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Vehicle licence

Apply for a vehicle licence

Apply to transfer your vehicle licence to another driver


For all vehicle applications, please ensure you check that the vehicle is at least Euro 6 emissions status, using the governments Vehicle Certification Agency checking service.

Information on Vehicle Licensing

Please ensure you have checked the age requirements for licensed vehicles, as outlined below, prior to applying.

A Vehicle used as a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle has to be roadworthy and meet standards of safety and access. In determining if a Vehicle is being used for private hire purposes and needs to be licensed, we will have regard to legislation and to the guidance issued by Department for Transport (DFT).

The conditions set by us 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.

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

Our licensing service issues licences 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.

We issue 2 types of licences for drivers: a Hackney Carriage driver licence and a Private Hire driver licence.

These are 2 separate licences and therefore if any person wishes to hold both a Hackney Carriage and a Private Hire driver licence, they are required to submit 2 separate applications.

How to submit a Vehicle Licence application form

Complete the online application form (including uploading a copy of the below documentation). Once issued, your plate and signage will be ordered from our supplier and can take up to 7 working days to be delivered. If the application is incomplete, we will contact you. The application will be on hold until we have the missing documentation.

Applicants need to ensure they submit a complete application with all supporting documents at least 10 days prior to their licence expiry date. If not, there may be a period where you are unable to work.

Please note that:

  • renewals may only be applied for up to one calendar month before expiry
  • if a Vehicle licence is allowed to lapse, it will be treated as a new application

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

  • A completed online application form.
  • 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 - for a new licence it must be no more than one calendar month old upon application. For a renewal licence it must also be no more than one calendar month old at the time of application. A renewal application must be submitted within one month prior to the licence expiry.
  • Certificate of Compliance - for a new licence, it must be no more than one calendar month old and issued at our same approved garage that issued the MOT certificate. For a renewal licence, it must also be no more than one calendar month old at the time of application and issued at our same 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, we will require sight of an original full insurance document or certificate.
  • Basic Disclosure and Barring Service criminal records check - where the proprietor is not a holder of a Private Hire of Hackney Carriage Driver Licence or Operator Licence. A DBS will be required annually. 
  • CCTV installation certificate - from one of our approved suppliers.
  1. Grant - £164
  2. Renewal - £113
  3. Replacement Plate - £24 
  4. Replacement door signage (stickers) - £20
  5. Internal Vehicle Notice - £5

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

Apply online to:

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.

Private Hire Door Signage

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

The Vehicle must display permanently on the driver and front passenger door, in a prominent position, the name and telephone number of the Operator fulfilling the booking.

Internal Vehicle Notice

In order to protect the public and to allow customers to correctly identify and report either a driver or a Vehicle which caused concern, we have determined that certain information must be displayed inside all licensed Vehicles, in the form of an Internal Vehicle Notice.

There must be a clear mechanism in place that informs any passenger of:

  • The business name of the operator, or proprietor, if it is a hackney carriage
  • The telephone number where a customer can make a complaint or report a concern
  • The Vehicle registration number, and
  • The Vehicle licence plate number

These notices must be displayed in a prominent position which can be easily read by a passenger travelling in the vehicle.

The cost for the Internal Vehicle Notice is £5.

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. 

All Hackney Carriage Vehicles must be white in colour and wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV’s).

We must ensure that the travelling public are aware of the type of Vehicle they are using. Any Vehicle licensed by us as a Hackney Carriage must have our emblem signage on the bonnet, which is provided when the licence is collected from our Cambourne offices. Replacements can also be purchased at our offices.

In order to protect the public and to allow customers to correctly identify and report either a driver or a Vehicle which caused concern, the council has determined that certain information must be displayed inside all licensed Vehicles, in the form of an Internal Vehicle Notice.

There must be a clear mechanism in place that informs any passenger of:

  • The business name of the operator, or proprietor if it is a hackney carriage
  • The telephone number where a customer can make a complaint or report a concern
  • The Vehicle registration number
  • The Vehicle licence plate number

These notices must be displayed in a prominent position which can be easily read by a passenger travelling in the vehicle.

Please email to order or for further information.

Air quality regulations

The Regulations above require all licensing authorities in England and Wales to submit certain information about their licensed taxis/PHVs to the database.

We must provide information to the Secretary of State in accordance with this regulation.

