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(1)A licence, to be known as a “taxi licence” or, as the case may be, a “private hire car licence”, shall be required for the operation of a vehicle as—
(a)a taxi; or
(b)a private hire car.
(2)A licensing authority shall not grant or renew a taxi licence or private hire car licence unless they are satisfied that the vehicle to which the licence is to relate is suitable in type, size and design for use as a taxi or private hire car, as the case may be, and is safe for that use, and that there is in force in relation to the vehicle such a policy of insurance or such security as complies with Part VI of the M1Road Traffic Act 1972.
[F1(3)Without prejudice to paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 to this Act, the grant of a taxi licence may be refused by a licensing authority for the purpose of limiting the number of taxis in respect of which licences are granted by them if, but only if, they are satisfied that there is no significant demand for the services of taxis in their area which is unmet.]
(4)A vehicle shall, for the purposes of subsection (2) above, be treated by a licensing authority as being suitable in type, size and design if it complies with regulations in that regard made by the Secretary of State under section 20(2) of this Act in respect of their area.
(5)A taxi licence or private hire car licence shall extend to the operation of a vehicle substituted for the vehicle in respect of which the licence was granted or, as the case may be, last renewed if the licensing authority are as respects the substitute vehicle satisfied as to the matters specified in subsection (2) above, and where a taxi licence or private hire car licence extends under this subsection to a substitute vehicle, subsection (6) below shall not apply in respect of the vehicle replaced by the substitute vehicle.
(6)Subject to subsection (5) above, the holder of a taxi or private hire car licence shall within 28 days of his selling or otherwise disposing of the vehicle to which the licence relates deliver to the licensing authority his licence and any licence plate or other thing which has been issued by the licensing authority for the purpose of indicating that the vehicle is a taxi or, as the case may be, private hire car, and if without reasonable excuse he fails to do so he shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding [F2level 2 on the standard scale].
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