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Small Public Passenger Vehicle, Luxury Hire Car & Taxi Operations Information Sheet

  1. General Information
     
  2. About The Vehicle
    a. What can my Small Public Passenger Vehicle do?
    b. What can my taxi do?
    c. What can my Luxury Hire Car do?
    d. Summary of operations
     
  3. Registration
    a. How do I register my vehicle as a Small Public Passenger Vehicle?
     
  4. Accreditation
    a. As a Small Public Passenger Vehicle operator, do I need to be accredited?
     
  5. Like Further Information?

Small Public Passenger Vehicle information sheet, (PDF)

 

1. General Information

This Information Sheet deals with the operations of Small Public Passenger Vehicles. For information on Large Public Passenger Vehicles please refer to the Public Passenger Vehicles Information Sheet.

  • A Small Public Passenger Vehicle is a motor vehicle with less than 13 seats, including the driver's seat, that is used or hired, together with a driver, for the carriage of passengers for reward.
  • A taxi is a Small Public Passenger Vehicle operating under the authority of a Perpetual Taxi Licence, a Wheelchair-accessible Taxi (WAT) Licence, an Owner-operator Taxi Licence or a Temporary Taxi Licence, that authorises the vehicle to be hired on demand within, to or from the taxi area to which the licence relates either;
    • from a taxi zone/rank
    • by being hailed
    • by being booked or ordered.
       
  • The 4 different types of taxi licences are summarised under;
    • A Perpetual taxi licence can be bought or sold on the open market and is owned by the licensee in perpetuity or until the licence is sold to another licensee. It can be leased or assigned. It cannot be cancelled. No new perpetual taxi licences are available from the Transport Commission.
    • An Owner-operator taxi licence can be bought or sold on the open market, is held by the licensee and must be operated by the licensee. It can only be held by a natural person who is accredited to operate a taxi service and it cannot be leased or assigned. It can be cancelled without compensation under certain circumstances, such as if the licence has been leased.  The Commission must make available limited numbers of new Owner-operator licences each year.
    • A Wheelchair-accessible taxi (WAT) licence operates with a wheelchair-accessible vehicle but may also carry non wheelchair-reliant passengers. WATs have a higher fare structure when carrying wheelchair-reliant passengers. WAT licences are available on application from the Commission provided the applicant is accredited to provide a taxi service and has a compliant vehicle.
    • A temporary taxi licence may be issued to an accredited operator of a taxi service for a limited period. It has the same effect as an Owner-operator taxi licence for the period it is in force and cannot be bought or sold on the open market.
       
  • A Luxury Hire Car is a Small Public Passenger Vehicle operating under the authority of a Luxury Hire Car licence, with an approved luxury vehicle. As with taxi licences, they can be bought and sold on the open market, but new luxury hire car licences may be purchased on demand from Commission for a fee of $5 000. Luxury Hire Car licences cannot be leased.
  • A number of fees are payable for taxi and luxury hire car operations, and other public passenger vehicles, and are detailed at this link.

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2. About The Vehicle

a. What can my Small Public Passenger Vehicle do?

If your Small Public Passenger Vehicle is not a taxi or a luxury hire car, it may only undertake Limited Passenger Services, or operate as a Hire and Drive (rental) vehicle.  Limited Passenger Services are defined in Schedule 2 of the Passenger Transport Act 1997, which is reproduced below.  Hire and Drive operations are described in a separate information bulletin accessed from the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources' public website.

A taxi or luxury hire car is able to undertake additional services as described in sections 2b and 2c of this Information Sheet.

Schedule 2

Category

Limited Passenger Services

Explanation

(a)

The hiring out of a classic or vintage car, or a custom car such as a "hot-rod", for weddings or other special occasions, together with a driver. This category is aimed at weddings, school leavers' dinners, special anniversaries and similar special occasions where the focus is not on personal travel from point A to point B, but rather in the arrival at point B in a specialty vehicle. Category (a) is not seen as a means of bypassing the requirements of vehicles to obtain a Luxury Hire Car licence.

(ab)

The hiring out, for weddings or funerals, of a small passenger vehicle that, apart from any consideration of age, would be classifiable as a luxury vehicle for the purposes of Schedule 5 of the Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Industries Act 2008. This category is to allow a vehicle that might otherwise, except for its age, be a luxury hire car, to operate weddings and funerals.

(b)

The hiring out of a motor cycle for irregular tours or general hire, together with a driver. This category is self-explanatory.

(c)

The hiring out of a bus for irregular tours or general hire, together with a driver. This category allows small buses (less than 13 seats, including the driver's seat) to be used for general hire, charter and tour work. The term bus is a standard body type classification, being a vehicle with more than 9 seats including the driver's seat. This category, then, applies to buses of 10-12 seats.

(d)

The hiring out of a small passenger vehicle, together with a driver, for adventure, recreational, educational or other brochured tours, either in accordance with guidelines issued by the Transport Commission under section 25A of the Passenger Transport Act 1997 or an approval under that section. This category covers brochured tours, as well as irregular or specially tailored tours. 4-wheel drive vehicles involved in regular tours are also included here. This category covers vehicles that may have once been licensed as Luxury Hire Cars or taxis but may have exceeded the maximum age limits. The primary guides are that the tour is either a brochured tour, which is available through a number of outlets, or is part of some overall package tour where the itinerary is tailored to the needs of the client.

