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Taxi/private hire car operator licence

How to apply

Complete and return a Taxi/PHC Operator application form (Word, 116kb) with appropriate fees.

Please read the following guidance for:

Substitute a vehicle

To substitute a vehicle used as a taxi, please complete and return a Substitute Vehicle application (Word, 110kb).


Application typeFeeNotes
Taxi Application (3 year licence) £658 plus vehicle inspection fee
Taxi Application (1 year licence) £381 plus vehicle inspection fee
Private hire car application (3 year licence) £590 plus vehicle inspection fee
Private hire car application (1 year licence) £352 plus vehicle inspection fee
Substitute vehicle £212 vehicle inspection fee is included
Vehicle inspection £88 required both when the vehicle is first licensed and every 6 or 12 months - see below
Retest vehicle inspection £47 payable when vehicle fails first inspection test

Cheques payable to 'North Ayrshire Council'. If your applications is refused or granted for a shorter period than you applied, the fee will not be refunded or reduced.

Taxi zones

Taxis can only operate within 1 area in North Ayrshire. In your application, specify which area you wish your taxi to operate in. The council operates a limit to the number of taxis in each taxi zone. Contact us to find out about availability.

What happens next?

We will contact you to organise an inspection of your vehicle to ensure it is fit for purpose. If your vehicle fails the inspection, it must sit a re-test. We only consider applications once the vehicle has passed its inspection.

Find out more about our vehicle specification and inspection standards.

Applications are advertised on this website for 28 days to allow members of the public to make any objections or representations. We consult on all licence applications with Police Scotland.

If there is any comment from the public, Police Scotland or any council department, you will be told and your application will be referred to the Licensing Committee for a decision. If the Committee decides to have a hearing, you will be invited to that and you will be able to speak to the Committee. The majority of applications do not require a hearing and are granted by council officers.

Applications may take 6 to 8 weeks to process. If you haven't heard from the Licensing Office within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Does the licence have any conditions?

The licence will have the council's Standard Conditions. In some cases the council may apply special conditions appropriate to your particular circumstances.

Conditions will be set out in the licence document. If these are broken, the licence holder can be charged by Police Scotland and the Licensing Committee can suspend the licence after a hearing. You will be invited to such a hearing and will be able to speak to the committee.

Please note: We follow National Fraud Initiative guidelines to protect against fraud.

Vehicle specification and inspection standards

Under law, the Council can only grant a Taxi or Private Hire Car Licence if the vehicle is suitable and safe.

Any vehicle to be used on a Taxi or Private Hire Car Licence must meet two standards:

View the inspection standards (PDF, 255kb) the Council garage uses.

The same inspection standards apply to any vehicle which the operator wants to substitute on the licence.

They also apply when the vehicle is tested under the licence conditions:

  • a vehicle needs to be tested no more than 12 months after its last test, as long as the vehicle is under 5 years old
  • when the vehicle reaches 5 years old, the tests are every 6 months
  • the age of a vehicle is counted from its first registration at the DVLA

Contact Licensing




01294 324305

Please note: this telephone line is not currently in use however, Licensing staff are able to phone customers who request a call. Requests can be made either via the Contact Centre (01294 310000) or by emailing the Licensing email address detailed above.


Licensing Section, Legal Services, North Ayrshire Council, Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE