Minimum Licensing Standards

Greater Manchester’s proposed taxi and private hire Minimum Licensing Standards are designed to make services safer with higher environmental and accessibility standards, and reduce the varying quality of service experienced by passengers and licence holders across the region.

The proposed Minimum Licensing Standards focus on four areas:


  • Frequent criminal record checks
  • Medical examinations
  • Local area knowledge tests
  • English language proficiency
  • Driver training (including on safeguarding and disability awareness)
  • Driving proficiency
  • Dress code


  • Vehicle emissions
  • Vehicle age
  • Vehicle colour
  • Vehicle livery (signage and stickers)
  • Accessibility requirements
  • Vehicle testing
  • CCTV
  • Specific standards for executive hire
  • Miscellaneous vehicle design requirements


  • Basic criminal record checks for all private hire operators and staff
  • A common set of licence conditions
  • More stringent booking records requirements

Local authorities

  • Ability for drivers and operators to submit licence applications up to eight weeks in advance of licence expiry
  • When approved, licence to be issued within five working days
  • Common enforcement approach and framework to which licensing fees are set
  • Training for councillors reviewing licence applications
consultation documents

Minimum Licensing Standards

A public consultation on our proposals took place between Thursday 8 October and Thursday 3 December 2020.

Following a review of feedback from the consultation and further engagement with the taxi and private hire trade, a final set of policy standards was endorsed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on 29 October 2021.

The ten councils were in the process of individually approving and integrating the standards into their existing policies when the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan and linked Clean Taxi Fund grants were paused in February 2022. This led to some local authorities pausing approval for some of the proposed Minimum Licensing Standards relating to vehicle standards.

A further update on this project will be provided following the review of the Clean Air Plan by Greater Manchester’s local authorities and government. Find out more at

For information on the current standards your council has in place for taxi and private hire licensing, please click on the relevant council link below.

Out-of-town private hire services

Current legislation means that private hire drivers and vehicles licensed by one council can operate in other council areas. This is common in larger urban areas and you may have noticed that many licensed private hire vehicles in the area that you live or work have licence plates and stickers from other councils.

There are no national standards for private hire drivers, vehicles and operators, so one council can’t guarantee the checks conducted and standards applied to drivers and vehicles licensed by another.

If you have a problem with a private hire vehicle service, you should report it to the council it is licensed by. When you book a journey through a private hire operator – either via an app, online booking system or over the phone – you can ask that the vehicle and driver sent to you is licensed by your local council or another council of your choice.

Your council’s private hire policies can usually be found on its web pages. You can read each Greater Manchester council’s policies on their websites by clicking on the links below.