Private Hire Operator's Licence

A private hire operator's licence is required to enable a person to accept or invite bookings for private hire vehicles. Any premises at which the licence holder operates must be in the Winchester City Council district, and the address must be provided to the Council.  If an operator does not have premises, all provision for inviting and the acceptance of bookings must be undertaken in the Winchester district.

One person can be licensed and employ/sub-contract an unlimited number of licensed vehicles. However, a licensed private hire driver cannot accept any bookings unless he either holds or works for a licensed private hire operator. An operator may pass a booking to another licensed private hire vehicle operator if they are unable to fulfil that booking.

Members of the public have initial contact with the operator and make the contract with them, even if the operator does not provide the vehicle and/or the driver.

  • How to apply

    Applicants are required to complete the online application form. You will need a credit/debit card to pay the application fee of £227. Once the application has been submitted, you will need to make an appointment to visit the City Offices to discuss your application with a Licensing Officer.

    All applicants will be required to provide identification to show their right to work in the UK. In some cases a person’s status will be verified with the Home Office.

    All applicants must also obtain a basic Disclosure and Barring Service Check from GOV.UK. If the applicant is already a licensed driver with Winchester City Council, then they will already have an enhanced DBS certificate and do not need to reapply. 

    Before an operator's licence is granted the applicant must satisfy the Council that the address from which they intend to operate is suitable and, where applicable, satisfy any conditions that may be attached to the licence in order not to disturb the amenity of the area. A Certificate of Public Liability Insurance is required where the public have access to the premises i.e. waiting room etc. However, where no public access or waiting facilities are provided or if you wish to operate your own vehicle from home, this insurance is not necessary. The Public Liability must be up to £5 million. If an operator wishes to operate from a residential address, such as their home, they must ensure that any necessary planning permission has been obtained from the City Council allowing use of the building for this purpose. 

    All applicants for an operator licence must undertake a safeguarding training course, and provide the certificate to the Council. If the application is made by two or more applicants, all applicants must complete the safeguarding training. You can book a course here

    Additional documentation required: 

    • Certificate of Public Liability Insurance (if applicable)
    • Right to Work identification document(s)
    • Basic Disclosure and Barring Service certificate(s)
    • Safeguarding certificate(s)
    • Evidence of a complaints procedure or policy, for dealing with any customer complaints
    • A list of all vehicles which you will operate under your business, including their licence numbers

    Applications will not be accepted without production of the above.

    Once your application has been accepted and the fee has been paid, a licence will be issued.

    If you have any difficulty with any of the forms or have any questions, please contact us on or call 01962 848 188.

  • Renewals

    We understand that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it may be a difficult time for licence holders to pay their renewal application fees. To try and support you during this time we now have the option for renewal fees to be paid in four equal instalments. The online application forms have been amended to include this payment option.

    If you have any further queries or concerns about your licences, please contact the licensing office or tel: 01962 848 188.

    You can apply to renew your Private Hire Operators Licence for a period of 12 months or 5 years. Renewal applications can be made using the online application form. You will need a credit/debit card to pay the application fee of £227 (one year) or £514 (5 years).

    Renewal applications must be accompanied by the following documents: 

    • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate (required every 3 years)
    • A list of all licensed Private Hire vehicles operated by you / your business
    • Proof of Public Liability Insurance (if the public have access to your operating address)
    • Safeguarding Awareness certificate