Renfrewshire Council

Private hire car licence

If you want to use a vehicle as a private hire car in the Renfrewshire area, you must have a licence. 

A private hire car can only be pre-booked

How do I apply for a licence?

An application pack with an application form, guidance notes and conditions of licence can be downloaded from the related content area of the website.

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Applications should be made in person at the Customer Service Centre and are by appointment only. Please call our Customer Service Centre to make an appointment.

You must answer every question on the form. If a question is irrelevant, mark it as 'not applicable'.

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What documents do I need to apply for a licence?

The application must be accompanied by:

  • a bill of sale (if an application to change your vehicle has been made within the last 6 weeks or the application is for a new grant) or a vehicle registration document. Either of these documents must be in the name of the licenceholder or, if there is a leasing agreement in place, the lessee's name
  • a vehicle inspection pass certificate issued by the council's inspection centre at Underwood Road, Paisley
  • (click this link for guidance on taxi and private hire vehicle inspection)
  • an MOT certificate (if the vehicle is over 3 years old)
  • a comprehensive insurance certificate and schedule showing private hire use (for renewal applications only) and must be in the name of the licenceholder or if there is a leasing agreement in place, the lessee's name, and
  • a leasing agreement, if applicable.
  • evidence on entitlement to work in the UK
  • check on previous convictions for applicants seeking a new licence, and who were born or have been resident outside the UK for six months or more
    Details of information to be submitted is included in the guidance notes.

How much is the licence fee?

Information on fees for all licences can be found in the related content area of the website under civic application fees.

Please note that a fee(s) will also be payable for any new plate(s) required for your vehicle, as set out on the above civic application fees page.

What criteria have to be met to apply for a licence?

Renfrewshire Council operate various policies in respect of vehicles. Information can be obtained from the Civic Enforcement Officer. However, the main policies that would affect you when making your application are:-

  • Types of vehicle to be used as a private hire car are a four door saloon, five door hatchback or estate vehicle with a minimum width across the back seat of 48 inches or alternatively a multi person vehicle (MPV) of a type approved by the licensing authority.
  • Any colour other than white.
  • Vehicles must be less than 7 years old from the date of first registration unless the vehicle is a multipersons vehicle (MPV) and wheelchair accessible where that vehicle shall be less than 8 years old from the date of first registration.  Vehicles shall be taken out of service and replaced when they become 7 years/8years old from the date of first registration respectively.
  • Vehicles shall be subject to 6 monthly inspections as from the time they are 5 years old from the date of first registration.


How long will my application take?

All applications made under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 must be considered within 3 months and a decision made within 9 months.

Who is consulted about my application?

A copy of your application will be sent to Police Scotland. They will carry out their own investigations and report back to the licensing section.

What happens if there is an objection or representation to my application?

If an objection or representation is received the application must be considered at a meeting of the Regulatory Functions Board. You will be formally cited to attend the meeting and a copy of the letter will be sent out to you with the citation letter.

What conditions are attached to my licence?

A copy of the conditions of licence for private hire car licence will be issued to you if your licence is granted. The council requires all licenceholders to have a thorough understanding of these conditions and they should be kept as they form part of your licence.

How long does the licence last for?

Applications for the grant of a licence are generally granted for a period of one year. Applications to renew an existing licence are normally granted for a two year period.


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