A private hire or hackney carriage vehicle licence is required for any motor vehicle, constructed or adapted to seat fewer than nine passengers, which is provided for hire with the services of a driver for the purpose of carrying passengers. The exemptions to this are public carriage vehicles, wedding cars and funeral cars.
Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked by customers with the vehicle’s licensed operator. Hackney Carriages may be hailed in the street or receive bookings at designated Hackney Carriage Ranks.
Before you apply
Download and read carefully the following documents. (These documents are also available from our Customer Service Centre)
- Vehicle guidance notes and application form (PDF)
- Private hire vehicle conditions (PDF)
- Taxi vehicle conditions (PDF)
- Private hire and Hackney Carriage request for vehicle licence exemption (PDF)
- Hackney Carriage and private hire vehicles inspection standards (PDF)
When you have read the guidance notes and consulted the manual of inspection, and you believe that your vehicle will be able to meet the criteria for a private hire/hackney carriage vehicle licence, you can proceed.
If having read the documents you need further information please email your enquiry to us at Licensing@bedford.gov.uk.
If you wish to book an appointment to have your vehicle checked before the Compliance Test, please contact the Depot directly on 01234 718048. Please note the pre-test is an arrangement between the driver and the Depot and is independent of the Licensing authority.
How to apply
- Complete the application form. If there are errors or omissions the application will be rejected. Please note - all supporting documents, log book and insurance documents, must be in the name of the applicant.
- Take the application form together with the original supporting documents and the fee to the Customer Service Centre. This can be done up to 4 weeks before expiry of the current licence.
- Your application and documents will be checked and verified by a Customer Services Advisor who will also book your vehicle test. Please note, we are unable to book your test within 72 hours.
Licence fee (12 months or less):
- Private Hire £224
- Hackney Carriage £255
- Private Hire £81
- Hackney Carriage £81
Replacement Plate £41
Replacement Pass Certificate - £41
Cancellation of appointment £41
Re-scheduling of appointment £41
Change of name/licence details £41
Transfer of proprietorship of licensed vehicle £42
You will be issued with magnetic door signs free of charge for new drivers, with a maximum of two replacements per vehicle free of charge. Further replacements are £41.
Pay for your licence
You can pay for your licence at the Customer Service Centre, once your completed application has been checked and verified by a Customer Service Advisor. Please note, the fee must be paid by card or cheque, cash is not accepted.
The Council normally requires all private hire vehicles to display a prescribed roof sign, prescribed door signs and a licence plate fitted to the rear exterior of the vehicle. The Council will consider exemption requests from these requirements and the following framework sets out the Council's approach to such requests.
Contact Licensing Team