Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Newsletter

Out of town licensed vehicles

Oxford City Council and all other Oxfordshire Authorities are working jointly under a Joint Operating Framework (JOF) in regards to managing the taxi licensing trade.

However, there is a legal loophole that enables Hackney Carriage Vehicles and drivers licensed in one area to work for Private Hire Operators in another part of the country. This clearly presents risks as the vehicle and driver do not come under the local rules and regulations of the area in which they work.  This makes it difficult for Licensing Authority Officers to take action against these “Out of Town” drivers and vehicles.

The Joint Operating Framework ensures that any breaches of licence conditions or offences in relation to out of area vehicles or drivers are reported directly to their Licensing Authority.  The Authority takes the appropriate enforcement action against the licence holder. 

Oxford City Council Licensing Officers carry out regular enforcement operations in Oxford, sometimes with officers from neighbouring areas or the police. These include high visibility patrols in priority locations and test purchase operations to stop unlicensed activities such as “plying for hire”. Plying for hire is the offence where a Private Hire Vehicle picks up a passenger without a booking; only OCC Hackney Carriages are legally permitted to do so in Oxford. Out of area Hackney Carriage Vehicle are not permitted to ply for hire in Oxford City, those vehicles can only pick up a passenger in Oxford district by prearranged bookings.   

Further steps - this Authority is making steps to encourage drivers to obtain their Taxi or Privat Hire licence with Oxford City Council if they operate in Oxford City:

  1. This Authority has proposed to extend the Private Hire Vehicle age limit for first licensing from five to seven years for Low and Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. The Authority also offers £100 discount in licensing fees for licensing of such vehicles.
  2. The Local Knowledge Test has been revised and now focused on the rules and regulations as well as drivers duties. Studying materials are provided on the licensing website. The test starts with a licensing presentation.
  3. New drivers can now attend the Local Knowledge Test before submitting the full application
  4. The application system has been simplified and can be found on the website using the Quick Guide