It's not widely known but since the 1st January 2009, new taxi and hackney vehicle licences have been issued only for vehicles that are less than nine years old.
From their renewal date in 2011, all taxi and hackney licences (irrespective of when they were first issued) may be granted only to vehicles that are less than nine years old.
This means that a significant number of taxis currently operating on Irish roads will no longer be able to do so when the new regulations come into force in January 2011. We're still awaiting confirmation from the regulator on the number of vehicles that this new rule will effect but data to hand shows that up to 10,000 cars could be forced to retire from active duty.
Destined for the private market?
It is expected that many of these cars will be disposed of in the private market meaning buyers should be extra vigilant when appraising cars with a 2001 registration or older.
Thankfully, Motorcheck can tell you if a registration number was EVER used as a Taxi, Hackney or Limousine. If you have the registration number you'd like to check just enter in in the box below.
Not everyone is in favour of the new rules. The Capital Taxi Association has come out against the new regulations claiming that that the disabled, the public in general and the vast majority of Taxi Drivers will not be entitled to a fair shake of the stick by the Commission for Taxi Regulation.
Disabled expected to travel in older vehicles
They point out that "The disabled are expected to travel in vehicles over nine years old which, if they were other than wheelchair accessible would automatically be deemed unfit for use due to age while existing operators of standard taxis over nine years old regardless of condition must replace their vehicles.
Wheelchair accessible taxis also operate as multi passenger vehicles (up to eight passengers) when not transporting a wheelchair user, a standard taxi service for more than four passengers so, why the disparity?"
The current Wheelchair Accessible fleet will have to meet standards set out for passenger car M1 certification from 2012 but will remain exempt from the nine-year rule. Once M1 certified these vehicles must simply continue to undergo and pass the National Car Test (NCT) and Société Générale de Surveillance Ireland Ltd (SGS) visual assessment on a yearly basis to remain in service.
Standard taxis of comparable age and condition must be taken out of service as taxis but these vehicles may be resold as family cars.