valid for 12 months and will expire on 31 October every year. 

Vehicles are inspected every April and October, the October inspection is part of the annual renewal process.

There are 3 stages to the application process:

Stage 1

Send us:

  • application form
  • MOT certificate (Must be no more than 8 weeks old on the date of your inspection)
  • vehicle registration document (original)
  • current insurance certificate (original)
  • proof of ownership of vehicle (original)
  • appropriate fee

Please send all applications to:

Licensing Authority, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2HG

We advise that you post  your documents to us, however documents can be hand delivered to the Customer First Centre on St Nicholas Street, Scarborough. We advise that you send any original documents by recorded delivery. They will be returned to you by recorded delivery.

Stage 2

Providing all your paperwork is correct we will contact you to arrange an inspection date/time and you will be required to present your vehicle at King Street, Scarborough. 

Please note inspections will not be arranged until all paperwork has been submitted.  Vehicles will not be inspected the same day as your paperwork is submitted.  Inspections will generally take place within a minimum of 48 hours of receipt of a valid application.

Stage 3

Once the vehicle has passed the inspection your licence and plate will be issued. 

Replacing your vehicle

The process is the same as applying for a new vehicle licence however the application ask you to state if you are applying for a new or a replacement vehicle.  The fee for a replacement vehicle application can be found in the fees list. 

Your old plate must be returned to us at your inspection.

Change of details

You must tell us in writing within 7 days of any change of operator.

Changing your vehicle registration number

If you are changing the registration number of your vehicle you must complete an application. This must be returned with a fee and the following information before a new plate and licence can be issued.

  • V5 registration document
  • V948 number plate authorisation certificate
  • current private hire vehicle licence
  • private hire vehicle Plate
  • insurance certificate showing the new registration