Licensing Committee

13 October 2022


Vehicle Age Policy Amendment Request





Licensing Committee

13 October 2022



Final Decision-Maker

Licensing Committee

Lead Head of Service

John Littlemore, Head of Housing and Regulatory Services

Lead Officer and Report Author

Lorraine Neale, Senior Licensing Officer




Wards affected



Executive Summary


The Council’s current Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Policy includes a requirement that a vehicle should not have more than 30,000 miles on the clock or be older than 3 years at first licensing. For private hire vehicles, this requirement is from the date of the vehicle registration.

A request has been received from John Iandolo of Express Cabs (Appendix 1) to allow a temporary amendment to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy (Taxi Policy) to allow the relevant date for the purposes of the above policy requirement to be the date of the plate and not the date of registration.

Purpose of Report

To consider the request to amend the taxi policy vehicle age restrictions.


This report makes the following recommendations to the Committee

1. That consideration be given to a temporary change for the licensing of new vehicles to allow 2019 plates to be licensed until 31st December 2022.

2. That consideration be given to a permanent change to the new vehicle entry level requirements to either amend or remove the criteria of under 3 years old and/or under 30,000 miles.

3. That should either of the proposed amendments be agreed, a short consultation period be approved to allow for feedback from interested parties.

4. That a further report be submitted to the Licensing Committee detailing any feedback and requesting approval of the amended 2021-2026 Taxi Policy and an implementation date if appropriate.



Vehicle Age Policy Amendment Request








Impact on Corporate Priorities

The four Strategic Plan objectives are:


·         Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure

·         Safe, Clean and Green

·         Homes and Communities

·         A Thriving Place


We do not expect the recommendations will by themselves materially affect achievement of corporate priorities. 

Head of Housing & Regulatory Services

Cross Cutting Objectives

The four cross-cutting objectives are:


·         Heritage is Respected

·         Health Inequalities are Addressed and Reduced

·         Deprivation and Social Mobility is Improved

·         Biodiversity and Environmental Sustainability is respected


The report recommendations do not materially impact on the achievement of the cross-cutting objectives.


Head of Housing & Regulatory Services

Risk Management

Already covered in the risk section.

Head of Housing & Regulatory Services


There are no financial implications.

Senior Licensing Officer


We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing.


Head of Housing & Regulatory Services


There is no statutory requirement to have a policy but Maidstone Borough Council chose to have one as it was felt that a policy ensures a transparent and consistent approach to licensing. The Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards recommends that Authorities have a Policy and that it is regularly reviewed.


Helen Ward, Lawyer (Contentious), Mid Kent Legal Services,

6 September 2022

Information Governance

The recommendations will impact personal information (as defined in UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018) the Council processes.


Information Governance Team


The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an equalities impact assessment.


Equalities & Communities Officer

Public Health



No public health implications.

Senior Licensing Officer

Crime and Disorder

There is no immediate impact on crime & disorder in accepting the recommendations of the report.


 Head of Housing & Regulatory Services


Not applicable.

Head of Housing & Regulatory Services

Biodiversity and Climate Change

No implications.


Senior Licensing Officer





2.1     Mr Iandolo submitted a request on the 10th June 22 for a temporary taxi policy amendment for vehicle ages (Appendix 1). Unfortunately the request was received too late for inclusion at the 16th June 2022 Licensing Committee (Appendix 2).


2.2     Mr Iandolo indicates that there is a shortage of new and used cars, that it is difficult to get vehicles under 3 years old and new vehicles can have up to a year’s wait for delivery. He makes a suggestion that he believes will assist with the current situation. Also, the Licensing Department have had drivers contact us to inform us that they are having difficulties acquiring vehicles that meet policy requirements but none have been received in recent months.


2.3     The request being made by Mr Iandolo is that we licence vehicles according to the plate rather than dates of registration. He would like to licence 19 plates as private hire vehicles. The current registration system involves two releases of plates a year. For plates issued from March to August the vehicle age code is simply the last two digits of the year, e.g. “02” for 2002 or “18” for 2018. If issued from September to February of the following year the code has 50 added to it, e.g. “52” for 2002 or “68” for 2018. With this new current number plates scheme a buyer can tell the year of a car without having to look it up. 2019 plates are attached to vehicles registered between March and August 2019, so any vehicles registered between March and August 2019 are too old under current policy to be licensed as new vehicles. If a temporary policy change were agreed to allow the licensing of 19 plates until December 2022 then this would assist the trade until the shortages in available vehicles resolves itself.


2.4     The taxi policy currently requires and states at pages 17, 33, 47 and 64 that all vehicles being licensed for the first time (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire)  should not have more than 30,000 miles on the clock or be older than 3 years. We could consider changing or removing this entry level criteria completely and just allow the licensing of private hire vehicles up to 6 years old and Hackney Carriage vehicles up to 15 years subject to meeting the requirements of the compliance testing.





3.1     Agree a temporary Policy change and allow 2019 plates to be licensed up until 31st December 2022.


3.2     Agree the change or removal of the entry level criteria for new vehicles.


3.3     Do nothing.





4.1     Members consider the contents of the report and determine which policy change option would benefit the trade while the ongoing restrictions from the pandemic continue.



5.       RISK

5.1    If the age/mileage policy on entry level vehicles is not amended it could contribute to a serious shortage of available licensed vehicles. This in turn could impact the safety of the public especially during the hours of the late- night economy.





6.1     N/A





7.1     Should Members be minded to approve any change to the current Policy, then a consultation with the trade and interested parties would be required.


7.2     All feedback from the consultation would be brought back to this Committee for approval and an agreed implementation date.





·         Appendix 1: E -mail from J.Iandolo 10.06.22

·         Appendix 2: E-mail from J.Littlemore 13.06.22





Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy