Experiences involving transportation in London
These information pages are here to help give you a starting point to find out about some of the obligations that may apply to you if you decide to host Trips or Experiences on Airbnb. These pages are for your information only and include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to official resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
I’m planning to drive my guests to and from my Experience which is based in London. Do I need a licence or registration to allow me to do this?
Yes. Firstly, before driving any guests you must ensure that:
you have a valid driving licence;
your vehicle is registered with the DVLA;
you have up to date vehicle tax;
you have a current MOT certificate (if your vehicle needs one); and
you have a minimum of third party insurance that covers your use of the vehicle.
Failure to comply with some or all of these requirements may lead to disqualification from driving, a fine and/or a custodial sentence.
In addition, your vehicle is likely to be classified as a private hire vehicle ("PHV"), which is defined as 'a vehicle constructed or adapted to seat fewer than nine passengers which is made available with a driver for hire for the purpose of carrying passengers, other than a licensed taxi or a public service vehicle'.
If you are operating a PHV, you will need to comply with The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 and obtain the appropriate licences. Within Greater London, the licensing of PHVs is administered by Transport for London ("TfL"), and so you will need to obtain all of the following licences from TfL before you can drive guests to and from your experience:
a private hire operator licence, which allows you to take PHV bookings at the place specified in the licence (which may be your home address);
a private hire driver licence, for each person who will be a driver, which will allow that person to drive a PHV; and
a private hire vehicle licence, for all vehicles to be used, which will allow those vehicles to be used as a PHV.
The licensing criteria are quite detailed and so we recommend that you review the links provided above carefully, or contact TfL or a lawyer for advice.
If you intend to use a larger vehicle to carry nine or more passengers at any one time, you will need to obtain a public service vehicle licence instead.
It is important to bear in mind that the above obligations apply whether or not, or how much, you decide to charge for transportation (that means that these obligations apply even if you don’t charge a separate fee for the transportation, or if the charge you allocate to the transportation only covers your actual expenses, such as petrol).
What if my experience is outside London? Will I need additional or a different licence or registration in order to drive people outside of London in return for payment?
If you are based in Greater London and obtain the required PHV operator licence, private hire driver licence(s) and vehicle licence(s) from TfL, you are entitled to drive people to an experience outside of Greater London.
However, if you are based outside of Greater London, you must obtain a PHV operator licence, private hire driver licence(s) and vehicle licence(s) from the local authority where you are based. Licensing criteria differs between local authorities. Therefore, if you are based outside of Greater London we recommend that you contact your local authority in order to obtain more information on their specific licensing requirements.
What happens if I don’t get the licence(s) or registration(s) that I need?
If you do not obtain a PHV operator licence, a private hire driver licence and a vehicle licence, you will not be entitled to drive guests to and from your experiences.
Accepting private hire bookings without being licensed is a criminal offence and may lead to prosecution which could result in disqualification from driving, a ban on obtaining the required PHV licences and/or a fine.
What about insurance? Will I need a special type of insurance?
Yes. Your standard third party insurance will not cover you for driving guests to and from your experience. You will need to obtain hire and reward insurance for the entire duration of your licence, including when your vehicle is not in use as a PHV.
My experience involves going to a couple of separate venues, which are not walking distance from each other. I want to provide transportation between the two venues. I plan to order an Uber or licensed taxi or other licensed form of transportation. I do not plan to charge anything for the transportation. Do I need a specific licence to allow me to do this?
It is not likely that you would need a licence in order to book and pay for transportation for your guests. However, we recommend that you ensure that you only make bookings with licensed transport providers, and that you make it clear to your guests which transport provider the booking has been made with.
What if I want to charge for the transportation?
It is not likely that you would need a licence in order to charge guests for booking transportation for them. However, we would recommend that you ensure that you only make bookings with licensed transport providers, and that you make it clear to your guests which transport provider the booking has been made with.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).