Taxi / private hire car operators

A taxi / private hire car operator licence is required for the operation of a vehicle as a taxi or private hire car.

View the icon guidance information on taxi / private hire car operators [45Kb] for more information prior to making an application.

What is a taxi?

A taxi is a vehicle licensed for carrying passengers. The driver of a taxi can pick passengers up from the streets and can ply for hire in a public place.  A taxi must have an illuminated roof sign bearing the word "taxi" and be fitted with a taximeter.

What is a private hire car?

A private hire vehicle is also licensed for carrying passengers. However, all fares must be pre-booked. It is different from a taxi in that a private hire car driver cannot pick passengers up from the streets or ply for hire in public places.  A private hire operator operating within Perth City Centre must be fitted with a taximeter.

How many passengers can I carry?

A taxi or private hire car can be licensed to carry up to 8 passengers.

Can an operator also drive their taxi or private hire car?

A taxi or private hire operator who wishes to drive their vehicle also needs a licence to act as a Taxi/Private Hire Car Driver.  View the icon guidance information on taxi drivers [41Kb] for more information.

A taxi / private hire car operator licence is not needed for:-

  • Vehicles while being used in connection with a funeral or a wedding.
  • Vehicles while being used for carrying passengers under a contract for its exclusive hire for a period of not less than 24 hours.  e.g. extended touring holiday when a hired car with a driver are available to a holidaymaker throughout a holiday period.

Are there any restrictions on the vehicles that can be used as taxi or private hire cars?

A taxi or private hire vehicle must be no more than ten years old from the date of first registration.  After that the vehicle must be replaced.

Are Taxi and Private Hire Cars examined?

Yes, taxi and private hire cars have to undergo and pass an annual inspection carried out by or on behalf of the Council.  

Why do I need a licence?

The licensing system is there to ensure public safety.  Every person who applies for a licence is assessed to see if they are "fit and proper" to have a licence.

How do I apply?

Apply online

If you have difficulty applying online, please contact the Licensing Department on (01738) 475180.

Application for substitution of vehicle for a taxi/private hire operator licence

How much does a licence cost?

The application fee for a Taxi Operator Licence is £65 - Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), £130 - Ultra Low Hybrid, electric & fuel (ULH) and £275 (car) and a Private Hire Operator Licence is £55 - Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), £110 - Ultra Low Hybrid, electric & fuel (ULH) and £230 (car).

The application fee for a Taxi/Private Hire Car Driver is £110 for a one year licence and £165 for a 3 year licence. 

The fees change every year so check with the licensing office before you send payment.

What happens if the Council fails to make a decision on my application within 6 months (180 days)?

The licence will be granted or renewed.

What can I do if my application is refused or suspended?

Within 28 days of the date of the decision to refuse an application, the applicant may require the licence authority to give the reasons for their decision.

The applicant may appeal to the sheriff against the decision, within 28 days of the decision, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.

The appeal will only be successful if the sheriff considers that the local authority, in making their decision, had:

  • erred in law
  • based their decision on an incorrect material fact
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • exercised their discretion in an unreasonable manner

The applicant may then appeal on a point of law from the Sheriff's decision to the Court of Session within 28 days from the date of the Sheriff's decision

Can I lodge an objection or representation to a licence?

Yes, objections or representations relating to a licence application may be made in writing to the local authority, within 21 days of notice of the licence application being given, stating:

  • the grounds of the objection or nature of the representation
  • the name and address of the person making the representation

A Chief Constable, or anyone who has made a relevant objection or representation regarding the licence, may appeal against a decision within 28 days of being notified, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.

The appeal will only be successful if the Sheriff considers that the local authority, in making their decision, had:

  • erred in law
  • based their decision on an incorrect material fact
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • exercised their discretion in an unreasonable manner

What happens if I need to make changes to my licence?

Download and complete the application form:

How much does it cost to make a material change of circumstance to my licence?

The application fee for a material change of circumstance is £65.

Contact details

Civic Licensing (applications and payments)

Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5GD
Tel 01738 475180