Hackney requirements

Hackney at a glance
Size and Suitability Check the vehicle is listed as acceptable in the Suitable Vehicle List, see the Forms and Guides page for the make, model, body style and year noting any restrictions in passenger capacity (not all seats may be licensed).
Doors 4 doors are required.
Glass Tint Dark glass is not allowed except behind the passenger. In practice this means that privacy glass, even where standard manufacturer supplied is only allowed in the rear screen for most saloons. See the Initial Suitability Inspection Manual for how to check this.
Modified vehicles Where the seats are not original the Technical Assessor’s Full Report and supporting in-vehicle test data are required, see Technical Assessor’s Full Report guidance.

Please understand the detailed requirements for any non-standard vehicle are considerable and you risk never being able to license the vehicle unless you have all the required proof. Note: all Technical Assessor’s Reports to be less than 60 days old.

LPG conversions LPG is acceptable but the simple Technical Assessor’s LPG Report is required.
Age Under 10 years calculated from date of first registration regardless of where it was first registered. See box ‘B’ in the Vehicle Registration Certificate, or box ‘I’ or box ‘B’ is blank. See Age Rules


Size of vehicle

The vehicle must have a luggage area of at least 420 litres secured by a guard or cover, including space capable of accommodating a folded wheelchair. It must be available for luggage it must not contain any other unsecured items, or be dirty or damp. The luggage capacity requirement may be reduced for certain vehicles, such as electric or hybrid vehicles, and it does not apply to vehicles associated with local area hackney licences.

NTA has produced a list of vehicles by make and model that indicates whether or not a vehicle meets the size requirements. This is known as the “Suitable Vehicle List”. Before you buy any vehicle to use as a taxi or hackney, you should check the Suitable Vehicle List and the Initial Suitability Inspection Manual to satisfy yourself that the vehicle is suitable. If there is no information for the vehicle you are considering, or the entry in the Suitable Vehicle List is incomplete, you should contact the Information line on 076 1064 000.


The front windscreen must allow at least 70 per cent visible light transmission. It may have a darker band at the top, not exceeding 125mm in depth.
All passenger (side) windows must be clean and readily operable.

In order for a vehicle to be used as a hackney (standard and wheelchair accessible), side windows next to passengers must allow at least 70 per cent visible light transmission. In practice this means that only glass behind the passenger area can be darker. Check the approval number on the glass: if there is a Roman numeral V next to the European approval number, the glass is too dark and will not pass the Initial Suitability Inspection.


Vehicles for hackney licences (standard and wheelchair accessible) must have a permanent rigid roof. A properly fitted sunroof is permitted.


The minimum dimensions of the passenger seats, their height from the floor, and the distance between them are specified precisely – see the Initial Suitability Inspection Manual for more details.

Side-facing seats are not permitted

Seats, seat anchorages, seat mechanisms, head restraints, safety belts and belt anchorages must comply with the relevant standards and regulations outlined in the Initial Suitability Inspection Manual.


The vehicle must be in a good, clean condition. The seats must be properly upholstered, clean and in a hygienic condition. The exterior paint must be consistent. The vehicle must not have paint or bodywork repairs in progress.

Interior lights

The standard interior lights must be operational.

Temperature control

The vehicle must be capable of maintaining a passenger compartment temperature of 20°C while the outside temperature is -5°C.

Bull bars

A bull bar is a supplementary bumper or similar separate structure at the front of the vehicle. If such equipment is fitted, it must comply with EC Regulation 78/2009/EC.