Information on the licences and policies you should be aware of when working in the taxi trade.

Consultation: tinted windows on taxis and private hire vehicles

Take part in this consultation online at: Use of tinted windows in taxis and private hire vehicles consultation.

Survey closing date: 1 November 2023.

Hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy

The current policy came into force on 27 July 2021.

Read the full pdf Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2021-2026 (1.16 MB)  policy. 

Limit on the number of hackney carriages

There's currently a limit of 795 on the number of hackney carriage vehice licences that we can issue. 

Once the limit of 795 is reached, we will not issue any further licences, even if you've already bought a vehicle.

Before you apply for a new hackney carriage vehicle licence, contact the Licensing Team first to check if there are vehicle licences available.

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

If you lose your plates

Your plates should be securely fixed to the exterior of the vehicle at all times.

If you lose your plates, duplicates are available from the licensing office on written request. pdf Fees apply (159 KB)  (these change each April).

Use of bus lanes

The Licensing Team produce a list of all current licensed vehicles in Bristol. They give the list to Parking Services. Where taxis and priate hire vehicles are permitted to use bus lanes, these vehicles will not receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

The list contains only the vehicles licensed by Bristol City Council. We cannot add vehicles licensed with a different authority to the list.

If you receive a PCN in Bristol, you'll need to appeal the notice with Parking Services. You can do so by sending a copy of your paper licence to

City centre traffic flow for taxis

The traffic flow for taxis in the city centre is different than for unlicensed vehicles. 

Our pdf taxi movements map (258 KB)  shows:

  • where Hackney carriages can drive in the city centre
  • where private hire vehicles can drive in the city centre