Vehicle inspection guidelines and reporting an accident or damage to a vehicle

Last Updated: 3 April 2024

You are responsible for making sure your taxi is safe by carrying out regular vehicle checks. You need to let us know if your taxi is involved in an accident or gets damaged.

Notification of an accident or damage to vehicle

You will need to fill in the notification of an accident or damage report form (PDF 177KB/ 5 pages).

Send the form to us, with pictures of the vehicle and the damage. Contact details below.

We will make a decision to suspend or revoke the licence or issue a 7, 14 or 28 day notice for the vehicle to be repaired. Once repaired, the vehicle should be tested at one of the approved garages for an MOT and taxi inspection. You will need to get an engineer's report.

We will let you know if, and when, the vehicle can go back on the road. The vehicle must not be operating until confirmation is received.

Our Locality Officers carry out random spot checks. Your licence could be revoked if you continue to operate without letting us know about an accident or damage to your vehicle.

Vehicle inspection guidance

All taxis, whether hackney or private hire, need to be inspected regularly and should meet all these requirements: 

  • no hole, tear of metal or any metal or other items (eg trim) to be capable of injuring a pedestrian or passenger. This is to include doors, door panels (inside) etc
  • that bodywork, partially or wholly to show no discoloration that is beyond normal ageing, for the vehicles age/mileage. It is not acceptable for panels to be of contrasting colour eg panels, door skins, bonnet, that are replacements by ‘second hand’ or primer coated
  • all seats are to be secure. No movement will be allowed that compromises the safety and comfort of any passenger. Any tear must be of good repair and any seat covers are appropriate for the seating/make of vehicle
  • depending on make/model all flooring should be secure, tear/hole free and appropriate. Rubber mats covering a tear/hole are acceptable so long as they are in good repair and appropriate for the make/model. Not acceptable if any luggage/goods placed in boot/luggage area will be soiled
  • luggage grills are to be of manufacturers make or an approved make (eg Halfords supplied)
  • all windows must be able to be wound down (to its full extent) and up with ease, eg winder turns without excessive (two hands) turn
  • hackney (taxis) usually display the internal disc in the top left hand side of windscreen (but can be on the dash). But it must be visible and readable
  • all bulbs working
  • all settings to work and ‘de-mist’ to manufacturers/law requirement
  • licence plate should be fixed, slightly above or slightly below bumper acceptable
  • sign only to be illuminated while the taxi meter is in the ‘For Hire’ mode. Light is not to show in the ‘Hired’ and ‘Stopped’ modes

You have a duty of care for the health and safety of your passengers. Further information about best practice and byelaws is available in our taxi policy and guidance for CCTV systems.