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Limo Hire & the Law


1Oth July 2007

For the benefit of both the general public and limousine operators alike, it has become necessary to clarify the ways that operators may legally operate. The list below states categorically what is, and is not, legal and the conditions that must be complied with to ensure that your limousine remains legal at all times.


Limousines up to and including eight (8) passengers

There are several different ways that an operator may hire a limousine for hire and reward


Private hire

Providing that the local authority in question is willing and sensible it is possible in around half of the local authorities to license limousines as private hire. There are 404 local licensing authorities and unfortunately around 181 of them will not licence limousines.


Public Service Vehicle Operators licence.

It is possible to operate a vehicle of 8 passenger seats (or less) as a PSV under section 265 of the Transport 2000 Act, this licence is granted by the Traffic Commissioners and is totally separate to any local authority licence This route only applies through England and Wales and excludes central London.


Public Carriage Office

This applies to vehicles registered and operating within London, they must be licensed by the PCO as the rules for London are specific and different to the rest of the country. Operators from outside London may enter London, provided that the way they operate is recognised as legal in the part of the country they come from.


Public Service Vehicle Operators Licence

Provided that the vehicle has achieved a Certificate of initial fitness (COIF) it may carry up to the number stated on the plate attached to the vehicle. It must then be driven by a PSV licensed driver. There are very few of these around at present, and the status of the vehicle should be checked before booking to ensure that the client is not traveling in an illegal way.


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