How to become a taxi driver in the UK #StartUps - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Friday, March 20, 2020

How to become a taxi driver in the UK #StartUps

The taxi driver practical test

Previously, The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) used to provide tests for taxi driving for local councils: however, this stopped on 1 January 2017. 

In London, TfL has created a temporary arrangement where licences are issued to those that pass the final exam, one the condition that they complete an assessment when a new solution is confirmed.

Depending on where you wish to operate, you may still need to complete a practical test: contact your local authority to find out if this is the case. For example, the taxi driver practical test in Northern Ireland examines your actual driving ability, as well as your understanding of road safety and transporting passengers, amongst other criteria. 

The taxi driver theory test

Theory testing varies depending on your location – your local council should be able to provide you with more information. 

In Northern Ireland, you must also complete the theory test before taking the practical test. The theory test involves answering multiple choice questions and passing a hazard perception exam, in which you watch video clips to measure how well you respond to road scene hazards.

Other parts of the UK may require theory testing as well. For example, Thurrock Council in England requires both hackney carriage and private hire drivers to pass a multiple choice theory test, examining the highway code, road signs, routes, and more.

Language test for taxi drivers

Since 2016, applications for a private hire driver licence in London must meet an English language requirement. One way to achieve this is by taking a test with a provider appointed by TfL.

Alternatively, you can provide documentary evidence of your English language ability, such as with a GCSE, NVQ, A Level, or degree certificate in any subject taught in English. Visit the TfL page on the English language requirement for private hire driver licences for more detailed guidance. 

If you are planning to operate outside of London, you may or may not have to meet an English language requirement – again, this depends on the local council. For example, Aylesbury Vale District Council requires taxi and private hire drivers to pass such a test. 

Taxi driver test costs

Here is a rough guide to costs for getting a taxi driver and private hire licence in London.

Taxi driver licence

taxi driver licence costs

Source: TfL

So, you can expect to pay in the region of £1,132.09 at a minimum to become a taxi driver in London

Private hire licence

private hire licence costs

Source: TfL

To become a private hire driver in London, you can expect to pay £627.50 or more, plus the GP fee for the medical.

How much do taxi driver tests cost outside of London? 

Outside of London, the costs can vary depending on the area in which you want to operate – contact your local council to find out more.

Here, we provide some examples of costs across the UK. 

Location Taxi driver theory test Taxi driver practical test
Northern Ireland £34 Weekdays - £60, evenings and weekends - £90
Location Knowledge test Licence
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council £70 (for hackney carriage, private hire and executive hire) Hackney carriage: £175 (one year), £215 (three years)
Location Licence and badge Knowledge test DBS application
City and County of Swansea £236 £29 (per attempt) £44

via by Scarlett Cook, Khareem Sudlow