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Taxi Policy - Appendix G - Private hire vehicle specification


  • Licensed vehicles must be of manufacturers' specification and shall comply in all respects with the Motor Vehicle (Type Approval) Regulations 1980, Motor Vehicle (Type Approval) Regulations 1984 and the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. In addition, all vehicles must comply in all respects with the British and European vehicle regulations and be a type to the requirements to the M1 category of European Whole Type Approval 70/156/EEC as amended.
  • Vehicles converted from vans which have a type approval other than M1 will not be acceptable unless they are presented with approval M1 certification for the resultant vehicle. If the vehicle has been registered with the DVLA and issued with the appropriate registration index number, no change, structural alteration, or rearrangement of detail shall be carried out unless the vehicle has received subsequent M1 Whole Type Approval.
  • If the vehicle has a UK Single Vehicle Approval Certificate, the Authority will expect that the vehicle will have been modified in accordance with a programme approved by the original vehicle manufacturer and have appropriate documentary proof.
  • Vehicles cannot be retrofitted with engines of a poorer emission standard than that of the vehicle manufacturer.
  • No new vehicle licence will be granted to any vehicle which has been subject to any category of vehicle write off.
  • A private hire vehicle shall not be coloured black or any dark colour which could be confused with black unless it is a standard saloon, hatchback, or estate motor vehicle and capable of carrying no more than 4 passengers when manufactured.
  • Vehicles which could lead the public to believe that such a vehicle is a Preston licensed hackney carriage, shall not be licensed as a private hire vehicle.
  • No vehicle currently licensed as private hire vehicle with another Authority will be licensed by Preston City Council.
  • The vehicle must be capable of passing the private hire vehicle compliance test.
  • No roof signs are permitted.
  • The vehicle shall be right hand drive.


Vehicles shall have a passenger seating capacity of not less than 4 persons and not more than 8 persons.

Each seat shall be fitted with fully operational seat belts, compliant with British Standards, except where the law specifically provides an exemption.

Each seat shall not be less than 406mm in width.

Where bench seats are provided, then the seat shall provide a minimum of 406mm seating space for each passenger i.e., a rear bench seat shall not be less than 1218 mm to accommodate 3 passengers.

Each row of seats made available shall have door access immediately adjacent to it unless access to rows of seats is by way of permanent passageway from such a door.

If a seat is to be removed to comply with this requirement, it shall be removed from the nearside of the vehicle, from the row of seats, which are situated behind the front passenger seat.


The minimum light transmission for glass in front of, and to the side of, the driver is 70%. No restrictions to rear passenger side windows or rear windscreen.

Opening windows should be provided in the rear of the vehicle and must be capable of being opened by passengers. Where this is not possible the vehicle should have an adequate air conditioning system which can be operated by passengers seated in the rear of the vehicle.


The vehicle shall have a minimum of 4 opening doors. All doors must be fitted with reflectors/reflective strips or lights which are clearly visible from the rear of the vehicle when the door is open.

All doors should be capable of being opened from the inside and outside and the interior door handle must be clearly visible and accessible to passengers.


The upholstery, carpets, seats, trims, and other interior fittings should be free from damage (including stains and burns) and significant wear.

The vehicle will have space for a reasonable amount of luggage associated with the maximum passenger numbers.

All vehicles should have adequate leg and foot room, shoulder width, and head height to accommodate a passenger of 6 ft. height and average build.

Vehicle Body

All bodywork to be free from dents and damage.

Panels must be attached and aligned to the chassis/body shell correctly with all joints and welds as per the manufacturer's specifications. The panels must be free from distortion and dents.

No vehicles are permitted to be fitted with 'bull bars', or any similar factory fitted or aftermarket additions that may pose additional danger to pedestrians in the event of a collision.

The vehicle shall have a solid roof (sunroofs are permitted).

Wheels, Tyres and Steering

The vehicle must be right-hand drive.

Wheels should be correctly aligned, joints, and bearings free from abnormal wear. All mounting points should be in a sound condition with no undue wear in any associated bushes.

The vehicle must have a minimum of four road wheels.

Vehicles must either carry the manufacturer's system of tyre repairs or spare wheel as compliant with the Construction and Use regulations 1986, as amended.

Tyre fitments should comply, in all respects, with the requirements of any Act or Regulation pertaining to Motor Vehicle Regulations on tyre safety in force.

The depth of tyre tread must not be less than 1.66mm.

Wheelchair Carrying Facilities

Any vehicle that has the facility for the carriage of wheelchair and wheelchair passengers shall be fitted with: 

Approved anchorages that shall be either chassis or floor linked and capable of withstanding approved dynamic or static tests. Restraints for wheelchair and passengers shall be independent of each other. Anchorages shall also be provided for the safe storage of a wheelchair, whether folded or otherwise, if carried within the passenger compartment. All anchorages and restraints shall be so designed that they do not cause any danger to other passengers.

A ramp or ramps for the loading of a wheelchair and passenger shall be always available for use at the nearside rear passenger door. An adequate locking device shall be fitted to ensure that the ramp(s) do not slip or tilt when in use. Provision shall be made for the ramps to be stored safely in the vehicle when not in use.

The vehicle shall be equipped with a manufacturer's user manual/guide on the safe loading and unloading and security of wheelchair passengers.

Any lifting equipment used to lift persons or loads fitted to a vehicle must have received a thorough examination by a competent person.

Any lifting equipment which lifts persons must be thoroughly examined every 6 months after its initial installation or refit following a road traffic accident or incident and as directed by the competent person. The thorough examination is not maintenance covered by the MOT or compliance certificate but a separate inspection of the working parts of the lifting equipment and includes attachments which lift or support weight including chains or slings.

Examiners of lifting equipment will provide a report to the licence holder who must act on the reports' findings. Any potentially serious faults must be rectified immediately.

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