Private hire vehicle licence

Cheshire East Council is responsible for the licensing of private hire vehicles which work and operate in the Cheshire East borough. Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked via 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.

Licenced private hire vehicles must:

Guidance for a private hire vehicle licence application

How to apply

You can apply for a private hire vehicle licence by submitting your application and required documentation by email. Once submitted call our customer contact centre on 0300 123 5015 to pay the required fee and book a vehicle inspection.

Alternatively, you can post your application to the Licensing Team. Don't send official documents unless requested by an officer, copies of these documents will be accepted providing information is not missing and is clear. Once posted, call 0300 123 5015 to make payment and book your test.

Documents required to apply

The following documents are required when making application for a private hire vehicle licence. If you do not submit the required information your application will be rejected.

  • If you do not hold a current Cheshire East Joint Drivers Licence, you must obtain a basic criminal record disclosure by applying online using the Disclosure and Barring Service website. If you need further assistance  contact the Disclosure and Barring Service on 0300 020 0190.

    We can only accept the originals of your qualification and criminal record disclosure. We cannot accept copies.

  • Completed Cheshire East private hire vehicle application form (MS Word, 154KB) - you must ensure all relevant sections are fully completed
  • If your vehicle has been modified we will require a Voluntary IVA Certificate. It is your responsibility to ensure you are providing the licensing authority with the correct information. To obtain the certificate contact the DVSA on 0300 123 9000 or visit: GOV.uk for IVA application form. The Licensing Authority requires that the normal level of check is undertaken.
  • 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 Full V5 Document or the new keeper supplement together with a document as proof of sale of the vehicle and change of proprietorship. If you are not able to provide this information your application will be rejected. On a case by case basis we may consider other information such as:
    • a legal agreement between the parties or a statutory declaration changing the proprietorship
    • bank statements confirming payment between the parties for the sale amount

Vehicle fees

  • Private hire vehicle application - £320.00 annual fee, this includes the fee for one vehicle test
  • Private Hire vehicle test - £85.00
  • Private Hire vehicle retest - £45.00

Application evaluation process - vehicle testing

Wherever 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.

At current, rules have been implemented at our testing stations for your safety and the safety of our testers. These new rules can be found below:

If you are required to change the date of your vehicle test or need to cancel the test call 0300 123 5015. You must give more then 24 hours notice otherwise you may be charged again.

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. 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 an exemption from displaying licence plates on your private hire vehicle you must apply the same way as a normal private hire vehicle but tick where applicable on the application form 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. See our Exempt plating policies (PDF 56KB) for further details.

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 tell us using the Vehicle Licence Transfer Form (MS Word, 68KB), within 14 days.

The new vehicle owner must provide the following:

  • a completed private hire vehicle application form
  • Vehicle Licence Transfer Form (MS Word, 68KB) signed by the previous owner
  • a valid certificate of insurance
  • the V5 document or a document as proof of sale of the vehicle and change of proprietorship
  • the fee of £40.00 paid on 0300 123 5015

These documents can be submitted by email or by post. Don't send original documentation unless requested by an officer. If you are not able to provide this information your application will be rejected. On a case by case basis we may consider other information such as:

  • a legal agreement between the parties or a statutory declaration changing the proprietorship
  • bank statements confirming payment between the parties for the sale amount

If the Council is of the opinion that the person to whom the licence has been transferred is not a suitable person to hold the licence, it may suspend, revoke or review the licence, provided there is reasonable cause to do so.

The Council considers that the proprietor of the vehicle is the owner, registered keeper or a person who has possession of the vehicle as part of a hire agreement or hire purchase agreement.

Change of vehicle registration

If the registration number of your vehicle has changed you will need to complete a Change of licenced vehicle registration form (PDF, 285KB) and submit it with the valid corresponding documentation along side a fee of:

  • Private Hire Vehicle £45.00
  • Private Hire Exempt Vehicle £25.00

These documents can be submitted by email or by post. Don't send original documentation unless requested by an officer.

Vehicle licence plate surrender

If you wish to surrender a vehicle licence, you must complete the Surrender form (MS Word, 65KB) and return it with your paper licence, plates and stickers.

The surrender of a licence is free of charge.

Vehicle Inspections

Licensing Authority Officers do inspect vehicles and will take into consideration the DVSA’s Categorisation of vehicle defects when deciding what action is appropriate. Officers have a range of options, including; issuing a verbal or written warning, issuing a deferred notice, or suspending the licence. 

Contact us

licensing@cheshireeast.gov.uk

0300 123 5015

Cheshire East Council
Licensing
Municipal Buildings
Earle Street

Crewe
Cheshire
CW1 2BJ

Call in to our Customer Service Centres

Page last reviewed: 15 November 2022