Regulations to be classed as a taxi
Stretched limousines can be licensed as a Class C taxi provided they have been certified as an M1 vehicle at the time of registration or have been previously licensed as a Private Hire taxi via the previous Public Service Vehicle (PSV) test regulations, alternatively where the stretched limousine is a heavy motor car or a motor car with a maximum authorised weight exceeding 3500kg, it must meet the statutory requirements. All stretched limousines cannot exceed eight passengers in addition to the driver.
Test requirements (general)
Vehicles presented for a taxi licence inspection will be subjected to a roadworthiness (MOT type) inspection. In addition, the vehicle must be presented with the following:
- a suitable fire extinguisher mounted and readily available for use
- a suitable spare wheel and the necessary tools to fit it (a post-puncture repair kit is acceptable where the original vehicle has not been supplied with the facility to carry a spare wheel) - stretched limousines which are heavy motor cars or a motor cars with a maximum authorised weight exceeding 3500kg are free from this requirement
- current taxi insurance to be produced on the day of inspection
- where the stretched limousine is a heavy motor car (more than 3500kg in gross weight) or the unladen vehicle of the vehicle exceeds 2540kg, additional requirements are applicable
- Taxi testing for heavier vehicles
A stretched limousine is not permitted to display a taxi roof sign.
The maximum number of passengers who may be seated in the vehicle will be determined by the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) vehicle examiner on the day of the test. A taxi licence will not be issued if the vehicle is determined as suitable to carry more than eight passengers.
In the case of vehicles originating or stretched in North America, the glass must either be marked in compliance with BS or European standards, or marked in compliance with Federal or Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
It is likely that the tyres fitted by the original vehicle manufacturer, before the vehicle was stretched, will not be suitable for use on the stretched and heavier vehicle.
Customers are advised to get advice from their local garage or tyre supplier if they have any doubts about the suitability of the tyres fitted to the vehicle.