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Daughter's prom
Just as an update to this really. This article was in the FBHVC's magazine recently. Thought it may make interesting reading. :roll:

Jim Whyman

In May, the Law Commission published a consultation entitled ‘Reforming the Law of Taxi and Private Hire Services’. The full 240 page consultation document, as well as a rather more manageable 19 page summary, can be found at ... s/1804.htm where the covering note states that the consultation period closes on 10 September 2012. The consultation document itself states that it closes on 10 August. At the time of writing, FBHVC had not received a response to a request for clarification.

Before considering the detail, it is worth noting that this consultation has been put forward by the Law Commission. The Law Commission is an independent body, answering to the Department for Justice, whose purpose is to keep the law under review and, where appropriate, to recommend reform to ensure that the law is fair, modern, simple and cost effective. Readers of our newsletters in 2008 will recall that the body of law relating to taxis and private hire vehicles is anything but modern or simple, and we concurred with the suggestion of the Institute of Licensing that ‘[government] should consolidate the existing minefield of legislation and regulation into a unified system that will result in a balanced set of regulations that can be applied evenly throughout the country’. That is what the Law Commission is seeking to do.

Its brief is: ‘To review the law relating to the regulation of taxis and private hire vehicles, with a view to its modernisation and simplification, having due regard to the potential advantages of deregulation in reducing the burdens on business and increasing economic efficiency.’

The consultation paper is but a step in the process so that the Law Commission can pay heed to public and stakeholder opinion before publishing detailed recommendations to government with a draft Bill. It is expecting to do this in November 2013. It will then be up to government whether to ask parliament to legislate, although it will almost certainly do so. Legislation is unlikely to come in to force until the second half of 2014 at the earliest.

The paper explains how the existing mish-mash of regulation has come in to being, and outlines the Law Commission’s preliminary views on how best to strike a balance between public and consumer protection on the one hand and keeping the regulatory burden on operators to a minimum on the other.

99% of the consultation relates to the modern taxi/private hire trade. Historic vehicles are not mentioned as such, although there is one reference to ‘classic taxis’. Vehicles that are outside the mainstream taxi/hire-car trade are generally considered under the heading of ‘novelty’ vehicles, and this term covers vehicles as diverse as ‘stretched’ limousines and pedi-cabs/tri-shaws.

The reason that this consultation has relevance to the historic vehicle movement is that it proposes that the current statutory exemption from normal private hire vehicle licensing requirements for vehicles used for weddings and funerals should be dropped. The consultation comments that it is difficult to see why people hiring vehicles for weddings and funerals should be afforded less protection from rogue operators, dishonest drivers and unsafe vehicles than those hiring vehicles for other purposes. It is difficult to argue otherwise.

Since it is this exemption that makes it possible for historic vehicle owners legally to hire themselves and their vehicles out for weddings and funerals without having to go through the usual private hire licensing regime, the proposal has, understandably, led to scare stories suggesting that this is the end of using historic vehicles for weddings.

There is no reason that should be the case. The consultation recognises that there are circumstances in which it is appropriate for vehicles, or services, to be exempt from the licensing requirements, but it proposes that any such exemptions should be by means of secondary legislation. Moving such measures from primary to secondary legislation provides greater flexibility to enable the law to adjust to changing circumstances. The use of historic vehicles for weddings, although not specifically mentioned in the consultation, fits the circumstances in which a regulatory exemption would be appropriate.

FBHVC will be responding to the consultation explaining the business case for allowing historic vehicles to continue to be used for wedding hire and urging that nothing is done that will endanger this well established practice.

[Note: The regulations controlling private hire in Scotland are less confusing and are contained in the Civic Government (Scotland) Act, 1982, and this contains a similar exemption for weddings and funerals to that in England and Wales. The Road Service Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland), 1989 apply in Ulster.]
Membership Secretary DOC UK
2021's DeLorean event:
VIN#15768 Ex VIN#4584
interesting reading Chris, and I'll be watching this with interest, especially as I'm already booked to do
two weddings this month .....
Claire Wright  - Club Treasurer
Jul 1981 DeLorean - Flopsy #2292 
Aug 1989 Cavalier 1.6L - Guinney
Apr 2021 Mokka-e Launch Edition - Evie
Guinney1971 Wrote:I still dont understand why, if these laws are in place, that all these ridiculous
stretched Hummers you see at proms (and the like) NEVER have those 'private
hire' plates on them that you seen on licenced taxi cabs.

When I get time, I'll speak to our local council and find out what thier take on it is.

It's obvious what they all do then :wink: No reward, hire for appearance.

Ex 1981 DMC Delorean Time Machine owner.

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