Vehicle licence

What is a Vehicle Licence for?

Apply for a vehicle licence

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, the council will have regard to 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.

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 two 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 two separate applications.

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 seven 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.

Application for Vehicle Licence

If you are submitting a private hire Vehicle licence application, you do not require an appointment. Complete the online application form (including uploading a copy of the below documentation). 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 contact you. The application will be on hold until we have the missing documentation.

It is essential that Vehicle applications are submitted either five clear working days before the existing licence expires or at least five 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:

  • 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 - New: must be no more than one calendar month old. Renewal: must be no more than one calendar month old at time of the expiry date.
  • Certificate of Compliance  - New: must be no more than one calendar month old and issued at our same approved garage that issued the MOT certificate.  Renewal: must be no more than one calendar month old, at time of the expiry date, 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.

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 Road Industrial Estate
Great Gransden, Bedfordshire.
01767 679000

AutoKare Motors
Unit 6 & 7
261-263 Barnwell Road
Cambridge
CB5 8SL
01223 412772

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
Swann Road
Cambridge
01223 566475

CSC
217 St Neots Road
Hardwick
01954 210248

German Car Specialist Ltd
Unit 11, Cave Industrial Estate
Fen Road, Milton
Cambridge
CB4 1UN
07909 228997

Godden Auto Services Ltd
Benet Garage
Cambridge Road
Milton
CB24 6AW
01223 420380

KJL Motor Co
Units S1 & S2
Eastern Counties, Leather Industrial Estate
London Road
Pampisford
CB22 3EE
01223 830022

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 Road
Cambridge
01223 706706

Halfords Auto Centre
Unit 1a, Coral Park
Henley Road
Cambridge
01223 352373

Cambridge Smart Cars Ltd
Units 3-6, Breckenwood Road
Fulbourn
01223 881518

Panther Taxis
Convent Drive
Waterbeach
01223 727272

Regency Autos
120 Church End
Cambridge
01223 324050

Sawston Motor Company
Unit 8a, Common Lane
Sawston
01223 839666

Swavesey Garage
20 Middle Watch
Swavesey
01954 230264

Vindis Service Centre
Building 6100, Cambridge Research Park
Waterbeach
CB25 9PD 
01223 317100

Vehicle ages

We will currently licence the below new Vehicles:

  • Euro 6 compliant petrol/diesel Vehicles under 4 years old
  • Ultra–Low Emission Vehicles*
  • Zero emission Vehicles of any age

We will currently renew the below Vehicles:

  • Diesel Vehicles Euro 5 compliant
  • Petrol Vehicles Euro 5 compliant
  • Hybrid Vehicle Euro 5 compliant
  • Any age zero emission Vehicle

From 1 December 2023 we will only licence the below new Vehicles:

  • Ultra-low emission Vehicles under 4 years old*
  • Zero emission Vehicles under 15 years

From 1 December 2023 we will only renew the below Vehicles:

  • Diesel Vehicles Euro 6 complaint
  • Petrol Vehicles Euro 6 complaint
  • Hybrid Vehicles Euro 6 complaint
  • Ultra-low emission Vehicles*
  • Zero emission Vehicles

*An ultra-low emission Vehicle is defined as having less than 75g CO2 from the tailpipe per km (g/km). This will be verified by the Vehicles V5C document.

Use the Euro emission standards checker to check the age of your Vehicle.

CCTV

The use of CCTV in licensed Vehicles is a condition of licence and must be fitted no later than the 31 March 2023. 

We can recommend only our approved systems.

Specification to be confirmed.

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.

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).

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 can only be white, and 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, 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.

Please email taxis@scambs.gov.uk to order or for further information.

How much does a Vehicle Licence cost?

  1. Grant - £156
  2. Renewal - £108
  3. Replacement Plate - £23 
  4. Replacement door signage (stickers) - £18
  5. Internal Vehicle Notice - £5

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

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.

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 taxis@scambs.gov.uk.

Licensing Privacy Notice

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 infogov@3csharedservices.org 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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