Licencing Fee Review

The Council is responsible for the compliance and administration of a wide range of licensing functions. It is legally permitted to recover the cost of providing this service, from the licence fees charged. Following a review the Licensing & Environmental Regulation Committee approved the new fees set by the Council for functions carried out by the Licensing Team. This includes fees for licences issued to private hire, hackney carriage, sex shops and street trading consents, but excludes any fees set by Government.

For further information on this review please see the report of the Licensing & Environmental Regulation Committee – 'Licence Fee Review' and the Executive Cabinet Member Environmental Services report – 'Amendments to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy following the Deregulation Act 2015'.

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 requires a person that accepts bookings from a member of the public (for a journey completed by a private hire vehicle and driver) to be licensed by the Local Authority.

Who needs to register as a private hire operator?
How do I register a private hire operator or renew my current licence?
How long does my licence last for?
What else will I need to do?
I want to compliment, complain or comment on a private hire operator.

Who needs to register as a private hire operator?

Unlike a hackney carriage vehicle (London style cab/taxi), private hire vehicles and drivers can only transport members of the public who have booked their journey in advance. This booking must be with a licensed private hire operator. 

Usually a private hire operator will operate from an office space, accepting telephone bookings and walk in customers. Airport services, chauffeuring services, executive hire, and prestige hire (including stretch limousines) all require private hire operator licences under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. The only vehicles currently exempt are those used in direct conjunction with a wedding or funeral.

There are no limits placed on the number of private hire operators licences issued by Bolton Council. 

How do I register a private hire operator or renew my current licence?

If you are applying for the first time or renewing a private hire operator licence, you will need to make an appointment to see the Licensing Team at the One Stop Shop, Bolton Town Hall. At your appointment you will need to:

  • Pay the appropriate fee - the fee is detailed in the document Licensing Fees and Charges.
  • Provide written planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness, which can be obtained from the Planning Reception, One Stop Shop, Town Hall, Bolton BL1 1RU. Telephone: (01204) 336000. Fax: (01204) 336399. Email: (this is only required upon application and if additional premises are added to a licence)
  • Private Limited Companies must provide the following: 
    • Complete on a company letterhead a list of directors and the Company Secretary with their signatures which must include their contact details and address(es).
    • Certificate of Incorporation.
    • The date on which the return is made up.
    • The principal business activities of the company.
    • The type of company eg private or public.
    • The registered office address of the company.
    • The address where the records relating to the 'taxi' business conducted by the company are held (if not at the registered office).

Please note checks will be made with Companies House.

The Licensing Team will not process an application unless the necessary fee is paid in advance. Please send a cheque (made payable to Bolton Council) or postal order for the payment to the Licensing Team - the postal address and telephone number to pay by credit/debit card can be found on the Contacts tab. Credit cards are subject to a 1.463% surcharge, this reflects the banks charges to the Council for accepting credit card payments. 

How long does my licence last for?

A private hire operator licence usually lasts for five years from the date of issue and is not transferable.

What else will I need to do?

Once a private hire operator licence is issued, all operators are required to abide by the 'private hire operator conditions' attached to the licence, for example (extracts and numbering from the 'private hire operator conditions'):

15. The Licensee shall ensure that each private hire vehicle which is operated under the terms of this licence:

  • is kept clean on both the interior and the exterior
  • carries all the notices and identification required by the private hire vehicle licence
  • is insured for the purposes of hire or reward
  • is licensed as a vehicle by Bolton Council
  • is maintained in such mechanical and structural condition as will ensure continued compliance with the conditions relating to a vehicle Licence
  • the operator shall not operate any vehicle for private hire work which is not subject to a Vehicle Licence granted by Bolton Council

23. The Licensee shall ensure that a prompt, efficient and reliable service is provided to members of the public at all reasonable times and in accordance with levels of service advertised and in particular:

a. ensure that when a vehicle has been hired, the vehicle is in attendance at the appointed time and place, unless delayed or prevented by sufficient cause.
b. the vehicle despatched to a hiring shall be licensed for use as a vehicle by Bolton Council
c. the vehicle shall be driven by a person who is the holder of a current, valid driver licence issued by Bolton Council.

24. Acceptance of Hiring

a. the Licensee shall ensure that adequate staff and telephones are available to provide an efficient service.
b. no hiring shall be accepted other than by staff based at the premises from which the Licensee is permitted to operate his business by this Licence, and who are employed for that purpose.
c. the use of ‘call forwarding’ facilities or any other variation from 24(b) shall not be permitted except with the written permission of the Council

25. When a hiring is accepted the Licensee shall immediately cause to be made (before commencement of the journey), a permanent record of the details of the hiring. Such record shall contain all the details prescribed below in full and, where the record is written it must be made in ink:

i. the day and date
ii. the full name of the person or organisation making the booking
iii. the name of the person travelling and the number of passengers
iv. how the booking was received
v. time of pick-up
vi. point of pick-up
vii. destination
viii. information to indicate vehicle used and driver
ix. remarks including details of any sub-contract
x. the person taking the booking
xi. if a fare is agreed for the journey, the amount

The records detailed above shall be kept for a period of not less than six months from the date to which the latest record relates.

26. The Licensee shall inform the Council, in writing, of the normal scale of fares which will be charged by all vehicles operated under the authority of this Licence.
The method of calculation of fares shall be from point of picking up to point of dropping off.
‘Round Trip’ or ’Office to Office’ methods of calculating fares shall not be permitted.

A full copy of the 'private hire operator conditions' can be found on the downloads tab at the top of this page.

Please also see the Guidance to prevent illegal taxi and private hire working (626KB).

I want to compliment, complain or comment on a private hire operator licence.

If you wish to compliment, complain or comment on a private hire operator contact the Licensing Team.

Licensing Team

Ground Floor

Town Hall

Victoria Square



Telephone 01204 336584
Fax 01204 336201
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