South Ayrshire Council urges Taxi and Private Hire Operators to prioritize vehicle maintenance


South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel is sounding the alarm for the region’s taxi and private hire operators, emphasizing the importance of vehicle maintenance and upholding safety standards. With a significant number of licensed vehicles—99 taxis and 149 private hires—currently operating in South Ayrshire, the council is stressing the need for regular inspections and MOT tests.

One of the conditions for operators to maintain their licenses is to ensure that their vehicles undergo an annual inspection and MOT. This test should occur every six months if a vehicle is over seven years old.


These assessments aim to uphold the stringent standards of the South Ayrshire taxi and private hire trade, ensuring that every vehicle is safe, roadworthy, and offers a comfortable standard for passengers.

During the recent meeting of the Regulatory Panel, councilors were presented with concerning statistics regarding vehicle tests conducted between January 1 and March 31, 2023. Out of the 32 taxi vehicle tests, six vehicles failed (19%), representing an increase compared to the same period last year, which saw only two failures (6%).

Similarly, 11 out of the 38 tested (29%) failed for private hire vehicles during the mentioned period in 2023, a figure similar to that of the previous year.

Expressing his concern over these trends, Councillor Kenny Bell, Chair of South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel, stated, “This is a worrying trend and one we would like to address.

The council is reminding operators that they are responsible for checking their vehicles regularly and ensuring they have robust inspection and maintenance plans in place. Passengers and other road users need to be confident that these vehicles are always well maintained and roadworthy.”

The council’s primary concern is public safety, and if a particular vehicle demonstrates a pattern of failure, the council possesses the authority to suspend its license as a last resort. However, the focus remains on preventing such circumstances and prioritizing the safety of passengers and road users alike.


South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel urges taxi and private hire operators to take immediate action, implement thorough inspection routines, and establish reliable maintenance plans to ensure continued adherence to safety standards in the region.

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