Apply for a new private hire vehicle or hackney carriage.

If you want to apply for a new private hire vehicle or hackney carriage you must follow the steps below.

1: Check if a licence is available: hackney carriage only

You should contact the Licensing Team before purchasing a vehicle to ensure there are still hackney carriage vehicle licences available.

This is because the Public Safety and Protection Committee Go to https://democracy.bristol.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=164&MId=2551&Ver=4 (opens new window) agreed on 28 February 2017 to impose a limit of 795 on the number of licences issued.  

2: The vehicle: hackney carriage only

If applying for a licence for a hackney carriage the vehicle must:

  • be an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)
  • have European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA)
  • be wheelchair accessible

The vehicle must also meet all other elements of the hackney carriage vehicle policy and hackney carriage and private hire vehicle inspections standards in the pdf Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy (1.16 MB) .

3: The conditions and standards

You should read the documents and vehicle restrictions below before you apply for a new vehicle licence.

The hackney carriage and private hire inspection standards include important information on vehicle specifications and should be read along with the correct vehicle policy.

All policies are in the pdf Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy (1.16 MB) .

Vehicle restrictions

Toyota Auris 

  • The internal dimensions of the current model of Toyota Auris doesn't comply with the Private Hire vehicle licensing policy. This is because the seat measurements are too small. 
  • All new applications will be referred to the Public Safety and Protection Committee with a recommendation for refusal.
  • All existing licensed Toyota Auris will continue to be licensed, maximum 10 years from date of first registration, providing they comply in all other respects of the Vehicle Licensing Policy.

Lexus IS300

  • A Lexus IS300 will only be considered for the carriage of up to 3 passengers.
  • The measurements of the middle rear seat do not comply with the vehicle standards policy.

Vauxhall Zafira 

  • The Vauxhall Zafira will in most cases only be considered for the carriage of up to 4 passengers.
  • The measurements of the back row seats don't usually comply with the vehicle standards policy.

We're aware that some models of the Zafira may now comply with the vehicle standards policy with regard to the back row seats.  Where this is the case a licence for 6 passengers may be issued. 

4: Your documents

You must send us the documentation below.

Email your application form and scans or photos of the documents to licensing@bristol.gov.uk. We'll contact you by telephone to make payment.

Or post your application and documents to:

Licensing Team (100TS), Bristol City Council, PO Box 3399. Bristol BS1 9NE

  • Original certificate of insurance
  • Vehicle inspection check issued by Bristol City Council fleet services
  • pdf Application form (265 KB)
  • pdf Person Concerned with Vehicle Form (93 KB)
  • Proof of ownership: a bill of sale, invoice stating paid in full, or copy of hire purchase or lease agreement (If the vehicle is on lease then the lease company must provide a letter stating the vehicle can be used as a hackney carriage/private hire vehicle)
  • European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval certificate and certificate of conformity (if applicable).
  • Full Registration Document (V5) or green slip
  • A basic disclosure (DBS) or a hackney carriage or private hire driver licence number

We can't accept a vehicle inspection check if it was carried out more than six weeks before your application date.

If you want someone else to discuss your application or licence with us on your behalf, youll need to give us written permission.

How much it costs

A new private hire or Hackney Carriage licence costs £205.

The fee for one month or less is £26.

We can't accept the vehicle inspection check if you send it to us more than six weeks before your application date.

Important information

Find out more about our licences and policies.

Related links

Contact information

Licensing Team (100TS)

Bristol City Council
PO Box 3399
Bristol BS1 9NE

Opening Hours

Drop in hours at Citizen Service Point, 100 Temple Street:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9am to 5pm
  • Wednesday: 10am to 5pm

Office address

Citizen Service Point
100 Temple Street
Bristol
BS1 6AG

Email: licensing@bristol.gov.uk