Private hire operator's licence

Information on applying for a private hire operator's licence

A private hire operator's licence is required to enable a person to accept or invite bookings for private hire vehicles. Any premises at which the licence holder operates must be in the Eastleigh Borough Council district, and the address must be provided to the Council. 

Members of the public have initial contact with the operator and make the contract with them, even if the operator does not provide the vehicle and/or the driver.

The law requires an operator to be licensed by the same authority which licenses the private hire vehicles and private hire drivers working within their control, thus a vehicle licensed by one authority can only ever be driven by a driver licensed by that same authority; both must be subject to the control of an operator licensed by that same authority.

Section 56(1) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 makes it clear that bookings for the services of licensed vehicles are the responsibility of the licensed operator which accepted the booking, even if they are sub-contracted to another operator; from 1 October 2015 the legislation has been amended to permit the operator accepting a booking to sub-contract it to any other operator, wherever they are based, but the liability for the provision of those services remains with the original operator. In this case, the second operator, the vehicle fulfilling that booking and the driver of that vehicle must all be licensed by the same (second) authority.

Private hire vehicles may only be pre-booked, and may not be hailed in the street or stand and ply for hire. Fares for the hire of private hire vehicles are not regulated by the borough council, and must be the subject of agreement between passenger and driver before a journey commences. Such vehicles may only be driven by the holder of a private hire driver's licence issued by the borough council.

The vehicle also has a white and green licence plate on the rear of the vehicle, also on the rear passenger doors the borough identity sticker, and the  details are reproduced on a sticker in the windscreen. No Eastleigh Borough licensed private hire vehicle may have a roof sign of any description. Vehicles can be any colour. 

Application forms and guidance are available, including a form to notify the change of address of the licence holder - please note that the operator's licence cannot be transferred to a different licence holder; a new application must be made if the holder of the operator licence changes. An operator licence is granted for 5 years.

You are strongly advised to seek the advice of the licensing team before completing the licence application form.

Before a private hire operator's licence is granted or renewed the applicant(s) must: 

  • Ensure that any necessary planning permission has been obtained from Eastleigh Borough Council Planning Team allowing use of the building for this purpose
  • Complete and submit an application form
  • Pay the fee of £365 (payable by debit/credit card only)
  • Provide a DBS certificate less than 6 months old (at least to a basic standard) to demonstrate they are fit and proper to hold such a licence and for the operator to have a policy to address how they will deal with employing ex-offenders recognising those with a conviction for offences provided in the councils policy on previous convictions, other than those relating to driving matters, may not be suitable to have access to such data
  • Provide Right to Work identification document(s)
  • Photographic proof of identity for example: Passport, armed forces identity card, photocard driving licence or some other official form
  • Proof of current address: for example Utility bill showing current address, council tax bill, rent book, tenancy agreement, bank statement, inland revenue letter, or some other form of official documentation. This list is not exhaustive.  
  • Produce copies of other supporting documentation e.g. planning permission, articles of association etc.
  1. Application form for a private hire operator's licence
  2. Policy and Conditions - the private hire operator, private hire vehicle and private hire driver policy and conditions documents. 
  3. Tax check requirement - Information on tax checks

NOTE: Applicants should allow at least 2 weeks for application to be processed.

Operator Notification form

As a private hire operator you will be responsible for adding and removing vehicles attached to your licence. You can download the Operator Notification form here.

Licensing Team

Data Protection

Please note that the licensing authority may be required by law to disclose to the appropriate authorities, from time to time, further information relating to applications and licences for the purposes of law enforcement and the prevention of fraud.