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Cambridge City Council

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Apply for or renew a private hire operator licence

A Private Hire Operator (PHO) licence is required to take bookings and dispatch private hire vehicles to customers.

  • Licences are issued to an individual / individuals and are specific for the address of a licensed private hire office. The licences are not transferable to individuals or companies or to an alternative address.
  • All bookings taken for private hire vehicles must be done through their licensed PHO booking office, known as the 'operating base'.
  • PHO booking offices can operate from either home addresses or public offices.

Apply or Renew

In order to arrange a new or renewal Private Hire Operator Inspection visit you must contact our Licensing team at or 01223 457888.

At the inspection appointment you'll need to ensure that you provide completed:

Please also read our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Handbook, in particular Appendix P which gives full details on the process for new and renewal Operator applications.

For Renewal Applications, you will need to ensure that the inspection visit takes place prior to the expiry date of the licence.

You'll need to supply the address in Cambridge you wish to operate from.

Our fees are available on our Fees for taxi licensing webpage.

In addition to having a private hire operators' licence, you'll also need:

  • A taxi plate for all vehicles involved in private hire work
  • Private hire driver's licence for all persons driving any licensed private hire vehicles

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate

For any new or renewal applicant (who is NOT already a licensed driver with Cambridge City Council), a Basic Disclosure must be undertaken.

The DBS check will last for three years.

Planning permission

To operate a private hire taxi company you'll need to apply for planning permission to ensure that if your business is run from home, it will not cause nuisance or obstruction to your neighbours.

Type of work that requires an operators’ licence

Any pre-booked work such as airport transfers, hen or stag nights or work of a similar nature.

If your vehicle is equipped to carry up to eight passengers, a private operator’s licence from the council is sufficient.  Anything above eight seats requires the licence to be obtained from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).