Vehicle Licence

By licensing and regularly checking the drivers, operators and vehicles, the council is able to ensure that the public are offered as safe a service as possible.

South Cambridgeshire District Council's licensing service issues licenses to allow the operation of a private hire service within the district as defined under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.

South Cambridgeshire District Council issues two types of licences for drivers, a Hackney Carriage driver licence and a Private Hire driver licence. These are two separate licences and therefore if any person wishes to hold both a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver licences they are required to submit two separate applications.

The Public Register of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers is now available.

What is a Vehicle Licence for?

A vehicle used as a Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire vehicle has to be road worthy and meet standards of safety and access.

In determining if a vehicle is being used for private hire purposes and needs to be licensed, the council will have regard legislation and to the guidance issued by Department for Transport (DfT).

The conditions set by this council require both Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles to display the licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.  A Hackney Carriage is required to display a white plate and a Private Hire vehicle must display a yellow plate, unless exempt.

Hackney Carriages must be wheelchair accessible, white and display council levy.

Please see the below Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicle conditions:

Vehicle Licence Conditions

Hackney Carriage Byelaws

Private Hire

This licence is valid for one year and all journeys have to be pre-booked through a booking office known as the Operators base. Private Hire Vehicles are not allowed to ply for hire or be hailed in the streets.

The maximum age for a Hybrid/ Electric or low emission vehicle is five years old.  The maximum age for all other vehicles is four years. The maximum age for Exempt executive vehicles is 6 years old.

Private Hire vehicles must affix on the rear external passenger doors in a prominent location, council issued door signage.

Hackney Carriage

This licence is valid for one year and entitles licensed Hackney Carriage drivers to ply for hire within the boundaries of South Cambridgeshire only. It does not entitle the driver to ply for hire or be hailed outside the District. Doing so is a serious breach of conditions and legislation. 

The maximum age for a Hybrid/ Electric or low emission vehicle is five years old.  The maximum age for all other vehicles is four years

All Hackney Carriage vehicles must be Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV’s).

The council must ensure that the travelling public are aware of the type of vehicle they are using. Any vehicle licensed by the council as a Hackney Carriage can only be white in colour, and must have the council emblem signage on the bonnet, which are provided when the licence is collected from our Cambourne offices. 
Replacements can also be purchased at our offices.

Certificate of Compliance/ MOT

All vehicles over one year of age from first registration will be required to obtain a Certificate of Compliance and MOT prior to licensing at the Council Offices in Cambourne. It is the responsibility of the applicant to book their vehicle in at a South Cambridgeshire District Council approved garage for Certificate of Compliance testing. 

Both the MOT and Certificate of Compliance test must be done at the same garage.

Approved garages for the inspections

The garages currently approved to carry out these inspections are:

A G Motors, Unit C2 Atria Court, Papworth Everard (01480) 831807

Above All Autocentre Ltd, Sand Rd Ind Estate, Gt Gransden, Beds. (01767) 679000

Andys Kars Ltd, 6 Viking Way, Bar Hill (01954) 782666

AutoKare Motors, Unit 20a, Mercers Row, Cambridge (01223) 363030

Barr Tech Specialist Cars, 90-92 Cowley Road, Cambridge (01223) 425300

Cambridge Performance Tyres, Unit 53, Clifton Road, Cambridge (01223) 411441

Cambridge Vehicle Services, Unit A, The Global Centre, Swanns Road, Cambridge (01223) 566475

CRG (Cambridge) Ltd T/A - Bar Hill Motors (01954) 781132

CSC, 217 St Neots Rd, Hardwick (01954) 210248

KJL Motor Co, Unit 4 London Rd Ind Estate, Pampisford (01223) 836208

Linton Village Motors, Unit 3 Bourne Bridge, Great Abington (01223) 830550.

Melbourn Garage, 118 - 120 High Street, Melbourn, Royston, Herts (01763) 263344

Murketts of Cambridge, 137 Histon Rd, Cambridge (01223) 706706

Nationwide Auto Centre, Unit 1a, Coral Park, Henley Road, Cambridge (01223) 352373

P & R Coachworks T/A - N F Clarke Motor Engineer, Units 3-6 Breckenwood Road, Fulbourn (01223) 881518.

Panther Taxis, Convent Drive, Waterbeach (01223) 727272

Regency Autos, 120 Church End, Cambridge (01223) 324050

Reed Autos Ltd, 27 Royston Road, Foxton (01223) 874400)

Sawston Motor Co, Unit 8a, Common Lane, Sawston (01223) 839666

South Cambs Motor Co, 7-9 Station Road, Melbourn Nr Royston, Herts. (01763) 260246

Station Garage, Wilbraham Rd, Fulbourn (01223) 880747

Swavesey Garage, 20 Middlewatch, Swavesey (01954) 230264

Vindis, 383 Milton Road, Cambridge (01223) 424472

Insurance Certificate

Applications for a new or renewal of a vehicle licence will require submission of proof of valid insurance which covers the vehicle and driver for hire and reward purposes. The vehicle proprietor and the driver must ensure that valid insurance is maintained at all times.

An original insurance certificate must be proved with an application, or if an electronic version, it must be supplied by the insurance company to


The use of CCTV in licensed vehicles is a condition of licence and must be fitted no later than the 31st March 2020.

Application for Vehicle Licence

If you are submitting a private hire vehicle licence application, you do not require an appointment. Supply all the correct original documentation (as below) to our offices in Cambourne. We will then notify you when the licence and plate is ready (normally within three to five working days from receipt of all correct documentation). If the application is incomplete, we will either send it back to you or contact you. The application will be on hold until we have the missing documentation.

It is essential that vehicle applications are submitted either 5 clear working days before the existing licence expires or at least 5 working days prior to the intended start date for new applicants.

If a vehicle licence is allowed to lapse, it will be treated as a new application. Please note that renewals may only be done up to one calendar month before expiry.

In order to licence a vehicle, you will need to submit to us:

  • The full Vehicle Registration document (VQ5) or proof of ownership (this can be in the form of a receipt for payment). The registration document must be in the name of the applicant or licensee. If you can only submit the VQ5’s green slip, then we require proof of ownership/payment as well.
  • MOT Certificate - Must be no more than one calendar month old
  • Certificate of Compliance  - Must be no more than one calendar month old and issued at the same SCDC approved garage that issued the MOT certificate.
  • Insurance Certificate - this certificate must cover hire and reward. Only one cover note will be permitted on application or renewal of a vehicle licence. Subsequently the Council will require sight of an original full insurance document or certificate.


How much does a Vehicle Licence cost?

  1. Grant - £145.00
  2. Renewal - £100.00
  3. Replacement Plate - £20.00
  4. Replacement PH door signage - £15.00
  5. Replacement HC logo - £20.00

The above fees are payable on collection of the licence and plate.

Contact Details