Legislation gives district councils the power to license private hire vehicle operators (in London legislation provides for Taxi and Private Hire (TPH - part of Transport for London) to license private hire operators).

The legislation is interpreted in different ways around the country and you'll need to contact your local licensing authority to check the requirements in your area. In general terms, the licensing authority is likely to require that:

  • the operator is a 'fit and proper person'
  • the operating centre is approved and details listed on the licence
  • only licensed phv drivers and vehicles are used
  • comprehensive records are kept of all bookings, drivers and vehicles. These must be available for inspection.
  • the appropriate insurances are held

From October 2015 there is a standard duration of five years for a phv operator's licence although the licensing authority can specify a shorter period in individual cases.