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Important changes to vehicle age limits and specifications

The Taxi Services Commission (TSC) has recently made important changes to vehicle age limits and specifications for taxi-cabs.

Vehicle age limits

Effective 29 July 2016, the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) has determined that taxi and hire car age limits will no longer apply.

This determination is based on research undertaken by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) to assess whether existing taxi and hire car age limits are appropriate and the implications between the age limits and vehicle safety.

MUARC's research found that there was no clear correlation between the age of a vehicle and its crash risk. Available evidence suggests that the link between roadworthiness and crash risk is weak.

The MUARC report also found that, while regular vehicle regeneration is critical to ensure that the taxi and hire car fleet has the most up-to-date safety features, imposing age limits may not be the most effective method to ensure this regeneration, as retirement of vehicles appears to be largely driven by economic factors (for example, increased maintenance costs as vehicles age), not age limits.

As a result, the TSC has removed age limits for all taxi-cabs and hire cars.

Despite removing age limits, taxi and hire car operators are responsible for ensuring that vehicles are maintained in a safe and roadworthy condition at all times. Vehicle safety continues to be a major focus of the TSC's compliance and enforcement program.

Specifications for taxi-cabs

Effective from 29 July 2016, specifications for taxi-cabs (the specifications) will only apply to wheelchair accessible taxis (WATs). The specifications will no longer apply to conventional (standard) taxis. These changes aim to reduce the regulatory burden on  the industry, while also retaining a focus on public safety and consumer protection.

Additionally, the specifications for WATs have recently been reviewed in line with the review of the Transport (Buses, Taxi-cabs and Other Commercial Passenger Vehicles) Regulations 2005. The new specifications are focused on reducing outdated, duplicated or unnecessary requirements that are no longer relevant to modern vehicles.

While specifications no longer apply to conventional (standard) taxis, requirements in respect of livery, security cameras and taximeters still apply. 

More information

For further information on vehicle age limits, the MUARC's research or taxi-cab specifications please see the information available below or contact the TSC on 1800 638 802.

MUARC report