Taxi testing for heavier vehicles

If you are applying for a Class C taxi licence with a heavy vehicle (over 3,500kg gross weight or over 2,540kg unladen weight), there are some extra features that you need to be aware of as well as the standard rules for a Class C application.

Class C rules for heavy vehicles

Some of the standard Class C rules which apply to heavy vehicles include:

  • a maximum of eight passenger seats
  • a maximum passenger step height of 435mm
  • a suitable fire extinguisher mounted and readily available for use
  • two doors - one on the nearside and one on the offside or the rear
  • valid taxi insurance

Heavy vehicles don't have to be M1 type approved, and may be altered since they were originally made.

More detailed guidelines for all taxis can be found at the link below:

Extra features needed

Where an application is for a Class C taxi licence and the taxi is over 3,500kg gross weight or over 2,540kg unladen weight, it must have these extra features:

  • each manually operated door shall have a slam lock of the two stage type
  • power operated doors shall be fitted in compliance with Schedule 6 to the Construction and Use Regulations (construction requirements of minibuses)
  • the hinges fitted to any manually operated door that opens outwards and is situated on the side of the taxi must be fitted to the edge nearest to the front of the taxi
  • every handle or device used to open a door on the outside of the taxi shall be not more than 1,500 millimetres from the ground
  • all doors must be constructed to provide natural light into the taxi and allow a person immediately inside the door to see a person immediately outside the door
  • adequate ventilation shall be provided for passengers and the driver without the necessity of opening any main window or windscreen
  • there shall be adequate means of communication between the passengers and the driver
  • the supports of all seats shall be securely fixed in position and no seat shall be fitted to any door of the taxi
  • where a passenger seated on any seat could be thrown down a stairway in the taxi, an effective screen or guard of between 800 millimetres and 1,100 millimetres in height must be placed so as to provide adequate protection against that happening
  • the top of the side rails or panels of a taxi not having a permanent top shall be at least 910 millimetres above the floor and at least 455 millimetres above the highest part of any passenger seat cushion and the top of the front and back rails or panels shall be at least 1.21 metres above any part of the floor
  • adequate provision shall be made to protect the driver from the effects of glare and reflections caused by artificial interior lighting
  • where the taxi is a decommissioned emergency response or military vehicle it shall be a different colour to that used by the primary user and shall not display any markings or exterior equipment that was used by the primary user*
  • an additional step is provided between the lowest step and the passenger compartment, the vertical distance between each riser shall not be less than 120 millimetres and not greater than 250 millimetres
  • hand rails shall be provided to assist passengers to enter or exit the taxi
  • one passenger shall be counted for each seat length of 400 millimetres
  • the vehicle examiner shall take into account safe and unobstructed entry and exit gained through the nearside door
  • each passenger shall be provided with unobstructed access to at least two doors, one of which must be on the nearside of the taxi and one of which must be either at the rear of the taxi or on the offside of the taxi
  • access to only one of the doors referred to in the paragraph (above) may be obstructed by either or both —
    • seat which when tilted or folded does not obstruct access to that door 
    • a boarding ramp - portable ramp or boarding lift which does not obstruct the handle or other device on the inside for opening the door with which the ramp or lift is associated -
    • and when the door is open - can be pushed or pulled out of the way from the inside so as to leave the doorway clear for use in an emergency

 * primary user means the first user for which the vehicle was manufactured.

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