Hackney carriage taxi and private vehicle licence

Taxis can only operate in a particular zone. The zones within Cornwall reflect the boundaries of the previous district and borough councils.

Three of the zones limit numerically the number of taxi vehicles. 

The Council assesses the limits on these zones and whether there is a need for more taxis. These assessments are called unmet demand surveys. 

You can view the unmet demand surveys for the three restricted zones by following the links below.

An update to the surveys was considered in April 2022. This was to assess the level of demand taking into account the impact of the pandemic. The report is available online.

There are six hackney carriage zones in Cornwall. All of which have individual tariffs which set out the maximum fees which can be charged. View hackney carriage zone tariffs.

To licence a hackney carriage, two licences are required. Each vehicle must have:

There is no limit on the number of Private Hire vehicle licences issued. They are not restricted to operating in certain zones and are free to operate across the whole County.

To license a private hire vehicle, at least two licences are required. 

  • Each vehicle must have a private hire vehicle licence which you can apply for below
  • and every driver of those licensed vehicles must have a private hire driver licence
  • In addition, all self employed and employer private hire businesses must hold a private hire operator licence.

Cornwall Council requires vehicles to meet certain specifications and conditions before they are licensed. Full details are within the Council’s Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle, Operator and Driver Licensing Policy  

Vehicles are also required to be tested at one of the Council's approved garages.

There are separate:

If you are unsure whether your vehicle will meet will meet the policy, please contact Licensing Services. 

How to apply for a licence

Apply for a Hackney Carriage taxi or Private Hire Vehicle licence

Please refer to the application guidance before completing this form  

View the current list of taxi and private hire licence fees.

View the current hackney carriage vehicle register

If a licensed vehicle is involved in an accident, it must be reported to the Council within 72 hours. Please use the Council’s Accident Report Form.

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