A private hire vehicle must be booked in advance through a licensed private hire operator before a member of the public can use this vehicle for a journey. These vehicles cannot be flagged down in the street nor can they use designated taxi ranks.

Any person driving a licensed vehicle in Oadby and Wigston must also be licensed as a private hire/hackney carriage combined driver by Oadby and Wigston Borough Council.

For further details, customers are advised to consult the Councils Policy on the hackney carriage and private hire licensing.

Please also read: Statutory Guidance - Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards (PDF Document, 277.37 Kb)

You can read the new temporary policy for use of protective screens here: Use of Protective Screens in Private Hire and Hackney Vehicles (PDF Document, 145.97 Kb)

In response to the continued Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Department for Transport has developed ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): safety screens for taxis and PHVs Guidance’ for the safe and appropriate fitting of separating screens between the front and rear of a taxi or private hire vehicle.

The guidance was published on 3 March 2021 and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safety-screens-for-taxis-and-phvs/coronavirus-covid-19-safety-screens-for-taxis-and-phvs.

The installation of screens is one mitigation to prevent the transmission of the Coivid-19 virus from driver to passenger and vice-versa. The guidance forms part of the Department for Transport’s Vehicle Safety Standards Information Sheets series.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Licences

It should be noted that new plates and replacement badges will not be issued at this time, However, all the licenced paperwork will be sent to the applicant therefore it is imperative that all applications provide an up to date email address. As this paperwork will be require to be produced to a Police Officer or authorised officer on request.

The difference between Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles is not commonly known to members of the public.

A Hackney Carriage may ‘ply for hire’ from an appointed “taxi” or Hackney Carriage stand or rank within the district in which it is licensed. It may also be hailed and booked from a public street in that district.

A Private Hire Vehicle may only undertake journeys booked in advance.

Hackney Carriages or Private Hire Vehicles licensed by Oadby and Wigston Borough Council must display internal and external licence plates at all times in a position approved by the Council. Hackney Carriages display a blue plate and Private Hire vehicles display an orange plate.

The Council’s policy on vehicles exists for the reasons of Public Safety to ensure that the standard of vehicle remain suitable for the safe transport of members of the public.

The following age limits apply:

  • Vehicles to be licensed for the first time must be under 5 years of age.
  • Vehicles over the age of 11 years will not be licensed.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles are exempt from requiring an MOT and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council has the responsibility to ensure that the vehicles it licences are in condition to be used on public roads and requires them to be tested at a Council approved vehicle testing station to a standard higher than an MOT.

Licensed vehicles are also required to carry:

  • Fire Extinguisher
  • First Aid Kit conforms to British Standard BS8599
  • Spare Wheel or Puncture repair kit
  • No smoking signs
  • Sam Says stickers (when issued)

MOT’s become mandatory again with effect from 1 August 2020.

For further information please see the Driver & Vehicle Standard Agency website.

Therefore, all vehicles in relation to new and renewal applications will need to have a taxi MOT test. You must first submit your application and then you will be contacted and advised to book in with one of our approved MOT testing stations (they will not accept bookings without prior notice from Oadby & Wigston Borough Council).

If your vehicles 6 monthly MOT is due after 1 August 2020, you will need to advise us that you wish to take your vehicle for a 6 monthly MOT. You will then be contacted and advised to book in with one of our new approved MOT testing stations (those testing stations will not accept bookings without prior notice from OWBC).

If your vehicle was due a MOT between the exempted period of 30 March 2020 to 31 July 2020 you are required to have a MOT urgently irrespective of when your plate renewal is due. The same procedure as above refers.

Due to the pandemic and the reintroduction of mandatory MOT’s, test slots are in high demand – please contact us well in advance when wishing to book a MOT to ensure you vehicle is tested prior to it’s expiry date.

It is the licensees responsibility to ensure that their vehicle has valid insurance and MOT, we do not send out reminder notices. If our database identifies that insurance or MOT’s have expired, then the vehicle will be suspended with immediate effect and will remain suspended until such time that a valid certificate of motor insurance or a pass taxi MOT certificate is received.


Please note: where an application is withdrawn or refused the Council reserves the right to levy a reasonable and proportionate administration fee to cover the costs of processing up to the point of withdrawal or refusal. Where a licence is suspended or revoked there will be no reimbursement of the application fee.

Last updated: Thursday, 4 March 2021 5:38 pm