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Changes to hire cars

Sections of the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017 relating to commercial passenger vehicle licences are now law. Information about the changes is available on the Industry reforms page.

The below information may be out of date as this page is currently under review.

Significant changes have been introduced into the hire car industry in Victoria.

The changes allow the hire car industry to innovate, provide more options for people wanting to enter the industry, standardise conditions for existing participants, and overall, provide more choice in point-to-point travel options for passengers.

Standardised hire car licence conditions and classifications have already been introduced and other improvements are expected in the coming months.

Hire cars provide an alternative to taxis for point-to-point travel where passengers are able to plan in advance. Hire cars offer a pre-booked only service – they can't be hailed on the street or at a rank.

Formerly hire cars were only luxury high-end cars. These reforms mean that other vehicles can now be used as hire cars provided they meet the strict safety requirements

The changes so far include:

Reform changes

What this means for the hire car industry

A uniform set of conditions that will apply to all new and existing licences.

  • One set of conditions will erase the confusion of hire cars having different rules and conditions.
  • Drivers now have the option to record bookings either in hard copy or an electronic format.
  • Licence conditions no longer need to be kept inside the vehicle.
  • Passengers can now pre-book a hire car once they arrive at Melbourne or Avalon Airports.
Hire cars can carry advertising in accordance with guidelines (specified in the uniform hire car licence conditions).
  • Operators may advertise their own business on their vehicle.
  • Operators may be able to make additional revenue from self-promotion or carrying by other company advertisements.

New hire car licence fees.

See Applying for a metropolitan hire car and Applying for a county hire car licence page for more information.

The TSC issues hire car licences for a:

  • one-off payment of $40,000 for metropolitan hire car licences
  • one-off payment of $20,000 for country hire car licences.

While there are many changes to the hire car industry, it will present new opportunities for business development and innovation.

These changes mean there will be more options for passengers to choose from in point-to-point transport. Hire cars can be identified by their unique number plates, starting with VHA, VHB or VHC. Contact details to book a hire car can be found online or in the phone directory.

Vehicle age limits

Effective 29 July 2016, the TaxiServices Commission (TSC) has determined that taxi and hire car age limits willno longer apply.

Thisdetermination is based on research which the TSC engaged the Monash UniversityAccident Research Centre (MUARC) to undertake into whether existing taxi andhire car age limits are appropriate and the interactions between the age limitsand vehicle safety.

MUARC'sresearch found that there was no clear correlation between the age of a vehicleand its crash risk. As a result, age limits for all commercial passengervehicles/taxi-cabs and hire cars are being removed.

Taxiand hire car operators are responsible for ensuring that vehicles aremaintained in a safe and roadworthy condition at all times.  Vehicle safety continues to be a major focusof the TSC's compliance and enforcement program.