What Is A Private Hire Vehicle Inspection?
Whether you’re applying for your private hire vehicle licence for the first time or simply renewing, you’re likely to have a lot of questions ahead of your vehicle inspection. You’ll want to pass first time, with a glowing Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR). And you’ll want to avoid having to pay out for a re-test. We want to equip you with the information you need to make sure the process is a quick, easy and successful one.
INSHUR are here to help. Scroll down for all the information you’ll be wanting to know ahead of your private hire vehicle inspection.
This following is correct at the time of writing, 18th November 2020.
How do I book a vehicle inspection?
Booking with Transport for London (TfL)
The quickest and easiest way to book your vehicle inspection is through your TfL online customer account. Online booking is available 24/7 for you to arrange an appointment at a date, time and location that suits you from one of the following Vehicle Inspection Garage Sites which are now open after a 6-month temporary closure due to COVID-19.
- Central West Site
Unit 2 Aquarius Business Park, Staples corner, Priestly Way, NW2 7AN
- East Site
Unit Q1, Acorn Business Park, Crayford, Kent, DA1 4AL
- North Site
Unit 2, Watermill Business Centre, Edison Road, Enfield, EN3 7XF
- South Inspection Site
Unit B5, Redlands, Ullswater Crescent, Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5 2HT
- West Site
20A Airlinks Industrial Estate, Spitfire Way, Heston, TW5 9NR
- Central East Site
Unit 1 North Crescent, Canning Town, E16 4TL
You can also cancel or reschedule your appointment online.
Click here to book a vehicle inspection using your TfL online customer account.
HINT: If you have previously applied for or renewed your driver licence online, you will have an online account already set up.
If you do not already have a TfL online customer account, you can create one by clicking here.
HINT: You should receive a letter confirming your unique customer account details as part of your renewal pack. These same details must be used to create your online account.
TOP TIP: Private hire regulations have recently changed. Make sure you’re familiar with the changes before submitting your application by clicking here.
Booking outside of London
Your private hire vehicle will need to be inspected and licensed by your local council. Click here to find and contact your local council.
What documentation do I need?
For TfL vehicle inspections they state that you will need to take the following documentation to your appointment:
- Existing TfL vehicle licence and discs (if applicable)
- V5c DVLA Vehicle Registration Certificate
- Hire and reward insurance documents
- MOT certificate issued within the last 14 days
- Vehicle modification documents
- Any other relevant documentation relating to the vehicle, where appropriate, such as Voluntary Individual Vehicle Approval (VIVA)
- Certificate of conformity (if required)
For inspections elsewhere in the UK, your local council should be able to provide you with a list of the necessary documentation.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, owners of cars, vans and motorcycles are granted a temporary 6-month extension on their MOT certificate. This applies to anyone whose MOT certificate is due to expire within 12 months of 30th March 2020.
How often do I need a vehicle inspection?
With Transport for London you’ll need a vehicle inspection yearly as private hire licences, and therefore vehicle inspection reports, are valid for a period of 12 months.
If you’re outside of London it is up to your local council how often your vehicle is inspected, but they can’t test any more than three times a year.
How much does it cost?
In London, a private hire vehicle inspection costs a total of £140. Outside of London, again this varies on your local council. Contact them for more information on pricing.
What if I fail my inspection?
Transport for London states that if you need to get your vehicle re-tested, you can do that free at one of the vehicle inspection centres within 28 days. If you fail an annual licensing inspection, or in the event of your application being abandoned without giving 24 hours notice, you will be entitled to a refund of the grant of licence fee portion only (£56). No refund will be given to that part of the fee relating to the application (£84).
If you’re outside of London, you must fix any problems within 2 months of failing a test. But do check with your local authority for more detail.