Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Newsletter

New emission standards and licensing criteria for Hackney Carriage Vehicles

On 13 February 2019 Oxford City Council approved the following new emission standards and licensing criteria for Hackney Carriage Vehicles
Date From Renewal HCV Applications New HCV Applications



The current requirement for new Hackney Carriage Vehicle (HCV) applications where the maximum age for a new vehicle to obtain a licence is “less than five years of age” shall be removed

Renewal - 1 January 2020

New - Immediately

All HCV must meet minimum EURO 4 emission standard

All HCV must meet EURO4, EURO 6 or ULEV emission standard

(EURO 5 vehicles will not be considered to meet this standard)

1 January 2022

All HCV must meet minimum EURO 4 emission standard

All HCV must meet ULEV standard,

or at least Euro 4 if replacing an existing Euro 4, Euro 5 or Euro 6 due to the vehicle being written off by an insurance company or is a temporary courtesy vehicle due to repairs

1 January 2025

All HCV must meet Ultra Low Emission (ULEV) standard

All HCV must meet Ultra Low Emission (ULEV) standard


Please note that the first above approved new Emission Standards and licensing criteria for HCV’s come into effect from 1st January 2020. The ‘grace period’ is to allow the Licence Holders a sufficient time to make arrangements in regards to their vehicles which might no longer meet the compliance by this date.

This means that the current criteria the maximum age for a new vehicle to obtain a licence is “less than five years of age” continues to apply until 31st December 2019

What are Euro Emission Standards (e.g. EURO 4)?

Euro Standards are exhaust pollution limits for new car models, introduced by the European Union in the early 1990s, starting with Euro 1. The current Euro Standard is Euro 6.

In principle pollution limits get stricter with each new Euro standard, however recent research has shown that LTI TX4’s with the Euro Standard 5 are particularly polluting – these vehicles produce seven times as much pollution as the EURO 5 limit allows, and twice as polluting as a LTI TX4 with Euro standard 4. You can find out more about this on the TrueInitiative London Taxi Factsheet.

How do I find out the Euro Standard of my taxi?

The dates that EURO standards come into effect can vary: e.g. a manufacturer may be producing EURO 4 qualifying vehicles for a “transition period” before the official date that the standard comes into effect, which can make it difficult to find out the Euro standard of your taxi.

For that reason we expect the highest Euro standard possible for each vehicle, based on the below table.
First DVLA Vehicle Registration Date Standard expected
From 1 July 1992 Euro 1
From 1 January 1996 Euro 2
From 1 January 2000 Euro 3
From 1 January 2005 Euro 4
From 1 September 2009 Euro 5
From 1 September 2014 Euro 6


You will need to find out the first UK registration date of your vehicle. This can be done on the DVLA website - you’ll just need your number plate.

Alternatively you can check your vehicle log book (V5 Certificate), which will list your UK vehicle registration date.

So, if your vehicle registration date is, for example, 1 May 2005, we consider your vehicle a Euro standard 4.

However, if you believe that your vehicle meets a different emissions standard than set out in the table above, for example if your vehicle is retrofitted with a newer engine, you may submit evidence to the council (licensing@oxford.gov.uk) via the licensing team. Where reasonable evidence is provided, officers may agree an adjusted emissions standard for that vehicle.

What are Ultra Low Emission Taxis (ULEVs)?

Ultra Low Emissions Taxis, abbreviated ULEV, are vehicles meeting the UK government’s definition (as of November 2018) “These vehicles are purpose-built taxis and have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 112km (70 miles) without any emissions at all.”

How do I know which Hackney Carriage vehicles are ULEVs?

Both the LEVC TX, a range extended hybrid, and the Dynamo, a full battery electric, meet ULEV requirements. The Dynamo is expected to be available for purchase by mid-2019. The LEVC TX is on the market now. Other brands are expected to come onto the taxi market in the coming years.  

ULEVs are currently eligible for the governments Plug-In car grant. To be certain that a vehicle is eligible, you can check with the manufacturer, or visit the GOV.UK - Plug In Car Grant website.

Please keep in mind that only vehicles that are already available to be purchased will be listed here. Hackney Carriages are listed under the taxi header.