Any person accepting or offering to accept bookings for private hire vehicles must hold a private hire operator's licence issued by the local authority.
The vehicles used and drivers employed by the operator must also be licensed by the same authority. The operator's licence is necessary whether the operator owns the vehicles for which bookings are taken or not.
It is illegal to accept a booking for any vehicle without first being the holder of an operator's licence.
An operator must keep records of all bookings made which must include:
- the name of the customer
- the time of the booking
- the pick up point
- the destination
- the details of the vehicle allocated the fare
An authorised officer has the right to visit an operator at any time to examine these records and it is an offence not to allow reasonable access to the information.
The cost of an operator's licence is dependent upon the number of vehicles for which bookings are taken.