Taxi licences


Important information regarding Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licence applications

Following the latest government advice on social distancing, the council cannot offer licensing appointments until further notice. We are able to accept applications by email for the following:

  • Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle licences
  • Hackney carriage and private hire driver applications for current licence holders (renewal applications)

We are not able to accept applications from new applicants who are not already licensed by the council.

We have produced this taxi and private hire licensing advice document (95.6 KB) PDF - please read this document before contacting the licensing team with queries as it may contain the information you need.

We will shortly be in a position to process applications for private hire operators. Please check the website for updates.


We license both Hackney Carriage Vehicles and Private Hire Vehicles. Although the public can use both types of vehicle, there is a difference in the way they are operated and licensed. Please find details of the Joint Taxi Licensing policy effective from 01 January 2013 (updated September, 2019) (795.1 KB) PDF .

Hackney Carriages

  • can be hired on the street or at taxi ranks
  • do not need to be pre-booked over the 'phone although this is possible
  • display a roof sign that contains the word 'Taxi'. Please see details of the roof sign specification and guidance  (1.1 MB) Word 97-2003
  • display a green licence plate with the Vale of White Horse District Council logo on the rear of the vehicle with details of the vehicle
  • the council sets the tariffs for hackney carriage vehicles which will be displayed in the vehicle
  • must have a taximeter set to the council's tariff
  • public hire motor insurance is required prior to a licence being issued

Private Hire Vehicles

  • MUST be pre-booked through a licensed Private Hire Operator before they can be used
  • are not permitted to have a roof sign
  • display a red licence plate with the Vale of White Horse District Council logo on the rear of the vehicle with details of the vehicle
  • private hire motor insurance is required prior to a licence being issued

Licences are required for drivers and operators. This is to ensure the safety of the public when using them. The Licensing Unit carries out regular spot checks on cars and drivers in the Vale of White Horse district to ensure they have the correct licences. If you have a concern about a taxi journey you have experienced please contact the Licensing Unit so this can be investigated.

Information for applicants

For information about the different types of licences, including details of how to apply for them, see the following pages:

For details about taxi ranks and charges in the Vale of White Horse district, please see these pages:

Last reviewed: 01 - 04 - 2020

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