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Choosing a vehicle to use for Hackney Carriage or Private Hire work

You’ll need to make sure that your vehicle:

  • is right hand drive
  • is not over a certain age
  • produces no more than 160g of CO2 per kilometre if it’s petrol or diesel fuelled
  • produces at least 90 break horsepower (BHP)

If the vehicle has more than 6 seats, it must have at least 1.4 square meters of space for a wheelchair.

You may need to add extra equipment to the vehicle, like an approved fare meter or facilities for disabled passengers, like a ramp. We should check any equipment, before it’s installed.

If you’re going to fit CCTV to a vehicle, you’ll need to meet certain standards.

Vehicle age

When the vehicle receives its first taxi or private hire plate from us, it should be no older than:

  • 8 years if it carries up to 6 passengers
  • 12 years if it carries over 6 passengers

Purpose built vehicles

If the vehicle is built specifically to be used as a taxi, for example folding seats, you’ll need to make sure it complies with certain conditions.

For more information, read appendix A (PDF 201kb) of the Taxi Licensing Policy.

Signage, livery, branding and advertising

You must clearly display the name of your taxi or private hire business on the front doors of your vehicle.

Hackney carriage vehicles

If you’re going to operate a hackney carriage licensed vehicle, you’ll need to:

  • fit it with a roof box which lets customers know if your vehicle’s available for hire or not
  • choose a white vehicle and add a green stripe, known as Kelly Green 2

You can include information about the taxi company, like a website address, on the back of the roof box.

Private hire vehicles

Private hire licensed vehicles must be painted any colour other than white and don’t need a green stripe.