Taxi and private hire licences


We licence two types of vehicles available for hire by the public:

  • Hackney carriages ("taxis") which can be available for hire at a taxi rank and ply for hire in the street. We control the number of taxi vehicle licences issued
  • Private hire vehicles (PHVs or "minicabs") which must be pre-booked by phone or in person at the operating centre. There are approximately 650 PHVs in the district but this figure varies from time to time according to market conditions

We have a duty to licence taxi drivers and vehicles and private hire vehicles, drivers and operators. Licensing ensures that taxis and private hire vehicles are safe, comfortable, properly insured and available for hire when and where required.

Private hire vehicle licences

A private hire vehicle must be licensed by us and once licensed, booked through a licensed private hire vehicle operator. These vehicles display a blue plate with white lettering on the rear of the vehicle and the vehicle should display a yellow door sticker on both front door panels.

Once licensed, a private hire vehicle is always a private hire vehicle until the licence expires. Therefore, even if the vehicle is used for social and domestic use it may only be driven by a private hire vehicle driver licensed by the same council that licences the vehicle.

Before a vehicle is licensed it must pass a compliance and garage test to ensure its safety. It must also be adequately insured.

Hackney carriage vehicle licences ("taxis")

This licence is required for any chauffeur driven hire vehicle that will ply for hire, be flagged down or hired at a taxi rank. Once licensed a taxi is always a taxi until the licence expires.

These vehicles have a roof sign and display a white plate on the rear of the vehicle.

Before a vehicle is licensed it must pass a compliance and garage test to ensure its safety. It must also be adequately insured.

Private hire driver's licence

This licence is required before any person can drive a licensed private hire vehicle.

Before a licence is granted the applicant must satisfy us that:

  • He/she is a fit and proper person to hold a licence
  • He/she is medically fit
  • He/she has attained the age of 21 years
  • He/she has held a full driver's licence (not being a provisional licence) granted to the applicant under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1972 authorising him/her to drive a motor car for at least 12 months prior to the date of the application
  • He/she has a sound knowledge of the geography of Wycombe district by passing a written knowledge test
  • He/she is able to read, write and converse in English
  • He/she must pass a police criminality check to ensure safety to the public

Hackney carriage ("taxi") vehicle driver's licence

This licence is required before any person can drive a licensed hackney carriage vehicle ("taxi").

Before a licence is granted the applicant must satisfy us that:

  • He/she is a fit and proper person to hold a licence
  • He/she is medically fit
  • He/she has attained the age of 21 years
  • He/she has held a full driver's licence (not being a provisional licence) granted to the applicant under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1972 authorising him/her to drive a motor car for at least 12 months prior to the date of the application
  • He/she has a sound knowledge of the geography of Wycombe district by passing a written knowledge test
  • He/she is able to read, write and converse in English
  • He/she must pass a police criminality check to ensure safety to the public

Hackney carriage ("taxi") and private hire vehicle driver's licence

This licence enables a person to drive a licensed hackney carriage vehicle ("taxi") and/or a licensed private hire vehicle (For further information see above). Before a licence is granted the applicant must satisfy the Council that:

  • He/she is a fit and proper person to hold a licence
  • He/she is medically fit
  • He/she has attained the age of 21 years
  • He/she has held a full driver's licence (Not being a provisional licence) granted to the applicant under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1972 authorising him/her to drive a motor car for at least twelve months prior to the date of the application
  • He/she has a sound knowledge of the geography of Wycombe district by passing a written knowledge test
  • He/she is able to read, write and converse in English
  • He/she must pass a police criminality check to ensure safety to the public

Private hire operator's licence

This licence is required to enable a person to make provision for the acceptance or invitation of bookings for private hire vehicles. It is possible for one person to be licensed and to employ or sub contract an unlimited number of licensed vehicles.

A licensed private hire driver cannot accept any bookings unless he/she either holds or works for a licensed private hire operator. An operator may pass a booking to another licensed private hire vehicle operator provided that the operator is also licensed by us.

It is with the operator that the public has initial contact with and with whom the contract is made even if the operator does not provide the vehicle and or the driver.

Before an operator's licence is granted the applicant must satisfy our planning department that the address where they intend to operate from is suitable and where applicable satisfy any conditions that may be attached to the licence, in order not to disturb the peace of the area.

Apply for or renew an operator's licence

Contact information

  • Telephone: 01494 421 749 or 01494 421 222