The Transport Commission will issue guidelines defining brochured tours.

General personalised or individual travel from point A to point B is not included in this category. This type of travel requires a Luxury Hire Car Licence or a Taxi Licence, or a bus under (c) above.

(e)

The use of a small passenger vehicle on regular passenger transport services. This category is required for situations where a small vehicle is used on an approved regular passenger transport service.

(f)

The hiring out of a 4-wheel drive vehicle for irregular tours, together with a driver. This category provides for 4-wheel drive tours, which may also be covered by category (e).

(g)

The hiring out of a vehicle that is fitted with a wheelchair lift for general hire by persons with disabilities, together with a driver. This category is self-explanatory.

(h)

Such other passenger services as may be prescribed to be limited passenger services. This category provides for other limited services to be prescribed by regulation such as taxi-type services in isolated areas, and "novelty" or entertainment vehicles.

It should be noted from Schedule 2 that:

Small Public Passenger Vehicles that are not taxis or luxury hire cars are not able to undertake ad-hoc personalised point-to-point travel with the exception of:

  • a motor cycle or a small bus which may be hired out for general hire [items (b) and (c)], and
  • a vehicle that is fitted with a wheelchair lift and is hired out to persons with disabilities [item (g)].
    Under item (h), the Transport Commission is able to approve a "pseudo taxi" operation in parts of the State not serviced by a taxi licence.

b. What can my taxi do?

Your taxi may undertake personal point-to-point travel that is either pre-booked, off a taxi rank or zone, or hailed in the street. For these operations, the taxi must be fitted with an operating taxi sign and meter. Fares are regulated by a "standard fare" that cannot be exceeded. However, the actual charge made can be less than the standard fare (as shown on the taximeter) at the operator's discretion.
If you want your taxi to undertake Limited Passenger Services as defined in Schedule 2, it must have:

  • its top-light and any taxi signage removed; and
  • the meter inoperative and covered over.

The Taxi Industry Regulations 2008 provide for further specific exemptions from the need to operate a taxi meter or display a top-light.

  • when attending a wedding or funeral; or
  • when operating under a contract or agreement between the licensee and another person and which is approved by the Transport Commission.

Note: Legislation requires the taxi meter to be operated only where the vehicle is hired for the carriage of passengers. A taxi undertaking a parcel delivery is not obliged to operate its meter.

c. What can my Luxury Hire Car do?

Your Luxury Hire Car can undertake limited passenger services as shown in Schedule 2.

Your Luxury Hire Car may also undertake personal point-to-point travel provided such work is pre-booked and the hiring charge is agreed in advance.

A Luxury Hire Car cannot:

  • use taxi zones; or
  • stand for the purpose of, or solicit trade in a public street or a public place.
  • be advertised or displayed as a taxi or cab service.
  • Have a taximeter installed or in use in the vehicle.

For more information on Luxury Hire Cars, please refer to the Luxury Hire Cars Information Sheet.

d. Summary of operations

The table below shows what operations each vehicle type is able to undertake.

Vehicle Class

Authorised Operation

Small Public Passenger Vehicle not licensed as a taxi or luxury hire car.  In this case, no vehicle licence is required.
  • Limited Passenger Services (relevant to the type of vehicle).

  • Freight/parcel delivery.

Luxury Hire Car - a Luxury Hire Car licence is required.

  • Limited Passenger Services.

  • Pre-booked personal point-to-point travel Statewide.

  • Freight/parcel delivery.

Taxi - a perpetual, owner-operator, WAT or temporary licence is required.

  • Limited Passenger Services.
  • Pre-booked personal point-to-point travel to, from or within the taxi area to which the licence relates.
  • Operation from a taxi rank or zone or hailed by a passenger in a public street.
  • Weddings and funerals without the need to operate the meter or display a top-light.
  • Contract or special agreement work as approved by the Transport Commission, without the need to operate a meter or display a top-light.
  • Freight/parcel delivery (without need to operate meter).

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3. Registration

a. How do I register my vehicle as a Small Public Passenger Vehicle?

The registration of your vehicle as a Small Public Passenger Vehicle is at your initiative, and is done by completing an application form available from any Service Tasmania shop. Higher MAIB registration fees apply.

For more information on registering your vehicle as a small public passenger vehicle, please refer to the Public Passenger Vehicles Information Sheet.

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4. Accreditation

a. As a Small Public Passenger Vehicle operator, do I need to be accredited?

Yes, anyone who provides a public passenger vehicle service must be accredited.

For further information on Public Passenger Vehicle operator accreditation, please refer to the Public Passenger Vehicle Operator Accreditation Information Sheet.

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5. Like Further Information?

This information sheet is one in a series of Information Sheets that provide further detail on a range of public passenger vehicle and accreditation matters. This information can be accessed from the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources' public website.

More detailed information on the legislation relevant to Public Passenger Vehicles (listed below) can be found on the Tasmanian Government?s legislation website or you can obtain a copy from the Print Applied Technology Bookshop at 123 Collins Street, Hobart 7000, telephone 1800 030 940.