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The DSA Driving Assessment for Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles



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.

Assessments 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:

General requirements

Before you can apply for a taxi or PHV driver licence, you must:

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

Other requirements for getting your licence may include passing:

A criminal record check

A medical examination

A 'knowledge' test

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

Driver assessments can be taken at your local Driving Standards Agency (DSA) test centre on:


weekends or weekday evenings at extra cost

You can book your practical assessment:


By phone

To 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.

Booking on line go to the Links Page on the left and click on "Booking your Practical test.

Booking by phone

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.

Cancelling 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

by phone

Providing you give the DSA three clear working days' notice - Saturdays count as working days - you can:

change your test

cancel your test

get 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.

Before the assessment, you are advised to:

Take lessons with a professional driving instructor

Read the Highway Code

Familiarise yourself with the content of the assessment

The eyesight test

At 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.

If 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

The 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 on:

Awareness and anticipation

Effective planning of prevailing road and traffic conditions

Correct use of speed

Observation and mirror use

Control of the vehicle

Passenger safety and comfort


The assessment will include:

A taxi or private hire manoeuvre where you will be asked to turn your vehicle to face the opposite direction.

Approximately ten minutes of independent driving.

Stops at the side of the road as if a passenger is getting in or out of the vehicle.

Related 'cabology' questions. Examples may include the dimensions of your vehicle, tyre pressures and what to do if a passenger leaves property in your vehicle.

Questions from the Highway Code and identification of a number of traffic signs and road markings.

Your assessment may include:

an emergency stop

a wheelchair exercise (if you requested the enhanced assessment)

The wheelchair assessment for taxis and private hire vehicles

If you have requested the enhanced assessment, which includes a wheelchair exercise, you will need to provide a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

You will need to demonstrate the ability to:

safely load and unload the wheelchair in your vehicle

use the wheelchair brakes to secure and release it

fasten the seat belts or safety harness

secure any wheel belts or clamps fitted to your vehicle

What happens at the end of the taxi or private hire vehicle assessment

When you pass your taxi assessment, you will receive:

a pass certificate (form TPH10)

a copy of your assessment

an offer of a debrief from the examiner

When you pass your wheelchair assessment, you will receive:

a pass certificate (form WTA10)

a copy of your assessment

an offer of a debrief from the examiner

The following insurers offer taxi insurance benefits to taxi drivers who have passed the assessment:


Taxi Fleet Plus

If you fail any elements you will receive:

the offer of a debrief

a copy of your assessment

If you fail the assessment, you must, wait a minimum period of three clear working days before you retake. Saturday counts as a working day.

Fees for taking the taxi or private hire assessment


Weekend and weekday evening

Hackney saloon vehicles, private hire saloon vehicles, Highway Code/traffic signs/cabology questions



Hackney wheelchair enhanced, wheelchair accessible vehicles and Highway code/traffic signs/cabology questions



Wheelchair exercise



You can find your local authority here:

Kevin O'Neil Crowley D.S.A. A.D.I (Car)
Registered Office: 10 Marine Gardens, Selsey, CHICHESTER, West Sussex, PO20 0LJ
Telephone: 01243 603112, Mobile: 07913 551489