How to apply for a private hire operator licence

Licence summary

A private hire operator's licence is required to enable a person to accept bookings for private hire vehicles. One person can be licensed and employ or sub-contract an unlimited number of licensed vehicles. However, a licensed private hire driver cannot accept any bookings unless he either holds an operator's licence or works for a licensed private hire operator.

Cross border sub-contracting

Any booking sub-contracted from one private hire operator to another (whether within the district, outside the district, to the same company outside the district, or to a London or Scottish operator) must be carried out by drivers and vehicles licensed by the same council which has licensed the operator to whom the booking was sub-contracted.

For example:

An operator licensed in Leicester City can only dispatch a vehicle and driver licensed by Leicester City to cover a booked job. If the job is sub-contacted to an operator in Hinckley & Bosworth, then the Hinckley & Bosworth operator can only use a Hinckley & Bosworth licensed driver and vehicle to cover the job. The law does not allow the Leicester City operator to dispatch a job to a Hinckley & Bosworth driver and vehicle.

More information on driving for app based companies (UBER, LYFT or GETT)

Other requirements

If you wish to apply for your own licence to operate from premises which will be used as a booking office, you need to obtain planning permission from the council allowing use of the building.

Please remember to keep accurate records of journeys for auditing purposes with Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs (HMRC) and the council under Section 80, Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

‎Tax checks

From 4 April 2022 there will be new rules on tax checks that new and existing private hire operators will have to do when applying for an operators licence.

Before you apply, please read new rules on tax checks from 4 April 2022

Last updated: ‎07‎/‎03‎/‎2023‎ ‎14‎:‎18‎