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Changing your vehicle

To find out about the specification for a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle, and about our standard licence conditions, please see our Joint Taxi Licensing Policy. Please note that it is your responsibility to prove that the vehicle complies with our policy, so for example if you buy an imported vehicle with no exhaust emissions details on the log book you will need to obtain evidence of this from the manufacturer before we can consider your application.

If you need to replace your licensed vehicle, either permanently or temporarily, you can apply to change the vehicle to which your licence relates.

Please note that as soon as you remove the plate from the vehicle you wish to change, the vehicle will no longer be able to be used for hire and reward purposes (for hackney carriages, please also remove the roof sign). You also cannot use the new vehicle for hire and reward until you receive the new licence and plate.

If this is a temporary change due to having an accident, remember you must report the accident to us in accordance with the conditions of your licence. In addition, please bear in mind that when you want to change your vehicle back again, you will need to make a further application as below, including a new compliance test.

Please note that change of vehicle applications can take up to two weeks to process. If you do not hear anything from us within this timescale, please email us with the date you applied, the payment reference, and your plate number so we can track your application.

How to apply for a change of vehicle

To apply, please download and complete a change of vehicle application form. Please read the notes and guidance carefully before you complete the form. This form must be completed by the licence holder (and not, for example, a replacement car hire company).

What do I need to submit with my application?

When you submit your application you need to include the following:

  • your completed application form (this form must be completed by the licence holder and not, for example, a replacement car hire company).
  • V5C vehicle registration document. If the V5C is in the name of anyone other than the applicant, we will need a copy of the lease/hire agreement and written confirmation that they give approval for the vehicle to be licensed (if this isn’t covered in the lease/hire agreement). If you don’t have the V5C (for example if you’ve just bought the vehicle) then you will need to provide the receipt/bill of sale and official documentation to confirm the vehicle meets our criteria, such as the emissions requirement and to confirm the vehicle is not a category A, B or S write-off.
  • current insurance certificate or cover note for at least third party cover and appropriate for the licence type (insurance for a hackney carriage MUST state that it is covered for the carriage of passengers for hire and reward, hackney carriage or public hire; insurance which states it only covers pre-booked journeys is for private hire vehicles only).
  • current certificate of compliance from one of the authorised garages – brand new registered vehicles with fewer than 1,500 miles on the odometer will not be required to have a full compliance certificate test but will require a check on the meter (if fitted) and the tariff card.
  • the application fee – for portal applications there is a drop down list from which you must select the correct fee. Please note that the reduced application fee is now for ZERO emission (fully electric or hydrogen) vehicles and wheelchair accessible vehicles only. If you pay the wrong fee, the application will be rejected.

How to submit your application

Once complete, you will need to scan the form and supporting documents. If you do not have access to a scanner, you could take a photograph of each page of the form but please note it must be clear and legible or we will not be able to process it.

When you have all your documents ready, please submit your completed application through our online application portal. The portal should work via any smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC with internet access and you will be able to pay the required fee with a debit or credit card.

Important note – If too many large files are uploaded it may exceed the maximum size that the system can email to us. If you have difficulties uploading all your documents and do not receive a confirmation email from us (separate from your receipt) with your uploaded files attached then please contact us at

If you are having trouble accessing our online portal please email your application to us using the details below. These applications will take longer to process as an officer will have to call you to take payment.

We recommend you do not apply by post.

What happens next?

We will review your application, and if we need any additional information or documentation, we will let you know. We may also carry out additional checks for relevant information held by other authorities.

Once we have processed your application, we will contact you to confirm when the new plate is ready for collection. You will need to bring the plate for the vehicle which is being replaced to swap it over. We will not issue the new plate until the old plate is returned. If this is not possible, please confirm the reason in writing in the relevant section on the application form.

For details on how we use data relating to licence holders and applicants, please see our privacy notice for licence holders and applicants.

Contact us - Licensing

01235 422556
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

South Oxfordshire District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE