Private hire vehicle licence

A private hire vehicle must be pre-booked with a licensed private hire operator and cannot stand on a rank or ply for hire. Fares are not regulated and should be agreed at the time of booking.

Vehicles must also:

  • display yellow plates on the front and rear of the vehicle giving details of the operator and licence number.
  • be driven by a Cheshire East licensed driver at all times, whether or not the vehicle is working.


Please note that a vehicle licence is issued to the vehicle and cannot be transferred from one vehicle to another. 

  • Cheshire East Private Hire Vehicle Application Form (PDF, 286KB)
  • Cheshire East Private Hire Vehicle Conditions (PDF, 85KB)
  • The current insurance certificate/cover note in the name of the applicant showing private hire use. If your insurance certificate refers to a schedule of vehicles insured under the policy you must supply this with your application.
  • Renewals only – If your annual insurance policy is due to expire after you have submitted your application and prior to your MOT date, you must supply your new insurance certificate before we can issue a licence.
  • The vehicle registration document/V5, or fully completed V5C/2
  • First grants only - If your vehicle has been modified or adapted to be a wheelchair accessible vehicle you must provide with your application a copy of the VCA M1 approval certificate, Voluntary IVA Certificate or Certificate of Conformity.

As of the 8 January 2018 you must submit your completed application and required documentation in person by appointment at one of our Customer Service Centres. Cheques must be made payable to ‘Cheshire East Council’ To make an appointment please call Cheshire East Customer Services on 0300 123 5015.

Vehicle fees

  • Private Hire Vehicle - £305.00 annual fee
  • Transfer of licensed vehicle from one person to another - One off fee of £40.00

Vehicle testing fees

  • Private Hire vehicle - £78.00
  • Private Hire vehicle retest - As of the 2 July 2018 there will be a fee of £37.00 for MOT retests

Operator Fees

  • Private Hire Operators Licence - £350 (5 years)

New Check and Send Service

A new Check and Send Service will be available for Joint Driver and Vehicle applications from the 18 September 2017. The purpose of this service is:

  • to check all sections of an application are filled out
  • to make sure that all supporting documents (including photos) are submitted with the correct applications
  • to check the correct fee has been paid
  • to provide information on the application processes

Each applicant who does not accept the service needs to be aware this could cause a delay in processing their application if the correct information is not submitted.

Using the check and send service may be faster than submitting an application yourself however using the Check and Send service does not guarantee you will be granted a licence. 

The fee for this service is £10.00 and is available at the Customer Service Centres.

Application evaluation process - vehicle testing

Where ever you decide to make your application then you must have your vehicle tested at either Macclesfield or Middlewich, the test includes MOT  exemption.

  • Environmental Hub (ANSA), Cledford Lane, Middlewich, CW10 0JR or
  • Macclesfield MOT Testing Station, Unit 6, Pool Street, Macclesfield, SK11 7NX

The testing centre will test your vehicle against a set of Private Hire Vehicle Test Guidelines (PDF, 134KB) as set out by the licensing team.

MOT  exemption

If you have a current private hire or hackney carriage vehicle licence from Cheshire East Borough Council, your vehicle may be exempt from an MOT .  This will apply to all vehicles licensed and tested by either the  Macclesfield MOT Testing Station  or those tested at Pochin's Yard, Middlewich. To enable you to tax your vehicle at the Post Office without the MOT certificate you need to complete a V112 Declaration of exemption MOT testing form. Please note that you cannot tax your vehicle online.

You must carry your vehicle licence with you in the vehicle that it relates to as proof of MOT .

Vehicles that need to be licensed but don't need to display plates

To apply for exemption on your private hire vehicle you must use the same private hire vehicle application form but tick where applicable to say that you are applying for exemption, you will be required to produce a business case which must be submitted along with the application form.

Vehicles exempt from licensing

Vehicles used solely for weddings and funerals remain exempt from licensing. Any vehicle proprietor or operator who is in any doubt about whether vehicles need to be licensed should discuss this with the licensing service and, if necessary, seek independent legal advice.

Vehicle licence plate transfer

If you have transferred a vehicle to a new proprietor please notify us using the Vehicle Licence Transfer Form (MS Word, 68KB), The new vehicle owner must complete a private hire vehicle application form, a valid certificate of insurance and the V5 document or a document as proof of sale of the vehicle and the fee of £40.00.

Vehicle licence plate surrender

If you wish to surrender a vehicle licence, you must complete the Surrender Form (MS Word, 68KB) and return it with your paper licence, plates and stickers.

The surrender of vehicle licence plates is free of charge.

Contact us

0300 123 5015

Cheshire East Council
Municipal Buildings
Earle Street


Call in to our Customer Service Centres

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