This council is responsible for the licensing and enforcement of hackney carriages (taxis) and private hire vehicle, driver and operator licences. Under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 any vehicles which sit on the taxi ranks in Kenilworth, Royal Leamington Spa and Warwick or ply for hire in the area of the former Warwick Rural District Council and their drivers need to be licensed by this council.
Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 any person who makes provision for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for private hire vehicles in the district needs to be licensed.
The purpose of licensing is to ensure the safety of the public by ensuring that drivers are fit and proper and that the vehicles they drive are safe, suitable and reliable.
There are different types of licence:
- Hackney carriage (taxi) vehicle
- Private hire vehicle
- Hackney carriage/private hire driver
- Private hire operator
Public register of licences
Difference between hackney carriage and private hire
Visit our frequently asked questions for the differences between a hackney carriage and private hire vehicles such as prebooking requirements.
Licensing of other vehicles
The council is not responsible for licensing the following vehicles:
- Wedding and funeral car
- Novelty vehicles including limousines
- Public service vehicles (PSV)
- Vehicles carrying nine or more passengers
- Any other type of vehicle licence
For further information concerning these vehicles contact the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency
The Licensing Team have received a number of enquiries about Uber vehicles operating in the area and Uber drivers allegedly plying for hire.
Uber do not hold a private hire operator licence in the Warwick district. However the company has licences to operate in some other areas such as Wolverhampton, Solihull and Birmingham. As with all private hire operators Uber can dispatch vehicles and drivers to carry out work anywhere in the country, providing that the vehicle and driver that is allocated the booking is also licensed with the local authority that issued the relevant private hire operator licence.
Due to the relaxation on sub-contracting rules for private hire vehicles that came into effect on 1st October 2015, Uber can also sub-contract bookings to other licensed private hire operators in other local authority areas so that operator can dispatch an appropriately licensed vehicle and driver.
The contribution that local business makes to the local economy is not underestimated, and the contribution that local private hire and hackney carriage businesses make to the transport system is also recognised. However, there is nothing in the legislation that restricts in any way the trading area of any private hire operator. Whilst it may be interpreted that Uber are taking advantage of this, they continue to conduct their business lawfully.
Warwick District Council's Licensing Team understands that the trade has concerns. Uber vehicles are subject to the same legislation as all other private hire vehicles, and where officers identify breaches of the legislation we will investigate and take appropriate action.
To date Warwick District Council have not received an application for a private hire operator licence from Uber. Should we receive one it will be assessed and processed in line with our current policies.
Passengers with disabilities
The majority of hackney carriage vehicles licensed in Warwick district have access for wheelchairs. They have a ramp or set of parallel ramps to enable access for wheelchairs into the vehicle. The wheelchair must be shackled to the bulkhead and or floor using the two restraining straps and the seatbelt extension belt should then be used for the passenger. Please note that wheelchairs must not be carried sideways in vehicles and must be correctly restrained.
As these vehicles are larger they can be further from the ground. Therefore the vehicles also have a steps which allow passengers to easy access and egress from the vehicle.
The Warwick District Council, at its Executive Committee Meeting on 1st November 2017 agreed to adopt the provisions of Part 12 of the Equality Act 2010. The Warwick District Council position on the Act is explained here. A full list of wheelchair accessible hackney carriage and private hire vehicles, designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act can be viewed here.
The council policies set out how licence applications will be decided and the factors that will be taken into account when deciding to grant or refuse a licence. Download the council's policies.
In adopting the provisions of Part 12 of the Equality Act 2010, Warwick District Council has had regard to the guidance issued by the Secretary of State under section 167(6) of the Equality Act 2010. This guidance will be incorporated in to the Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Drivers, Vehicles and Operators Handbook: WDC Approach, Policies and Procedures, as part of the document review process. The Warwick District Council position on the Act is explained here.
Checks carried out to ensure licence conditions are followed
Officers routinely conduct fleet inspections and enforcement events to ensure that the conditions of licences are being followed. These are undertaken both proactively and reactively. Any licence holder that is found not to be operating in accordance with their licence conditions will receive appropriate action as described by the Enforcement policy (Word doc).
Any person, vehicle or organisation found to be operating without the appropriate licence will receive appropriate action as described in the Enforcement policy (Word doc).
Complaints against licence holders
If you wish to complain about a licence holder contact us at one of the following:
- Online complaints form
- 01926 456705
- Regulatory (Licensing), Warwick District Council, Riverside House, Milverton Hill, Royal Leamington Spa, CV32 5HZ
We licence over 500 drivers and 400 vehicles, therefore identification of the driver and vehicle is extremely important. In order to deal with a complaint we require the following information as a minimum:
- Description of driver
- Registration number or WDC licence plate number
- Details of incident
When working the driver must be wearing their licence badge and have it visible. This badge shows their name, photograph and licence number.
Vehicles licence plates are affixed to the rear of the vehicle and a small copy of the plate visible in the front windscreen. Hackney carriage plates are white and purple. Private hire vehicles are yellow. Other authorities' plate colourings are likely to be different.
Officers will conduct an investigation and determine the appropriate course of action in accordance with the enforcement policy. Appropriate courses of action include:
- No action
- Formal action (caution/prosecution)
- Referral to committee
The Licensing and Regulatory Committee has the powers to refuse, revoke or suspend licences.
Unfortunately we DO NOT have the powers to enforce the following matters but welcome your comments regarding:
- Parking infringements (e.g. parking on double yellow lines or double parking). Please contact Warwickshire County Council
- Obstruction (e.g. causing obstruction on the public highway including parking too near road junctions). For obstruction infringements contact Warwickshire Police
- Traffic offences (e.g. using hand-held mobile phone while driving, road rage, careless or dangerous driving). Please contact Warwickshire Police
- Criminal offences (e.g. assault, threats, harassment, theft of mobile phone, indecency). Please contact Warwickshire Police
- Litter dropped by licensed vehicles. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Running a vehicle engine and sounding a vehicle horn when stationary can be offences. These offences are infringements under Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. Please contact Warwickshire Police
- Vehicles licensed by another local authority (e.g. Coventry). Please contact the relevant local authority which has licensed these vehicles
Driver and Operator Forum
The council operates a driver and operator forum.