PCO Vehicle Licence
Once you’ve got your PCO licence then your next priority will be getting a job with an operator and also getting a vehicle so that you can start earning money. You have 2 choices when it comes to vehicles, you can either hire one or buy your own.
If you choose to buy your own vehicle or perhaps use one you already own then you will need to get the vehicle licensed by the Public Carriage Office before you can use it for your job and start taking passengers. Currently there is an age limit on any new vehicle being put forward for licensing. The vehicle cannot be more than 5 years old from the manufactured date. In addition to this, no vehicle can remain licensed beyond it’s 10th year from the manufacture date.
How old can my vehicle be?
The Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy has decided to put age limits on licensed taxis and private hire vehicles with a view to improving London’s air quality and environment and also providing improved safety for passengers and if your vehicle is too old then it won’t be licensed.
- With effect from 1 January 2012 private hire vehicles that are 10 years old or older will no longer be licensed.
- With effect from 1 April 2012 any new private hire vehicle that is more than 5 years old will not be licensed.
On a sidenote from 1 April 2012 any new private hire vehicle will, as a minimum, have to satisfy Euro 4 emission standards.
There are age exemptions in place and exempted vehicles can be licensed for an additional 5 years.
Where can I get it licensed?
Currently, Transport for London have outsourced the private hire inspection service to NSL Ltd and there are six inspection centres located around the London area.
- West – Heston – 20A Airlinks Industrial Estate, Spitfire Way, Heston TW5 9NR (map)
- North – Enfield – Unit 2 Watermill Centre, Edison Road, Enfield EN3 7XF (map)
- East – Crayford – Unit Q1, Acorn Industrial Park, Crayford, Kent DA1 4AL (map)
- South – Coulsdon – Unit B5 Redlands, Ulswater Crescent, Coulsdon CR5 2HT (map)
- Central East – Canning Town – 1 North Crescent, Canning Town, E16 4TL (map)
- Central West – Staples Corner – Unit 2 Aquarius, Staples Corner, Priestly Way, NW2 7AN (map)
To book an appointment to get your vehicle inspected and licensed call the NSL Call Centre on 0343 222 4444.
How much does it cost?
As of March 2013 it costs £114 for the licence process (application fee=£87 / Grant of Licence=£27) and these fees are reviewed on an annual basis. As of 2nd April 2013 these fees will be reduced to £100 (£65 application fee and £35 for the licence fee). If your vehicle fails the test, then you are given a free re-test and if your vehicle fails this then you can apply for a refund of the ‘Grant of Licence’ but the application fee is non-refundable.
What documents do I need?
If you’ve booked your vehicle in for it’s licence then please make sure you bring the following documents with you:
- The existing PHV licence (if applicable).
- V5 DVLA Vehicle Registration Certificate or the new Vehicle Automotive First Registration & Licence (AFRL) scheme certificate issued by the selling dealership.
- MoT certificate for vehicles over 12 months old at the date of inspection. The MoT must have been issued not more than 30 days from the date of the licensing inspection.
- Certificate of insurance or insurance bond for vehicles insured under a group cover.
- Valid Tax Disc.
- Confirmation of appointment/booking letter.
- Any other relevant documentation relating to the vehicle, where appropriate, such as Single Vehicle Approval (SVA), evidence of vehicle modification or adaptation etc.
What does the PCO Vehicle Licence look like?
Licensed vehicles must have the licence badges displayed in both the front and rear windows of the vehicle and if the vehicle isn’t displaying these then it is probably not licensed and is breaking the law. The badges list the licence number, the vehicle registration, and also the expiry date.