Agenda item

Application for the Grant of a Private Hire Vehicle Licence Seeking Departure from Council Policy and Request Exemption -AI

To seek consideration of an application for the grant of a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licence seeking a departure from council policy and a request for an exemption from the display of plates on a PHV.


AI was in attendance.


The Chair welcomed and led introductions.


The Committee with the applicant and the Licensing Officer left the chamber to inspect the vehicle.


The Members were asked to observe the make and model of the car and the tinted windows.


On returning to the chamber the Licensing Officer introduced the report.

Committee was asked to consider the applicant’s request to depart from Council policy in the granting of an exemption to display private hire identification plates and from the requirement that rear windows must allow at least 65% of light to be transmitted through them.   On assessment it was found that the vehicle side window transmitted only 35.2% light.


The applicant sought the exemption on the basis that the business conducted was for private hire for executive use.  The applicant had made a further request to be exempt from displaying private hire plates. 


AI put his case and answered questions highlighting the following:

·        His business was concerned with the hiring out of vehicles to professional drivers following damage to their own vehicles as a result of a road traffic incident, that resulted in their own hire vehicles being taken off the road for repair by their insurance company.

·        They had a fleet of approximately 20 vehicles.

·        The intention was to hire out an appropriate vehicle to executive hire companies who require a replacement vehicle, and this vehicle would be used for high profile customers.

·        The vehicle would be provided to a licensed driver.

·        They liaised with insurance companies in respect of replacement cars for taxi drivers.

·        The request for the vehicle not to display plates was based on the type of use, that is executive use.

·        Prepared to remove this request if the application for tinted windows granted.

·        The tinted windows and exemption from displaying plates would support the business move into the executive hire business.

The Licensing Officer and the Applicant left the Chamber whilst the Committee made its decision.


The Members considered the outcome of the visual inspecting the vehicle and the presentation made by both parties.


The Legal Advisor drew member’s attention to the details of the application and the applicant’s description on how the vehicle will be used.  He stated that the vehicle would be used 75% for weddings and the remainder for executive hire.  He is not trading in this area of business and unable to provide any evidence to substantiate the usage. 


Members considered the request for exemption for a vehicle that will only be used for executive work for 25% of its hire.  They also considered that as the vehicle was a replacement vehicle to licensed individuals there were no controls on usage that could be imposed whilst the vehicle was not in the applicant’s control.   Members felt that this was detrimental to policy because committee were unable to condition anticipated use.


Members then considered whether the applicant offering to remove the request from exemption to display would support the granting of the exemption with regards the use of vehicle whilst not meeting the levels of light transmission.  Members considered the levels of light transmission were so below the required level that it would be detriment to policy.


Committee appreciated the business need to grow and develop but they needed to consider the policy and whether use could be conditioned.  The use could not be conditioned so the application fell outside policy.


The applicant and Licensing Officer returned to the chamber.


Resolved – that the application for the grant of a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licence seeking a departure from council policy and a request for an exemption from the display of plates on PHV be refused.