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Private Hire Vehicles

09 May 2008, 15:30 by Ian Jones

Labels: council, local-authority, private-hire, taxi-licensing

Taxi Licensing law has recently changed to widen the number of vehicles which need to be registered with local authorities. Previously, vehicles and their drivers were not regulated at all if they were hired on contracts that lasted at least seven days. This exempts several private hire vehicle categories, such as those contracted by local authorities to transport children to school by taxi, employment agency vehicles used to transport workers, and vehicles used to routinely take staff and clientele home from nightclubs. There was also some concern that the provision was used as a loophole by many firms, especially those hiring out limousines or "novelty vehicles" - such as fire engines complete with firemen for use on hen nights. Although intended for use on one night only, the vehicle would actually be rented for seven days, thus avoiding local authority registration.

From now on, any vehicle which meets the definition in section 80 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 of "a motor vehicle constructed or adapted to seat fewer than nine passengers, other than a hackney carriage or public service vehicle or a London cab or a tramcar, which is provided for hire with the services of a driver for the purpose of carrying passengers" will need to be licensed by the local authority.

Written by Ian Jones, Barrister at New Walk Chambers, specialising in Licensing, Betting & Gaming Law.

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