Getting your car licensed (PHV)
Getting your vehicle Licensed
Once you’ve got your PCO licence then your next priority will be getting a job with an operator and also getting a vehicle so that you can start earning & saving money. You have 2 choices when it comes to vehicles, either hire one or buy your own.
If you choose to buy your own vehicle or perhaps use one you already own then you will need to get the vehicle licensed by a TfL Approved Garage before you can use it for your job and start taking passengers. Please be aware of the new age restrictions on vehicles which can be licensed by the PCO. These came into force in early 2012. Please read below.
How old can my vehicle be?
The Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy has decided to put age limits on licensed taxis and private hire vehicles with a view to improving London’s air quality and environment and also providing improved safety for passengers and if your vehicle is too old then it won’t be licensed.
- With effect from 1 January 2012 private hire vehicles that are 10 years old or older will no longer be licensed
- With effect from 1 April 2012 any new private hire vehicle that is more than 5 years old will not be licensed. With effect from 1 April 2012 any new private hire vehicle will, as a minimum, have to satisfy Euro 4 emission standards. If your vehicle is older than the age limit or does not meet the required Euro standard it will not be licensed.
FAQ’s on vehicle age limits:
How long can I licence my vehicle for?
Basically, the easiest way to understand this is to think of it in the following way: every vehicle has a manufacture date, if the vehicle is not already licensed then it can only be licensed if 5 years since the manufacture date has not passed. Once your vehicle has been licensed it will then continue to be licensed until the car is 10 years old, i.e 10 years from the manufacture date. If you are still unsure please call us or phone the TfL dedicated vehicle query line on: 0343 222 5555
Where can I get it licensed?
With effect from Thursday 28 February 2013, NSL became responsible for the provision of the taxi and private hire vehicle licensing and inspection services. Please call them on 0343 222 5555 and get a booking slot.
All inspection centres have comfortable waiting areas with vending machines for hot and cold drinks and snacks. At most of the centres you will also be able to view the inspections taking place from the waiting area. All centres do have signs on the buildings as the photo below demonstrates but they are working hard to identify additional signage requirements in the surrounding areas to help you find your way.
How much does it cost?
It costs £100 to licence a vehicle (£65 application fee and £35 for the licence fee). If your vehicle fails then you can apply for a refund of the ‘Grant of Licence’ but the application fee is non-refundable.
To continue using a vehicle for Private Hire you must ensure the vehicle license is renewed on time every year. If you miss the renewal date and your vehicle is over 5 years old then you’re out of luck and cannot re-license the same vehicle as it fails to meet the 5 year ruling. If your vehicle is still under 5 years old when it’s license expires then all you have to do is to re-book a test.
In addition to getting your vehicle licensed you will need to ensure the same vehicle undergoes a full MOT twice a year. If you are in any doubt please call NSL on 0343 22 5555
What does the PCO Vehicle Licence look like?
Licensed vehicles must have the licence badges displayed in both the front and rear windows of the vehicle and if the vehicle isn’t displaying these then it is probably not licensed and is breaking the law. The badge displays the licence number, the vehicle registration, and also the expiry date.
How will the Ultra Low Emission Zone effect me? (ULEZ)
Ultra Low Emission Zone expanding
An Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be in place in central London from 8 April 2019, to help improve air quality. Private hire vehicles will need to meet ULEZ standards or pay the daily £12.50 charge. Taxis are exempt from the charge. From 25 October 2021, the ULEZ will be expanded out to (but not including) the North and South Circular roads. Learn more about how these changes might affect you.
TfL are consulting on measures to reduce traffic and improve air quality in central London. The new proposals would see the exemption from the Congestion Charge for private hire vehicles removed and the introduction of a new Cleaner Vehicle discount to replace the Ultra Low Emission discount.
If you are in any doubt please call NSL on 0343 22 5555