Taxi and Private Hire Information

Information about Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Licences

Taxis or hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are licensed to ensure that they are suitable and safe for the carriage of the public.

The legislation covering the two is quite different.  In brief, a taxi can stand on a rank, be flagged down in the street, or can be booked through one of the many licensed operators.  A private hire vehicle can accept pre-booked calls only, cannot rank and cannot be flagged down.  If a private hire driver does either of the latter two, you may find that not only do they commit an offence, but their insurance may be also be invalid.

Applicants must undergo a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check before they apply for a licence to drive either a private hire or hackney carriage vehicle.  Applicants have to complete the DBS application form in person and this form can only be obtained from Public Protection Services, Town Hall, Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness.

Licensed vehicles must be of a certain standard.  All vehicles must be tested prior to licensing and once licensed be tested at least twice a year at one of the Council's approved testing stations.  They must be clean, comfortable and carry safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher and first aid kit.

The proprietor of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle is required to report an accident to the licensing authority within 72 hours. Accidents must still be reported whether the vehicle was carrying passengers at the time or not.  Accident Report Forms are available here: Word Version.  or   PDF Version.   

To apply for a taxi or private hire licence click here for application forms 

Link to Hackney Carriage Tariff (Fares)


Fitness of Applicants for Drivers Licenses

The Council has a duty to ensure that those licensed to drive hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are suitable persons to do so, and will wish to satisfy itself that applicants and licensed drivers are safe drivers with good driving records and adequate experience, sober, courteous, mentally and physically fit, honest and not persons who would take advantage of their employment to abuse or assault passengers.  Download the Fitness of Applicants for Drivers Licences Policy 

Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy - Consultation

The Council recognises both the needs of residents and the public at large to have access to safe, convenient and effective taxi services and the importance of this provision to the taxi trade and local economy. This document sets out the policy that the Council will apply when making decisions about new applications and licences currently in force. The policy sets out the normal requirements and standards that must be met. In exercising its discretion in carrying out its regulatory function, the Council will have regard to this policy document. Public Consultation on this draft policy closed on 19th January 2020.  

We have updated the draft policy following the consultation and taking onboard comments from the Taxi and Private Hire trades and have also included amendments brought about by the publication of the Department of Transports Statutory Guidance

View a copy of the draft policy here (Amendments are highlighted in red within the document) It is planned that Members of the Licensing Regulatory Committee will consider this draft policy in October 2021. 

Data Protection and Information Sharing for further information please click here.

EU Services Directive  

Barrow Borough Council is part of a Europe-wide scheme which aims to break down barriers to cross border trade in services between countries in the EU.

The EU Services Directive has been brought in to make it easier for service providers, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, to offer their services to customers in all EU countries, whether establishing elsewhere in the EU or providing services remotely from the UK