The information to be provided is, in relation to every relevant vehicle in respect of which a licence is granted under one of the licensing provisions:

  • the Vehicle registration mark of the vehicle
  • the date from which the licence has effect
  • the date on which the licence is due to expire
  • a statement whether the vehicle is a taxi or a private hire Vehicle
  • such other information the licensing authority holds in relation to the Vehicle that may be relevant for the purposes of ensuring the accurate identification of Vehicles, having had regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State
  • the licensing authority must provide the information at least as frequently as once a week

Data will be retained for a period of 7 years, for revenue purposes. Aggregated data may be retained for historic scientific analysis.

In line with the GDPR, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will be the Data Controller with responsibility to determine the purpose for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be processed.

It is not intended that any data will be transferred out of the United Kingdom.

From 21 October 2022, the following amendments will take effect, which have been agreed so as to support the trade during the very difficult financial situation. In addition, the removal of age limits is in recognition of the draft revisions of the Department for Transport’s Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards which suggests that setting of an arbitrary age limit may be inappropriate, counterproductive and result in higher costs to the trade and, ultimately, passengers.

As an example of the revision, a 5-year-old electric vehicle would produce less emissions than a 2-year-old Euro 6 engine, and likewise, retaining a Euro 5 engine produces more harmful emissions than replacing with a Euro 6 engine. It is anticipated this policy revision will encourage owners of Euro 5 vehicles to switch to greener, less harmful emission vehicles, and support our green agenda:         

  • Until 1 December 2023, a new licence will be granted for a vehicle if it is at least Euro 6 compliant or zero or ultra-low emission.
  • Until 1 December 2023, a licence will be renewed only if it is at least Euro 5 emission standards.
  • From 1 December 2023, a licence will only be granted if it is Euro 6 compliant, Zero or ultra-low emissions category.
  • By no later than 1 December 2028, all licensed private hire and hackney carriage vehicles must be zero or ultra-low emission. This is to coincide with the restrictions for Cambridge City Centre access for Ultra-Low and Zero Emission licensed vehicles only. This aspect will be kept under review and may be modified by the Authority at a prior date.

Ultra-low emission vehicles are plug-in hybrid vehicles or Extended Range Electric Vehicles (E-REV) with CO2 emissions less than 75g per km.

Zero-emission vehicles are those that emit no emissions during their operation. These include battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and electric vehicles.

The garages approved to carry out these inspections until 31 July 2026 are:

Scroll for more

Garage name

Contact number 

Contact email address

AG Motors

Unit C2 Atria Court, Papworth Everard, CB23 3GY

01480 831807

A G Motors Over Ltd

Unit 4 & 5 Arthur Court, Norman Way, Over, CB24 5AL

01954 770777

AutoKare Motors

Unit 6 & 7, 261-263 Barnwell Road, Cambridge, CB5 8SL

01223 412772

Cambridge Smart Cars Ltd

Units 3-6 Breckenwood Road, Fulbourn, CB21 5DQ 

01223 881518

Cambridge Vehicle Services 

Unit A, The Global Centre, Swann Road, Cambridge, CB5 8JZ

01223 566475


Camcab House, Coldhams Road, Cambridge CB1 3EW

01223 414414

CSC Automotive

217 St Neots Road, Hardwick, CB23 6EA

01954 210248

German Car Specialist Ltd 

Unit 11, Cave Ind Est.  Fen Road, Milton, CB4 1UN 

07909 228997

KJL Motor Co 

Units S1 & Eastern Counties Leather Industrial Estate, London Road, Pampisford, CB22 3EE

01223 830022

Lynx Autocare

Unit 1, The Service Station, Ely Road, Waterbeach, CB25 9PG

01223 861684


Studlands Industrial Estate Newmarket, CB8 7SH

01638 744523

Panther Taxis

Convent Drive, Waterbeach, CB25 9QT

01223 727272

Regency Autos 

120 Church End, Cambridge, CB1 3LB

01223 324050

Sawston Motor Co 

Unit 8a Common Lane Sawston, CB22 3HW  

01223 839666


All Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles (with the exception of exempted executive hire) must be fitted with a Council approved CCTV system. 

Any newly licensed vehicle must have CCTV that meets our specification, installed prior to licensing from 1 April 2023. Existing licences must have CCTV installed on renewal from 1 April 2023.

Where a fault of the CCTV system is identified, this must be reported to the Licensing Authority within 24-hours. If the fault is not rectified within 5 working days, the vehicle will be suspended until the CCTV equipment is fully operational.

