Vehicle Requirements for Taxis

East Herts has imposed a number of conditions in relation to the type of vehicle that it will allow to be licensed as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle.

Vehicle requirements

For a vehicle to be licensed it must:

  • be capable of carrying at least four and no more than eight passengers;
  • have a minimum engine size of 1600cc or produce a minimum of 89bhp;
  • have a minimum of four opening doors, two on each side of the vehicle with the exception of London style taxis;
  • have a minimum passenger seat width of 16" (41cms) per passenger;
  • be finished in a manufacturer's standard colour;
  • comply with the Vehicle Age and Emissions Policy
  • be maintained to a high mechanical standard;
  • be maintained to a high visual standard of appearance both internally and externally.

Vehicles that fall outside of the policy will still be considered but please contact the Licensing Team to discuss the matter before purchasing a vehicle.

Full details of the vehicle requirements can be found in the Drivers Handbook.

Vehicle Age & Emissions Policy

This new Vehicle Age & Emissions Policy [134KB] which applies to both new and renewing vehicle licences has been produced to take into account changes in vehicles over recent years. The main consideration when licensing vehicles is the safety of the vehicle, however, it is recognised that high importance is placed on tackling poor air quality, particularly within the district's three Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in Bishop's Stortford, Hertford and Sawbridgeworth.

Following public consultation the policy was approved by Council on 5th March 2019 and came into effect on the 1st April 2019.

For a vehicle to be licensed for the first time or to remain licensed (a renewal) it must meet both the age and emission part of the policy which are:

From the 1st April 2019:

  • New vehicles will not be licensed if they are more than 5 years old or do not meet or exceed Euro 5 emissions standards

  • Renewing vehicles will not be licensed if they are more than 10 years old at the time of application

From the 1st April 2020:

  • New vehicles will not be licensed if they are more than 5 years old or do not meet or exceed Euro 6 emissions standards

  • Renewing vehicles will not be licensed if they are more than 10 years old at the time of application or do not meet or exceed Euro 5 emissions standards

From 1st April 2023:

  • New vehicles will not be licensed if they are more than 5 years old or do not meet or exceed Euro 6 emissions standards

  • Renewing vehicles will not be licensed if they are more than 10 years old at the time of application or do not meet or exceed Euro 6 emissions standards

Table showing emission standards changes

Emissions Standard

Applied to new registrations from

Euro 5

1st January 2011

Euro 6

1st September 2015

The table is a guide and you can check the emissions of your vehicle using an online checker such as euro standards but it is recommended you contact the vehicle manufacturer to check your car's standard is if you are unsure.

When will the different criteria be applied?

If the licence of a currently licensed Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle is allowed to EXPIRE by its proprietor then any subsequent application will NOT be considered as a renewal. This means that where an existing vehicle licences expires, a subsequent application for a licence for that vehicle will be treated as a first time application and the standards and criteria relating to first time applications will be applied.

For the avoidance of doubt when a new vehicle has an existing plate transferred onto it the vehicle will be considered under the criteria for a vehicle being licensed for the first time.

This brief summary is not a substitute for reading the policy in detail which can be downloaded from this page. Applications to licence vehicles which fall outside of the policy will be consider on their own merits.

Electric Vehicles (EV's)

East Herts active encourages the licensing of fully Electric Vehicles (EV's) and is involved in a number of projects to improve the charging infrastructure for electric taxis and allow drivers to trial Electric Vehicles (Herts 2025 project). As a result when a EV is licensed for the first time between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2020 the vehicle licence will be FREE.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV's)

East Herts actively encourages the licensing of fully Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV's). As a result when a WAV is licensed for the first time the vehicle licence will be issued for free, a 50% discount will be applied at renewal for as long as the vehicle is licensed.

Documents required to licence a vehicle

When applying to licence a vehicle certain documents will need to be presented:

  • V5 registration document
  • Valid insurance showing the correct cover
  • MOT certificate
  • Vehicle Condition Certificate (VCC Pass)
  • Meter Calibration Certificate (Hackney Carriage vehicle only)
  • The Road Tax and MOT validity will be checked by Council officers through the national online register

Limit on Hackney Carriage Vehicle Numbers

East Herts Council has consulted regarding limiting the number of Hackney Carriage vehicle licences it issues and is likely to impose a cap of 200 which is below the number of licences currently issued. If you wish to apply for a new Hackney Carriage Vehicle licence then please contact the licensing team in the first instance

Garages authorised as agents for the Council to issue Vehicle Condition Certificates

With effect from 1st January 2018 the Vehicle condition inspection will include not only the mechanical standards but visual and cosmetic appearance and meter operation in one combined test.

If the vehicle is over 5 years old and being licensed for the first time the Licensing Team will need to see it first before it goes to an approved garage for a VCC inspection.

If licensed vehicles presented for test fail a VCC inspection, the garages are authorised (as agents for the Council) to remove the licensed plate and associated equipment at the conclusion of the inspection. Retests must be carried out by the same garage that originally failed the vehicle although the required works can be carried out elsewhere.

DJ Garage Services Ltd
5 Jest & Ruskin Industrial Estate, Amwell Lane, Stanstead Abbotts, Stanstead St Margarets SG12 8EB
Tel: (01920) 465431/2

Garretts Garage Services
42 Golds Business Park, Elsenham, Nr Bishop's Stortford, CM22 6JX
Tel: (01279) 647777

Hertford Auto Centre
3 Merchant Drive, Hertford, SG13 7BH
Tel: (01992) 535756

Bloomfield Motor Services
Rear of Swift House, River Way, Harlow Essex, CM20 2DW
Tel: (01279) 420224

Orchard Works Garage
Unit 3 Clarklands Ind Est, Parsonage Lane, Sawbridgeworth CM21 0NG
Tel: (01279) 723371

Caxton Hill Motors
Unit 24 Hertford Ind Estate, Caxton Hill, Hertford, SG13 7NF
Tel: (01992) 536809

DM Tyre & MOT Ltd
Unit 18 Dicker Mill
Hertford SG13 7AE
Tel: (01992) 538366

Bridge Works MOT Centre
Hall Green , Little Hallingbury , Bishops Stortford, CM22 7RP
Tel: (01279) 730888

Highline Autos
4 Merchant Drive, Hertford, Herts, SG13 7BH
Tel 01992 535513

Mimram Service Centre
1 Mimram Road, Hertford, SG14 1NN
Tel: (01992) 509820

Signs and advertising

The two forward door panels may be used to advertise the taxi company details and the rear door panels can be used for other advertising subject to approval from the Licensing Team. Sun strips, 'All over' advertising on London style taxis and signs on the rear screens of vehicles will not be approved.

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