Taxis and private hire Private hire operator

See which licence you need

To operate private hire vehicles in Manchester, you need a private hire operator's licence. You will also need to read guidance about our immigration requirements

There are 2 different types:

  • Standard private hire operator - A private hire vehicle can be any colour and can carry a maximum of 8 passengers and should be less than 5 years old from date of first registration (see V5 log book for relevant date) and must not have been previously written off for insurance purposes.  The licences on these vehicles will not be renewed when the vehicle is more than 10 years old.
    • For a wheelchair accessible / adapted vehicle it must be less than 7 years old from date of first registration (see V5 log book for relevant date) and must not have been previously written off for insurance purposes.  The licences on these vehicles will not be renewed when the vehicle is more than 15 years old.
    • Following a report considered by the Licensing and Appeals Committee on 24 January 2022, private hire vehicles licensed by Manchester City Council are no longer restricted to White or Silver coloured vehicles.

      Private Hire vehicles are licenced under Section 48 of the Local Government [Miscellaneous Provisions] Act 1976 and this places a duty on Licensing Authorities to be satisfied that in issuing a licence under this section that the vehicle is not of such design and appearance as to lead any person to believe that the vehicle is a Hackney Carriage. In Manchester, our Hackney Carriage Vehicle Policy requires that only certain types of approved purpose built Hackney Carriages can be licensed , and also that unless they are the London Style of Black Cab, they also have to be black in colour. In practice therefore, this means that if a vehicle is presented to the City Council for licensing as a private hire vehicle and is black in colour the application may be refused if the vehicle has an appearance similar to vehicles currently licenced as Hackney Carriages by the City Council eg Mercedes Vito & Ford Procab.   

    • The vehicle must also display yellow Council issued stickers
  • Non standard private hire operator - to operate stretched limousines, chauffeur driven vehicles, park and ride for private car parks, airport travel and 'novelty' vehicles which carry a maximum of 8 passengers. They can apply for exemption from the standard conditions, they must also display approved ID stickers in the front and rear windows.

View the public register of private hire operators

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