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Apply for or renew a taxi or private hire vehicle licence

How to apply for or renew a vehicle licence for your taxi or private hire vehicle, what it costs and the documents you need.

This licence only covers your vehicle - you also need a taxi driver licence (see Apply for or renew a taxi or private hire driver licence). 

From 4 April 2022, you must complete a tax check to renew a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence, or to apply for the same type of licence with a different licensing authority

Go to Complete a tax check for a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence to find out more information and to complete your tax check.

What you need to know before you apply

Documents you must provide

When you apply for your taxi vehicle licence you must be able provide the documents listed below.

DocumentHackney carriagePrivate hire 
Vehicle log book (V5C), or a bill of sale or proof of purchase if you don't have your VC5 yetYesYes
Valid insurance certificateYesYes
Meter calibration certificate (completed and signed by approved meter company)YesNo
Icon for pdf Vehicle licence operator consent form (PDF, 220.9kb) signed by the car owner, and the private hire operator, under whose licence the car will operateNoYes
Fleet insurance certificate and schedule (if the vehicle is insured under a fleet insurance policy)YesYes


Your vehicle must display fares on a meter fitted inside the vehicle.

Passenger seats

Your vehicle must not have more than 8 passenger seats. 

Taxis (hackney carriage vehicles)

  • Only white vehicles are licensed as hackney carriage vehicles. Vehicles licensed before 1 April 2011 are exempt, however, if you replace it, you must replace it with a white vehicle.

Private hire vehicles

  • Private hire vehicles must be any colour other than white (or a colour which could be mistaken for white, for example cream or ivory).
  • Private hire vehicles licensed by us must display a valid council licence plate on the rear of the vehicle and roundels on the front doors. 
  • The words "taxi", "cab", "for hire" or anything that may suggest that the vehicle is a hackney carriage must not be displayed on any part of a private hire vehicle.

Read our policy

Our Hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy explains how we manage taxi and private hire licences in detail. Please read this - it lists everything you need to know. If you have any questions, contact us.

Apply for a new vehicle licence

How to send us your documents

You can provide the documents: 

By email:

By post to:
Durham County Council
PO Box 617

In person (Monday to Thursday, 8.30am - 5.00pm, Friday, 8.30am - 4.30pm):
Annand House
John Street North

If we are not be available when you visit, you must leave your evidence in our licensing post box provided.

Cost of a licence

A taxi or private hire vehicle licence costs £230.00 per year, plus £56.85 per vehicle test. The total amount you pay depends on the age of your vehicle. If your vehicle is:

  • under 10 years old, you need 2 vehicle tests. This is a total cost of £343.70.
  • over 10 years old, you need 3 vehicle tests. This is a total cost of £400.55.

This licence only covers your vehicle - you also need a taxi driver licence (see Apply for or renew a taxi or private hire driver licence). 

How long a licence lasts

A licence lasts 12 months.

Differences between taxis (hackney carriage) and private hire 

Whether you have a taxi (hackney carriage) or a private hire vehicle dictates the vehicle you drive and how you are able to pick up passengers - see How to travel safely in taxis which lists the differences. 

How we use your information

The Icon for pdf Privacy notice - licensing - taxis (PDF, 64.8kb)  explains how we use your personal information to administer taxi and private hire licensing in County Durham. It includes how long we keep the information for and when we might share it with a third party such as Inland Revenue, Police, Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenues and Customs.    

Contact us
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