New additions to licence conditions

New conditions have been added to the taxi and private hire licence for vehicles licensed in Southampton. These changes are in place to ensure we can reduce emissions from Southampton’s fleet operating across the city by 1 January 2023.

The additional conditions to the licences are:

No diesel vehicle with an emissions standard of Euro 5 (European emission standard) or lower will be granted a licence on or after 1st January 2020 other than by way of licence renewal unless the vehicle has been converted with approved Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) technology.

No diesel vehicle with an emissions standard of Euro 5 or lower will be licensed or relicensed by way of renewal on or after 1st January 2022 unless the vehicle has been converted with approved CVRAS technology.

Any vehicle fitted with approved CVRAS technology may be exempt from these conditions subject to the vehicle meeting all other relevant conditions and on production of approved certification.

How to check my vehicle's Euro standard

To confirm your vehicle's Euro standard please contact your vehicle manufacturer. However, the following dates are generally associated with the engine Euro standard.

Emissions standard
Applied to new passenger car approvals from
Applied to most new registrations from
Euro 1
1 July 1992
31 December 1992
Euro 2
1 January 1996
1 January 1997
Euro 3
1 January 2000
1 January 2001
Euro 4
1 January 2005
1 January 2006
Euro 5
1 September 2009
1 January 2011
Euro 6
1 September 2014
1 September 2015

Low emission taxi incentive

To support taxi and private hire vehicle owners to comply with these changes, we are offering incentives including grants to encourage owners to upgrade to a low emission vehicle. Taxi and private hire vehicle owners can apply for up to £3,000 cashback on licensing costs when replacing an eligible older, more polluting vehicle. This incentive is only available until May 2021; the level of grant offered will be halved in May 2020. There is only a limited number of grants available. You need to apply to take advantage of this sooner rather than later as allocation is on a first come, first served basis. The grant can be for a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full electric vehicle. Find out more about our incentive scheme.

We are installing a rapid charger for taxi and private hire vehicle use in Bitterne (Lances Hill Car Park). This charger can charge an electric vehicle battery in under 40 minutes and should be used to provide a top-up during the working day. Further details will be available when the charge point is installed and ready to use.

We are doing this because there is growing evidence that poor air quality is responsible for a range of health issues including cancer, respiratory and heart illnesses. Road transport has been identified as being one of the major contributors to poor air quality.

In 2018, we reviewed the introduction of a Clean Air Zone where taxis and private hire vehicles that did not meet the minimum Euro emission standards may be charged for entering the city. After the initial consultation, the approach was reviewed with an alternative being announced in January 2019. We introduced the Green City Charter with a series of ambitious goals, including our aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Find out more about government grants, tax savings and other incentives and opportunities for driving electric vehicles.