You need a licence from your local authority or if in London
- to drive a hackney carriage (taxi) or private hire vehicle (PHV).
Some authorities will require you to pass
a taxi or private hire vehicle driving assessment before they will consider granting you a licence.
are carried out by Driving Standards Agency (DSA) examiners. The assessment is more demanding than the learner drivers test,
and contains elements that relate specifically to driving a taxi or PHV.
This guide explains how to book your
taxi assessment with the DSA, and what the test involves.
Driving assessments and general requirements for getting
a taxi or private hire vehicle licence
Local authorities set different criteria for granting taxi and private
hire vehicle (PHV) driver licences. Some, but not all, require drivers to pass the Driving Standards Agency taxi assessment.
Contact your local licensing authority to:
find out whether they will require you to take the DSA assessment to
get your private hire assessment pack
Go to the bottom of this page for the LINK:
Before you can apply for a taxi or PHV driver licence,
Be able to work legally in the UK
Have held a full GB or Northern Ireland driver's licence
- or a full European Union driving licence together with a UK paper counterpart - for at least 12 months
for getting your licence may include passing:
A criminal record check
A medical examination
Your local authority will be able to tell you what the requirements are in your area including fees they charge.
How to book your taxi or private hire vehicle assessment
Booking your test
assessments can be taken at your local Driving Standards Agency (DSA) test centre on:
or weekday evenings at extra cost
You can book your practical assessment:
book the assessment you will need your driver number from either:
A full UK or Northern Ireland photocard licence
A full British old style paper licence
A recognisable full European Union (EU) licence and UK paper counterpart
You will also need a valid debit or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Delta or Visa Electron) for online or phone
Booking on line go to the Links Page on the left and click on "Booking your Practical test.
You can book over the phone by calling the following numbers:
DSA Helpline on Tel 0300 200 1122
DSA Helpline for Wales on Tel 0300 200 1133
DSA Helpline (Textphone) on Tel 0300 200 1144
Once you have
been connected to the DSA helpline, the telephone options to follow to book a taxi test are 0, 2, 1, 1, 4.
or rescheduling your test
You can reschedule or cancel a test:
online - this service
is available from 06.00 to midnight, seven days a week
Providing you give the DSA three clear working
days' notice - Saturdays count as working days - you can:
change your test
cancel your test
a full refund of your test fee
What the taxi or private hire vehicle driving assessment involves
The standard of the taxi or private hire vehicle driving assessment is more demanding than the learner test.
the assessment, you are advised to:
Take lessons with a professional driving instructor
Read the Highway
Familiarise yourself with the content of the assessment
The eyesight test
the start of your practical assessment, you will be asked to read in good daylight a vehicle registration number at a distance
of 20.5 metres (20 metres for a new-style number plate). You can use glasses or contact lenses if you wear them.
you fail the eyesight test, you will be unable to take the driving part of the assessment. However, you will still be able
to continue with the wheelchair assessment if appropriate.
The practical assessment
practical assessment will last for about 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
To pass the assessment, no more than
nine errors are permitted. Serious or dangerous errors will result in failure of the assessment.
You will be assessed
Awareness and anticipation
Effective planning of prevailing road and traffic conditions
use of speed
Observation and mirror use
Control of the vehicle
Passenger safety and comfort