Fitness Inspection Schedule

The following vehicles will be subject to Fitness Testing:

All vehicles with more than 10,000 miles on the odometer and which are up to three years of age from date of first registration will be subject to an annual fitness test.

All vehicles aged from 3 years will be subject to two fitness tests a year (at 6 monthly intervals).

Upon presentation for inspection, the exterior of the vehicle should be clean so that rust damage, dents and scratches can be clearly identified. Vehicle interiors should also be clean and tidy and free of accumulations of litter and rubbish. Exterior faults should be marked on the Inspection Schedule Sheet.

The vehicle is to be tested to a standard higher than that for a standard Department of Transport Test and testers’ attention is drawn to items in the testers’ manual that are advisory.

If in the testers’ opinion any items or vehicle defects affects the safety, performance or appearance of the vehicle or the comfort or convenience of persons carried therein, the items or item should be noted on the inspection schedule and the vehicle failed. Should it be considered by the tester that the vehicle is unsafe to be used to carry members of the public the tester is requested to inform the Council’s Licensing Team on 01444 477335 immediately.

(a) EXTERIOR – Rust, Dents and Scratches.

(i) Rust

Any vehicle presented should be free from any significant areas of visible rusting. Although minor blemishes should not constitute a failure, the following general criteria should be followed:

  • Any vehicle with more than three rust patches of more than 3cms in diameter or a single rust patch of more than 20 sq.cms should be failed.

(ii) Dents

Any vehicle with minor dents on three or more panels where such dents are more than 5 cms in diameter length or a single dent of more than 20cms in diameter/length should be failed.

(iii) Scratches

Any vehicle with unrepaired scratches down to bare metal on three or more panels, of 5cms in length, or a single scratch of more than 20cms in length, should be failed.

(iv) Paintwork

All panels on the vehicle must be painted in colours consistent with the general colour scheme of the vehicle: panels with unmatched colours or in primer should be deemed as “failures”.


(i) Seats

All seats, including the driver’s, must be free from unrepaired cuts, tears or cigarette burns, except of very minor nature. Any repairs must have been carried out in a professional and neat manner.

(ii) Carpets/Floor Covering

All carpets and floor covering must be complete and free from cuts, tears or serious staining.

 The driver’s foot well must be clear and free of any obstructions (e.g. microphone, cash bag, torch etc.).

(iii) Headlining and other Trim

All interior trim, including headlining, must be clean, complete, properly fitted and free from serious cuts, tears or major soiling.

(iv) Window Operation

All passengers, excepting those occupying a middle seat, must be able to open adjacent windows without difficulty.

(v) Tinted Windows

The windscreen and the front side windows to either side of the driver’s head must not be tinted to a degree that exceeds the limits as laid out in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended.


When presented for inspection, the boot/luggage compartment should be empty, except for a full size spare wheel, essential tools and first aid kit. The compartment should be clean and any coverings free from major cuts, tears and other damage.


 All hackney carriages must be fitted with a calendar taxi-meter calibrated to the current rate of hire charges.


All vehicles that normally display a roof sign capable of illumination must be presented for the test with that sign in place and in working order. All signs that are capable of being illuminated must illuminate and in the case of a Hackney Carriage the sign must be wired to the taximeter so as to enable it to be extinguished while the meter is in operation. Vehicles with meters/signs not complying shall be failed.


All auxiliary electrical equipment fitted to the vehicle (e.g. roof box, radio, aerials etc.) must be securely wired into the vehicle's electrical system and fused where appropriate.

All auxiliary wiring passing through the vehicle’s bodywork must be adequately insulated (preferably through a grommetted hole). All auxiliary wiring must be kept away from fuel lines.


All vehicles must carry a fire extinguisher and first aid kit. The First Aid Kit must be a Travel First Aid Kit which complies with BS 8599. The fire extinguisher must comply with BS EN 3 and should be fitted with a gauge indicating the level of contents. The First Aid Kit and the Fire Extinguisher shall be clearly marked with a permanent marker with the licence number of the vehicle.


All vehicles must be fitted with off-side AND nearside door or wing mirrors in addition to an interior mirror.


A spare wheel must be carried on the vehicle and the tyre must be legal. Where the manufacturer does not supply a vehicle with a spare wheel a manufacturer supplied and approved Emergency Tyre Repair Kit may be carried in lieu of a spare wheel and must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Where a vehicle has had an LPG conversion and the space provided for the spare wheel is used to locate the gas tank then an Emergency Tyre Repair Kit may be carried in lieu of a spare wheel. All components of the Emergency Tyre Repair Kit must be within its use by date if applicable.


All vehicles must be fitted with front and rear seat belts.

Proprietors are particularly reminded that:-

 (1) They should arrange for their vehicles to be inspected as soon as possible prior to the current fitness certificate expiry date. However in line with M.O.T. tests the Fitness test can be carried out not more than one month before the old certificate expires, the expiry date on the new certificate can be entered as 12 months from the expiry date on the old certificate. To take advantage of this extension to the expiry date, you must show your current certificate to the tester before he/she issues the new one.

(2) Apart from new vehicles mentioned at 3 below all vehicles over one year old being tested for a hackney carriage certificate and a private hire licence must first have a current MOT certificate.

(3) The Contractor will be carrying out inspection work only. Under no circumstances will any repair work be undertaken. The Contractor’s inspection will not only cover the mechanical condition of the vehicle but also its interior and exterior condition and appearance. All vehicles must obtain a Certificate of Fitness. The certificate will be issued from Mr MOT or Supreme Clutch Services upon vehicles being passed as fit to be licensed.

All vehicles submitted for test must display a current Road Fund Licence. 28 The inspection fee must be paid when the vehicle is presented for inspection. A receipt will be given.

(4) No application for either a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licence will be considered without a Certificate of Fitness. The Certificate of Fitness is valid only for the duration as specified on the certificate.

Appeal procedures for vehicles failing the Council’s fitness test

Where a vehicle fails the fitness test the vehicle proprietor has a right of appeal.

The proprietor must inform the Licensing Officer in writing within seven days of the original test, that an appeal test is required. The appeal test will be conditional that the vehicle shall have covered no more than 250 miles and that no repairs or adjustments are made to the item(s) or system(s) which are subject of the appeal.

An Inspector from the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency will conduct the appeal test at the Council’s current vehicle testing station.

The vehicle proprietor along with his/her engineer, the tester who failed the vehicle and the owner or a representative of the testing station will be given the opportunity to attend the appeal test.

The adjudication of the appeal Inspector will be final.

NB Proprietors are reminded that a fee will be charged if an appointment is broken or cancelled with less than 48 hours notice. In your own interests please ensure that your vehicle is in a clean and roadworthy condition before making the appointment for a test.

The above testing is in addition to the requirements for normal MOT Certificates. However, if required Mr MOT, Parkers Garage and Supreme Clutch Services will issue a VT20 Ministry of Transport Certificate for a reduced fee if requested at the time of the Council Test.

Testing Stations

Mr MOT - Teknol House, Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9LG
Tel - 01444 254000

Parkers Garage - 12 Bridge Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1UA
Tel - 01444 474611

Supreme Clutch Services - London Road, Felbridge, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 2RQ
Tel - 01342 313136

Download / Links

Taxi Policy Document

Contact Details

Telephone: 01444 477335