Removal of the Minimum Engine Size Requirement for Private Hire Vehicles

Closes 24 Jun 2018

Opened 14 May 2018

Overview

The Licensing and Public Protection Committee of the City Council has given consideration to the removal of the minimum engine size requirement for Private Hire Vehicles.                       

Our existing policy for private hire vehicles stipulates that a vehicle cannot be licensed unless it has an engine size of at least 1600cc.  This policy is clearly inconsistent with the Council’s ambition to improve air quality and with the new licensing emissions policy which is designed to reduce harmful emissions.

Instead, it is proposed we should accept any vehicle as suitable for licensing, subject to the vehicle being built to carry a minimum of 4 passengers with 4 doors and that we should retain our current dimensional standards for the vehicle and the size of seats.  The requirement would include that the vehicle should be unmodified and built to the manufacturer’s standard.  This proposal was put forward from a short-life officer/member working group.

Retaining the existing dimensional standards would exclude the approval of very small cars, irrespective of the form of propulsion.  This is based on the Working Group considering that passengers in private hire vehicles should be able to expect a reasonable standard of comfort.  The Working Group was opposed to the prospect of licensing 2-door cars.  Even though as in London’s case, it is possible to limit the number of passengers by virtue of the vehicle licence, there would be a temptation for drivers to take more passengers than their licence permitted.

The policy that is proposed above would be applicable to private hire vehicles and taxis, provided that taxis would still be required to be manufactured as purpose built hackney carriage vehicles, or be approved van derivatives.

The approval of the recommendations of the Working Group will enable the Licensing Service to respond to a growing demand from vehicle drivers, owners and operators to license vehicles with smaller combustion engines and electric motors which are far cleaner and less polluting than vehicles with large petrol and diesel engines.  It will also remove the need for drivers to seek individual exemptions from sub-committees to license non-standard vehicles and ensure that the Committee’s policy decisions are consistent.

Why We Are Consulting

The City Council is considering the proposal to remove the minimum engine size requirement for Private Hire Vehicles. If you believe this proposal will affect you – either negatively or positively, please let us know.

Give Us Your Views

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