Agenda item

Vehicle Age Policy Amendment


Prior to the report’s introduction, Jason Brown and Jade Collier addressed the Committee on behalf of Express Cabs.


The Senior Licensing Officer introduced the report, outlining the request received by Express Cabs for a temporary amendment to the taxi vehicle age and mileage restrictions contained within the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy. The limits were that upon first licence, a taxi vehicle had to be under three years old and have driven less than 30,000 miles, with a six-year-old and fifteen-year-old lifespan for private hire and hackney carriage vehicles respectively.


The Committee were informed that due to the extended wait times for new vehicles, alongside the limitations placed upon newly licensable vehicles, the taxi trade were experiencing a shortage of vehicles. The approach suggested within Appendix 1 to the report was briefly outlined, however it would be too complex to administer.


The Senior Licensing Officer stated that all taxi vehicles had to undergo stringent compliance checks at the Council’s nominated garages. The tests assured the vehicle’s roadworthiness and appearance, before it could be licensed by the Council.


The Committee expressed support for amending the current limitations on vehicle age and mileage, particularly as the other local authorities within the Licensing Partnership permitted higher ages and mileages across their taxi vehicles. Further, the required compliance testing prevented unsuitable vehicles from being licensed. In response to questions, the Head of Licensing Partnership advised that conducting twice-yearly compliance testing for vehicles, in place of vehicle limitations, would be difficult to administer and increase the cost of the service.


During the debate, Jason Brown was invited to answer questions on the suitability of the range of potential amendments that were under consideration. It was suggested that a four-year entry age, a mileage restriction of 60,000 and exit age of eight years would be suitable to provide greater flexibility whilst maintaining the Council’s and the trade’s reputation of good taxi vehicles. 


In response to questions, the Head of Housing and Regulatory Services confirmed that any permanent amendments to the policy would require a public consultation. A temporary amendment to the policy through a pilot could allow for feedback to be received and presented to the Committee at its conclusion, as both could not be facilitated at the same time.


The Committee felt that a higher vehicle age and mileage for private hire and hackney carriage taxi vehicles for a 12-month period would be appropriate to assist the trade in obtaining vehicles. In order to implement the amendment immediately, a public consultation would be waived.






1.  The new vehicle entry level requirements as contained within the Taxi Policy 2021-2026, be amended for a pilot period of 12-months only to:


a.  Increase the maximum age of new vehicles from three years to four years, with a maximum mileage restriction of 60,000 and implement an exit age of eight years;


2.  In order to address the situation immediately, a public consultation on the temporary amendments be waived; and


3.  Following the 12-month pilot period relating to new vehicle entry level requirements, a report be presented to the Committee to consider any resulting implications and next steps.


Supporting documents: