Hackney Carriage (Taxi) Licence

A 'Hackney Carriage' is more commonly called a Taxi. It is the responsibility of the City Council to regulate the number of Hackney Carriages it licences.

This licence is required for vehicles that will ply for hire, be flagged down or hired at a taxi rank. Once licensed, a taxi remains a taxi until the licence expires. These vehicles have a roof sign and display a yellow plate on the rear of the vehicle.

Vehicles to be licensed must be mechanically suitable. The mechanical condition is to be conformed by a detailed inspection undertaken at the expense of the proprietor at the Council's designated testing stations; details of which can be found below.

Throughout your application, you must be honest in supplying information to us and must not, under any circumstances, make a false statement at any time to obtain your vehicle licence. This is a serious offence.

Technical specifications for hackney carriage vehicles

There are many different makes and styles of vehicle on the road today. Not all vehicles would be suitable for use as a hackney carriage vehicle and the Council will assess your vehicle to decide whether or not it is suitable for use as a hackney carriage vehicle.

Please note that all new hackney carriage vehicles must be wheelchair capable. Please see the Policy and conditions below for details on wheelchair capable vehicles.

Before purchasing a new vehicle for licensing please check with a licensing officer that it will be accepted as a hackney carriage vehicle.

The vehicle must pass a mechanical inspection at one of the following testing stations. The vehicle will also be subject to a visual inspection carried out by an authorised Licensing Officer of the Council.

Testing stations

All vehicles must be tested at one of the following testing stations:

  • BEST Autocentres Ltd, Unit 8 Winchester Trade Park, Easton Lane, Winchester, SO23 7FA
    Tel: 01962 866 977
  • Citroen Freeborn Winchester, Unit 1 Barfield Close, Winchester, SO23 9SQ
    Tel: 01962 840 888
  • W. J. Heard Motor Repairs, Shore Lane, Bishops Waltham, Southampton SO32 1DY
    Tel: 01489 895 607

The testing fee of £60 will be payable by you directly to the garage at the time of the test. The testing stations are permitted to charge for re-tests and missed appointments. The fee for a re-test is £22 if re-tested within three working days and £60 for all other re-tests.

Items required

A dry powder fire extinguisher (minimum of 1kg) and a first aid kit must be available for inspection prior to the licence being granted and thereafter be carried in the licensed vehicle at all times.

Under the Health Act 2006, licensed vehicles must be smoke free at all times and must display the international no-smoking symbol at least 70mm in diameter.

All wheelchair capable vehicles must display an international wheelchair symbol on each side of the vehicle.

You will also need to produce the following:

  • vehicle registration document or proof of purchase.
  • MOT Certificate from one of the above testing stations.
  • Mechanical Inspection checklist from one of the above testing stations.
  • certificate or cover note of insurance covering the vehicle for hire and reward for Private Hire use and Social Domestic and Pleasure purposes for you and your drivers.
  • proof of purchase of vehicle tax

How to apply

To make an application for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle licence, please complete the application form found below and book an appointment with the Licensing office on the number below. Please ensure all of the documents above are at the appointment, with the fee of £167.

If you have any difficulty with any of the forms or have any questions, please contact us by email licensing@winchester.gov.uk or telephone 01962 848 188 or 848 179.

Application forms are available to download below. Please note that if you wish to fill the form in electronically, you can do this by downloading the Word documents. A signature is required for all applications. To fill the form in manually, please download the adobe versions below.