Vehicle licences

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Vehicle licences

There are two different types of "taxi", Hackney Carriage and Private Hire.

The primary difference between the two is that Hackney Carriages can "ply for hire" and use taxi ranks, whilst Private Hire Vehicles, which can only be booked in advance, may not.

Hackney Carriages:

  • Can pick customers up in the street or from a taxi rank in the Rother area
  • Can be pre-booked without the need for an additional Operator's Licence
  • Must display an approved roof sign, be fitted with a sealed calendar meter,  and carry a white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle, together with white door badges on the rear doors.

Private Hire Vehicles:

  • Can only be pre-booked through an Operator licensed by Rother District Council
  • Cannot display a roof sign, but must carry a yellow licence plate on the rear of the vehicle, together with yellow door badges on the rear doors
  • Executive vehicles may be exempt from displaying plates at the Council's discretion.  Yellow licence plates will still be issued and must be carried inside the vehicle at all times, along with the Exemption Certificate.

All Vehicle Licences last for 12 months only.

In order to qualify for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle Licence, the vehicle must:

  • Have four doors of a size to permit easy access
  • Be able to permit the specified number of passengers to be carried in comfort and safety
  • Have a good standard of appearance
  • Carry a first aid kit and fire extinguisher
  • Have a valid insurance certificate for the carriage of passengers for hire and reward, either by "Public Hire" (Hackney Carriage) or "Private Hire" (Private Hire)
  • Pass a Vehicle Compliance Test (VCT).  Only brand new vehicles with delivery mileage only are exempt from this requirement.

The Council has adopted, as a minimum, the National Inspection Standards. For more information about these standards please view the pdf icon Procedures and standards of inspections [138kb].

If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of your vehicle please speak to a Licensing Officer.

Specific rules apply to vehicles with 5-8 seats, which can be obtained from the Council's Licensing Team.

Once licensed, your vehicle remains a licensed vehicle, irrespective of whether or not it is working. The vehicle licence plates must not be removed and it can only be driven by a driver licensed by this Council.

Vehicle application process

All the information you need to apply for a vehicle licence can be found on this page.

Application fees

Fees are payable at the time of making an application and applications submitted without the correct fee will be rejected. Please see our dedicated fee page for more details.

Vehicle Compliance Testing

All vehicles will be subject to a six monthly Vehicle Compliance Test, which includes the standard mechanical tests required to pass an MOT, coupled with additional taxi specific inspections.  See this page for more details.

Hackney Carriage meters

All Hackney Carriage Vehicles are required to be fitted with a sealed calendar meter. Visit this page for full details and suppliers.

Exemption certificates

Private Hire Vehicles may be eligible for an exemption certificate for certain work, if the vehicle is of a very high standard. Visit this page for full details.

Existing drivers and licence holders

If you already hold a licence with us, please visit our page for documents you may need during the course of your licence and links to other useful information.

Tinted windows

Please read our policy on tinted windows before purchasing a vehicle.

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