CCTV specification approved for installations in vehicles licensed by South Cambridgeshire District Council or Cambridge City Council. [PDF, 0.2MB] 

The following companies have confirmed they are able to provide and install CCTV systems that meet our specification: 

4eyez Taxi CCTV Systems 
Telephone: 0114 299 8694 
Online booking  

CabCams/AC Security Systems 
Telephone: 0208 391 8360
Installations available at South Cambs Hall car park

S.A.F.E. Systems CCTV
Telephone: 01706 551212
Appointments available within 2 weeks of booking

CCTV unit prices start at around £400 to £500, with an installation costs ranging from £100. Some suppliers are able to provide finance or supply rental options.

CCTV Passenger Privacy Notice April 2023 [PDF, 0.1MB]

CCTV In Taxis And PHV Standard Operating Procedure [PDF, 61Kb]

There are currently a very small number of Tesla vehicles licensed which are owned/leased by Otto Cars which have had CCTV installed previously. Otto will remain the data controller for these vehicles, with the Council having immediate access to any data subject to specific incidences as referred to in the privacy notice [PDF, 0.1MB].

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 one of our approved garages for Certificate of Compliance testing.

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

You must have valid insurance

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

While on duty, driving a licensed vehicle in Cambridge, you may access the Bus Lanes and Bus Gates in Cambridge City Centre. However, in order to allow this, you will need to notify Cambridgeshire County Council Parking Services department, we will then add the vehicle to the list of authorised users.

Please email a copy of your valid vehicle licence to

It is your responsibility to notify the Parking Services department if you change your vehicle, even temporarily, and when you renew your vehicle licence.

Please be advised that you may not access Station Road in Cambridge, this is strictly for buses only.

This Licensing Authority recognises that there is a specialist market for the use of unmarked hire and reward vehicles in the following circumstances:

  • Chauffeur / prestige-type services
  • Fulfilling a pre-existing, written contract (pre-existing meaning signed at least 10 working days in advance of the hire)
  • Providing a regular service (whether to an individual or to a business)

A plate exempt vehicle does not require any signage or CCTV.

In order to apply for plate exemption a applicant must complete and submit the private hire vehicle plate exemption declaration form [PDF, 30Kb].

Once plate exempt, the vehicle must not be use for standard private hire work. Doing so may lead to a revocation of the licence.

A plate exempt vehicle may only work under an operator who South Cambridgeshire District Council have verified as only undertaking chauffeur / prestige type services. To have your operator licence verified, please contact

Further details on types of vehicles and work which can be authorised for exemption can be found in our policy.

Why are we asking for your personal information?

We require your personal data to enable us to comply with a legal obligation and review and reconsider your application for a licence by way of an appeal conducted by the Licensing Committee.

There are laws in place, (Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982), that tell us what information we have to collect and keep. We may automate decisions and will inform you if we have done this as soon as reasonably practicable and provide you with access to our Data Protection Policy.

You hold the following rights with regard to the personal data you provide us:

  • Right to Access: you have the right to access (receive a copy) of your personal data and supplementary information.
  • Right to Rectification: you have the right to have any inaccurate or incomplete personal data rectified.
  • Right to Restriction: you have the right to request a restriction of the processing of your personal data in situations where it is inaccurate, unlawful, and no longer needed for the purposes for which it was originally collected, or if a withdrawal of consent has been made.

Sharing your information

We may share your personal data with Local Partner Authorities, Police, Legal, Courts, Internal/External audit, Disclosure and Barring Service, HM Revenue & Customs, Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, Customs and Border Agency, as required.

We may process the information you provide to prevent and detect fraud in any of our systems and may supply information to government agencies, credit reference agencies, audit or other external bodies for such purposes. We participate in the Government's National Fraud Initiative.

If any of the information we have about you is incorrect, please tell us, we are reliant on you assisting us to keep your information accurate and up to date.

Retention of your personal information

We only keep your information as long as necessary, for some items this will be dictated by law. You can find out more by looking at the Councils Retention Policy on the website. We do not routinely process any information about you outside of the UK. We will not transfer your personal data outside of the EU. We are a registered Data Controller with the Information Commissioners Office.

You can find out more about how we handle your data by visiting our Privacy Notice. If you have a query regarding your rights please contact the Data Protection Officer who can be contacted by emailing or you can write to us and mark your letter for the attention of the Data Protection Officer. Alternatively, you can call 07864 604221 or 01954 713318

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) should you believe any part of this statement to be unlawful.


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