Renfrewshire Council

Private hire car licence

How to apply, what documents you need, how much the licence costs, criteria, how long an application takes, who is consulted, objections and representations, conditions of the licence, how long the licence lasts for.

You must have a licence if you want to use a vehicle as a private hire car in Renfrewshire.

A private hire car can only be pre-booked.

How to apply for a licence

We now accept private hire car licence applications online, including the use of electronic signatures.

You can apply, upload and sign for your supporting documents and pay for the licence online.

Apply for a private hire car licence

You can see the Council's policy on electronic licensing applications in Appendix 1 of the report to  the Regulatory Functions Board meeting on 15 September 2022.

See the guidance notes and conditions of licence [295KB]  

What documents you need to provide

You need to provide these documents with your application:

  • a bill of sale (if an application to change your vehicle has been made within the last six weeks, or if the application is for a new grant) or vehicle registration document. Either of these must be in the licenceholder's name. If there is a leasing agreement in place, the lessee's name should appear
  • a vehicle inspection pass certificate issued by the Council's inspection centre at Underwood Road, Paisley
  • an MOT certificate (if the vehicle is over three-years-old);  Guidance on private hire vehicle inspections can be found under related documents.
  • a comprehensive insurance certificate and schedule showing private hire use (for renewal applications only). This must be in the name of the licenceholder, or if a leasing agreement is in place, the lessee
  • a leasing agreement (if applicable)
  • evidence of entitlement to work in the UK
  • a check on previous convictions for applicants seeking a new licence, who were born or have been resident outside the UK for six months or more.

How much it costs

See the civic application fees for licences page for the cost of the licence.

Please note you will have to pay a fee for any new plate needed for your vehicle.

Criteria for the licence

Renfrewshire Council has various policies for vehicles. The Civic Enforcement Officer can provide more details.

The main polices affecting you when making an application are:

  • Types of vehicle to be used as private hire care are - four-door saloon, five-door hatchback or estate vehicle with a minimum width across the back seat of 48 inches. Alternatively, a multi-persons vehicle (MPV) of a type approved by the licensing authority;
  • any colour other than white;
  • vehicles must be less than seven-years-old from the date of registration unless the vehicle is an MPV and wheelchair accessible. In that case vehicles should be less than eight-years-old from the date of first registration. Vehicles should be taken out of service and replaces when they become seven-years or eight-years-old from the date of registration respectively; and
  • vehicles are subject to six-monthly inspections from the time they are five-years-old from the date of first registration.

How long an application takes

All applications made under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 must be considered within three months. A decision must be made within nine months.

Who is consulted about your 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.

If there is an objection or representation to your application

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

Conditions of the licence

A copy of the conditions will be sent to you once your taxi licence has been granted.

You are required to have a full understanding of these conditions. These conditions form part of your licence and must be kept.

How long the licence lasts for

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