Wealden District Council

Wealden Home  >  Business  >  Licences and Registers  >  Taxi Licensing  >  Vehicle Licences

Vehicle Licences

There are two different types of "taxi", Hackney Carriage or Private Hire. 

The primary difference between the two is that Hackney Carriages "ply for hire" and use taxi ranks, whilst Private Hire Vehicles, which can only be booked in advance, may not.

Please refer to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Handbook (Taxi Handbook) (pdf) for full vehicle licensing details. Please speak to a licensing officer before purchasing a vehicle if you are not sure if it will comply with our requirements.

Hackney Carriages: 

  • Can pick up customers in the street or from a taxi rank in the Wealden area
  • Can be pre-booked without the need for an additional licence (Operator's Licence)
  • Must display an approved roof sign, rear door badges and white licence plates both inside and outside of the vehicle

Private Hire Vehicles:

  • Can and must only be pre-booked through an Operator licensed by Wealden District Council 
  • Must not display a roof sign but must display rear door badges and yellow plates both inside and outside the vehicle
  • Executive vehicles undertaking purely executive work may be exempt from displaying external plates and badges at the Council's discretion and these will be issued with an Exemption Certificate

All Vehicle Licenses last for one year.

In order to qualify for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle Licence the vehicle must:

  • Have four doors of a size to permit easy access
  • Be able to permit the specified number of passengers to be carried in comfort and safety
  • Provide adequate luggage space per passenger licensed, stowed safely and securely (3.5 cu.ft. (100 litres) per passenger) 
  • Have a pristine standard of appearance and be maintained in such a condition
  • Carry a first aid kit and fire extinguisher
  • Have a valid insurance certificate for the carriage of passengers for hire and reward, either by "Public Hire" (Hackney Carriage) or "Private Hire" (Private Hire)
  • Have a VCT Certificate, with the exception of brand new vehicles with delivery mileage

  • Rear tinted windows must be no darker than legally permitted front side tinted windows

  • Meet the appropriate vehicle age limit

There are also specific rules for multi-seater vehicles with 5-8 seats. Please refer to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Handbook (Taxi Handbook) (pdf).

The Council has adopted, as a minimum, the National Inspection Standards. For more information about these standards please view the Procedures and Standards of Inspection (pdf) .

Once licensed your vehicle remains a licensed vehicle irrespective of whether it is working or not. The vehicle licence plates must not be removed and it can only be driven by a driver licensed by this Council.

Vehicle Application Process

All the information you need to apply for a vehicle licence can be found on our application page.

Taxi Licensing Fees

Fees are payable at the time of making an application and applications submitted without the correct fee will be rejected. Please see our dedicated fee page for more details.

Vehicle Compliance Test

Licensed vehicles are required to pass a VCT will replace MOTs as a requirement when licensing a vehicle. Visit our page for full details.

Age Limit for Vehicles

From 1 January 2018, new vehicle licences will only be granted to vehicles less than seven years old. Visit our page for full details.

Hackney Carriage Meters

Sealed calendar meters are now required to be fitted in all Hackney Carriage Vehicles. Visit our page for full details.

Exemption Certificates

Private Hire Vehicles may be eligible for an Exemption Certificate for certain work if the vehicle is of a very high standard. Visit our page for full details.

Tinted Windows

Please check our policy on tinted windows before purchasing your vehicle.

Rear Side Door Signs

Licensed vehicles are required to display Council approved door signs on the upper panel of both rear passenger doors.

Replacement door stickers can only be ordered from ABC Signs. No other supplier is authorised to produce the stickers or use Council logos. ABC Signs have created an information sheet on how to order, pay for an apply your door sticker. Download the ABC Signs Information Sheet (pdf).

Contact Details