Private hire and taxi vehicle licence

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. 

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

On receipt of the application you will be contacted by the Licensing team and advised of the first available testing slot for your vehicle. You will not be able to book this test via the Customer Service Centre on Horne Lane.

As previously advised all correspondence will be conducted via email.

Apply for a private hire/hackney carriage licence 

Apply for a new/renewal private hire/hackney carriage licence

If you wish to install a temporary protective screen in your private hire/hackney carriage vehicle, please read and complete the following declaration: Protective screens declaration (PDF).

If you currently undertake a client transport service, please contact the team at client.transport@bedford.gov.uk for additional guidance.

Please also read the information regarding temporary exemption from MOT and advice on keeping a vehicle in good condition.

Further information 

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

Email: Licensing@bedford.gov.uk