Guide to Taxis: Using a Private Hire Vehicle in London

It is an offence for a private hire vehicle (PHV) to be used on a road in London without there being in force a London PHV licence. The offence applies to both the owner and driver of the vehicle.

A London PHV licence can be applied for by the owner of any vehicle which carries less than nine passengers and will normally be granted if the following conditions are met:

that the vehicle
– is suitable in type, size and design for use as a PHV;
– is safe, comfortable and in a suitable mechanical condition for that use; and
– is not of such design and appearance as would lead any person to believe that the vehicle is a London cab;
that there is in force a valid policy of insurance

Do I need an NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) for offences relating to private hire vehicles being used in London without the appropriate licence?

No, there is not a requirement for an NIP for offences relating to private hire vehicles being used in London without the appropriate licence.


Fine up to £2,500.


There is a defence available if you can show that you did everything you could to stop the vehicle being used in London without the appropriate licence. However, this will be dependant on the facts of the case. Therefore it is critical that the full circumstances of your case are examined to ensure your case is properly prepared. If you face an allegation, we advise you contact us to take specialist legal advice.

Disclaimer The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only and are limited to offences committed in England and Wales. No responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions, or misleading statements on these pages or any site to which these pages connect, including any feature or aspect of such site or pages, whether provided by Motor Defence Solicitors or by any organisation, company or individual. No mention of any organisation, company or individual, whether on these pages or on other sites to which these pages are linked shall imply any approval or warranty as to the standing and capability of any such organisations, company or individual on the part of Motor Defence Solicitors.