Operators licence

Perhaps you don’t want to be a minicab driver or have been in the past and fancy a change of career.  If you would like to supply drivers for hire and take bookings for these drivers you need to have a PCO Operators licence.  Whether you are a one-man chauffeur service or run a busy minicab office along the high street, you still need to have your operator’s licence.

What Are the Different Types Of Operators Licences Available?

PCO Operators Licences come in two different forms and you’ll need to decide which is best for you.  The types of Operators licences are as follow:

  • Small Operator Licence – If you have a relatively small operation, then you would be best opting for the small variety of Operators Licence, which means you can hire out two cars simultaneously.
  • Standard Operator Licence – There is no limit to the amount of private hire cars that you can operate

‘Standard’ operator’s licence – You can have any number of private hire vehicles on a ‘standard’ licence.

It is important to note that once you decide which option is best for you; this cannot be easily reversed if you change your mind.  In fact if you wanted to change it you’d have to go through the whole tedious process again.  So think about your plans carefully and also whether or not you intend on expanding your taxicab business.  There is no real difference in the actual application process apart from the cost, with the standard operator licence costing two times what the small licence costs.

What Are the Requirements for Successfully Applying for an Operator’s Licence?

PCO Operators Must be fit and proper people.  To show that you feel this way you will be required to fill out a PHV/103 also known as a Personal Declaration Form.  In this form you show that you have complied with all the legal requirements also connected to running this type of business.  This form covers subjects such as bankruptcy, previous convictions etc., but you should remember to fill out the form truthfully as falsifying information could not only mean that you lose your licence, but are faced with a serious legal battle.

What Do I Need To Make Sure Of Regarding My Premises?

In order to be able to apply for a PCO Operators Licence, you need to have at least one provisional operating centre.  Even if this is just from your home address or on the high street, this is where you take bookings and hire out cars from.  One word of caution is that you need to make sure that you have all the relevant planning permission on your work premises.

How Much Will A PCO Operators Licence Cost Me?

The full cost of your PCO Operators Licence depends greatly on whether you apply for a Small or a Standard licence.  The current pricing is as follows:

Small Operators Licence for 5 Years

  • Grant Of Licence Fee – £550
  • Licence Application Fee – £703
  • Total Cost – £1253

Standard Operators Licence For 5 years

  • Grant Of Licence – £1707
  • Licence Application Fee – £703
  • Total Cost – £2410

These payments must be sent along with the application form.  It is also important to note that as the application fee is non-refundable, in the event of your licence application being rejected you will only get your grant of licence fee refunded.

Licence variations

Unless you submit a licence variation application form, yoi can only accept and work private hire bookings at operating centres specified by your PCO licence.

You may want to do this if you want to:

  • Trade from another operating centre
  • Move your mini cab business to a different operating centre
  • Finish trading at one or some, but no all of the operating centres mentioned on your current licence.

All new centres have to be checked out and approved by Transport For London before they can be added as recognized operating centres on your PCO licence.

If you decide that you would like to try and apply to enable you to vary your operators licence you will need to send them:

  • The Variation  Application form PHV/106 fully completed
  • The correct variation fee buy either debit or credit card, building society cheque or bankers draft

In order for your variation application to be accepted you must provide the following information:

  • A certificate that proves you have legal right to use your future premises for your business from the council or proof of planning permission.  If no planning permission is needed you must have either an email or letter proving that it has been ok’d by the local authority.  Beware that if you break the local areas planning laws, the local council could take legal action against you.
  • If the proposed operating centre has a primary function with another business, you’ll need to provide details
  • Ensure that you provide a landline telephone number for your bookings because if you don’t you are more likely to have stricter and more frequent inspections and reviews over your licence.

For further information regarding making the application please call TfL directly on
0343 222 4444

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