FBHVC publishes six Newsletters a year, at the end of January, March, May, July, September and November.  

 

Classic Car Hire World will pass on information relevant to the classic car hire industry.

 

Of specific interest to any Car Hire company in the UK is the information on Page 4 in their Newsletter No3, 2008 on the developing rules covering the use of classic cars as Private Hire Vehicles. This is particularly relevant to any UK classic car hire companies that offer chauffeur services for weddings, school proms and other special occasions.

 

Text of article shown below:

 

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Private Hire Vehicles  

 

We now know of three people or businesses that hire older vehicles and drivers out for purposes other than weddings or funerals and who thus may have breached the regulations governing Private Hire Vehicles (PHV).  

 

This is proving a complicated subject to research, and we would not normally devote so much newsletter space to an issue affecting so few people, but this does illustrate how difficult it can sometimes be to understand what the law actually means.  

 

The relevant legislation for England and Wales is contained in Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1976. This Act has 83 sections and various schedules, and applies only to England and Wales. We have not yet begun to establish the position in Scotland or Northern Ireland, but (luckily) we haven’t heard of anyone hiring older cars with drivers out in those areas for purposes other than weddings or funerals.  

 

Section 80 of the Act contains the definitions. The relevant ones being:  

 

“private hire vehicle” means a motor vehicle constructed or adapted to seat fewer than nine passengers, other than a hackney carriage or public service vehicle or a London cab or tramcar, which is provided for hire with the services of a driver for the purpose of carrying passengers.  

 

“controlled district” means any area for which this Part of this Act is in force by virtue of (a) a resolution passed by a district council under section 45 of this Act; or (b) section 255(4) of the Greater London Authority Act 1999  

 

Section 46 of the Act contains the basic rules:  

(1) Except as authorised by this Part of this Act –  

(a) no person being the proprietor of any vehicle, not being a hackney carriage or London cab in respect of which a vehicle licence is in force, shall use or permit the same to be used in a controlled district as a private hire vehicle without having for such a vehicle a current licence under section 48 of this Act;  

(b) no person shall in a controlled district act as driver of any private hire vehicle without having a current licence under section 51 of this Act;  

(c) no person being the proprietor of a private hire vehicle licensed under this Part of this Act shall employ as the driver thereof for the purpose of any hiring any person who does not have a current licence under the said section 51;  

(d) no person shall in a controlled district operate any vehicle as a private hire vehicle without having a current licence under section 55 of this Act;  

(e) no person licensed under the said section 55 shall in a controlled district operate any vehicle as a private hire vehicle –  

(i) if for the vehicle a current licence under the said section 48 is not in force; or  

(ii) if the driver does not have a current licence under the said section 51.  

 

(2) If any person knowingly contravenes the provisions of this section, he shall be guilty of an offence.  

 

And the first clause of Section 75 contains the exemption for weddings and funerals:  

 

Nothing in this Part of this Act shall –  

(a) apply to a vehicle used for bringing passengers or goods within a controlled district in pursuance of a contract for the hire of the vehicle made outside the district if the vehicle is not made available for hire within the district;  

(b) apply to a vehicle used only for carrying passengers for hire or reward under a contract for the hire of the vehicle for a period of not less than seven days;  

(c) apply to a vehicle while it is being used in connection with a funeral or a vehicle used wholly or mainly, by a person carrying on the business of a funeral director, for the purpose of funerals;  

(cc) apply to a vehicle while it is being used in connection with a wedding;  

 

The interesting thing is that the provisions relating to PHV in any given region appear to hinge both on whether or not the Town Police Clauses Act of 1847 (yes, 1847) applies to the area in question, and if it does, whether the district council has exercised its right under Section 45 of the 1976 Act to resolve that the provisions of the 1976 Act should apply to the area in question. The implication is that if the Act of 1847 does not apply to the region, or if it does, but the relevant council has chosen not resolve that the 1976 Act applies, then there is no requirement for licensing in that area.  

 

The preamble to the Town Police Clauses Act of 1847 says: That this Act shall extend only to such Towns or Extent of Districts in England or Ireland as shall be comprised in any Act of Parliament hereafter to be passed which shall declare that this Act shall be incorporated therewith… further research is needed: it is probable that subsequent Acts of Parliament mean that the whole of UK (or at least England and Wales) are now covered by the Act. The 1847 Act, incidentally, has over thirty sections relating to hackney carriages, sandwiched between the ‘Penalties on Persons keeping Places for Bear-baiting, Cock-fighting &c’ in Section XXXVI and controls on ‘public Bathing’ in Section LXIX.  

 

More news next time, by which time we should know what one local authority thinks about a museum’s application to be exempted from the requirements. Readers with comments or queries are asked to contact Jim Whyman. His direct contact details are: admin@fbhvc.co.uk or tel: 01984 656 995.

Classic Car Hire World

 

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