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Hire car owners & operators

This page provides information for hire car owners and outlines the three main licence categories in the hire car industry in Victoria.

Overview of the hire car industry

From 1 July 2015 any Hire Car, Restricted Hire Car or Special Purpose Vehicle licence application or transfer application must be accompanied with a 'TSC Informed Consent' form for each person listed on the application, a National Police Certificate is no longer required.

Hire cars

Hire cars can only operate on a pre-booked basis. They can be luxury sedans, stretched limousines, hybrids and non-luxury vehicles.

Hire cars are a great alternative for people looking for point-to-point travel options and are able to plan and book in advance. Hire cars offer pre-booked only services, they can't be hailed on the street or from a taxi rank.

Hire cars do not have meters – charges are negotiated between the driver and customer.

Hire cars operate within two zones in Victoria being the Metropolitan and Country hire car zones.

The Metropolitan Hire car zone consists of the combined Metropolitan and Urban and Large Regional Taxi zones and include metropolitan Melbourne, Frankston, Dandenong, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and the Mornington Peninsula (see the boundary map).

The Country Hire car zone consists of the combination of the Regional and Country taxi zones.

Metropolitan hire cars to do pre-booked work anywhere within Victoria including work wholly within the country zone, but country hire cars cannot do work wholly within the metropolitan zone.

'Operating addresses' are now redundant as hire cars are either classified in the country hire car zone or the metropolitan hire car zone, and it no longer matters not where they are garaged or 'operated' from. The TSC is working to remove operational addresses from licence certificates and anticipate this will be implemented by June 2015.

An application fee, once-off licence issue fee and annual licence fee is payable for the issue of a new hire car licence. The licence issue fee will vary depending whether the application is for a metropolitan or country hire car licence. Please be advised that the application fee, licence issue fee and annual licence fee must be paid upon submission of the application. See fees and charges for the latest pricing. In addition the application must be accompanied by 'TSC Informed Consent Forms' for all applicants listed licence applicants must show that they are of good character, financially stable and qualified to operate a hire car service.

Each year on the anniversary date of the licence, the licence holders will be issued an invoice for the annual licence fee. This fee must be paid or the licence may be suspended or cancelled.

See the number of hire cars in Victoria for last month.

Restricted hire vehicles

Restricted hire vehicles are similar to hire cars except that limited vehicle types qualify for this licence, such as:

  • Vehicles manufactured at least 25 years prior to the date of the licence application
  • Vehicles which, by nature of their construction or fittings, can provide a service not available through standard hire vehicles (for example, motorcycles, tricycles, off-road four-wheel drive and adventure or tour vehicles).

Restricted hire car licences are issued to operate state-wide and are not limited to the metropolitan or country hire car zones. Restricted hire cans are not transferrable or assignable

An application fee and annual licence fee is payable for the issue of a restricted hire vehicle licence. Please be advised that the application fee and annual licence fee must be paid upon submission of the application. See fees and charges for the latest pricing. In addition the application must be accompanied by 'TSC Informed Consent Forms' for all applicants listed, licence applicants must show that they are of good character and must specify the type of service they will be providing.

See the number of restricted hire vehicles in Victoria for last month.

Special purpose vehicles

Special purpose vehicles are similar to hire cars except that they are licensed for specific purposes such as weddings or tours. Special purpose vehicle are issued to operate state-wide and are not limited to the metropolitan or hire car zone.

Special purpose vehicle licences are transferable but not assignable.

An application fee, once-off licence issue fee and annual licence fee is payable for the issue of a special purpose vehicle licence. Please be advised that the application fee, licence issue fee and annual licence fee must be paid upon submission of the application. See fees and charges for the latest pricing. In addition the application must be accompanied by 'TSC Informed Consent Forms' for all applicants listed licence applicants must show that they are of good character and must specify the type of service they will be providing.

Each year on the anniversary date of the licence, the licence holders will be issued an invoice for the annual licence fee. This fee must be paid or the licence may be suspended or cancelled.

See the number of special purpose vehicles in Victoria for last month.

Vehicle substitution

From 1 January 2016, a vehicle substitution fee MUST be accompanied when lodging your vehicle substitution form PDF, 71.1 KB.

When emailing please attach a TSC payment authorisation form PDF, 58.3 KB and send to licensing.applications@taxi.vic.gov.au

The Authority to Register will not be processed until payment has been received.  

For further enquiries please contact the Licensing Team on 1800 638 802.