Licensing regulations for taxi drivers differ from one local authority to another. To learn about the exact licensing arrangements in the area you wish to operate as a taxi driver you should contact the relevant local authority.
All local authorities however, will require you have:
- a medical check, including an eyesight test. You will have to pay your doctor for this, as such check-ups are not free under current NHS regulations
- Criminal Records Office check
- a current full car driving licence
- a fee for the issue of the licence
Many local authorities will require you take a taxi assessment test, which may be carried out by a DSA Driving Test Examiner. The test will require you to show a level of driving skill and ability associated with that of an experienced driver. You will also need to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the Highway Code.
The Taxi Assessment TestThe standard needed to pass the test will be higher than that of a learner driver taking the standard practical driving test and will take into account issues specifically related to taxi driving. The main focus of the test will be on road safety and the safe conveyance of passengers. Your passengers must feel safe at all times.
The driving part of the test will last for around forty minutes. You will have to drive on a wide range of roads and in a variety of road traffic conditions.
Turning The Car AroundThe test will require you to carry out a 'turning the car around in the road' manoeuvring exercise. The examiner will select a section of road where their are various options available to do this. You will have to select the safest and most appropriate method of turning the car around. Methods you can choose from are:
- a turn in the road
- a left or right reverse
- a U-turn within the width of the road
- using the mouth of a junction on the left or right in which to swing around
- reversing into a side road on your left or right
When performing any of the above you must make sure you do not mount or hit the kerb or use a private driveway. All manoeuvres must be made safely, under control and in accordance with the Highway Code.
Stopping At The Side Of The RoadAs this is common practice when driving a taxi the examiner will require you to perform two or three stops. You should:
- pull up at a reasonable distance from the kerb where it is safe, legal and convenient
- apply the handbrake
- select neutral gear
- make sure there are no obstructions, such as a street light, that would stop a passenger opening the door.
Independent DrivingNew to all practical driving tests from 2010. The examiner will ask you to drive by following road sign and/or verbal directions. For more info see.
The Wheelchair ExerciseThis is optional but must be taken if the vehicle you intend to use as a taxi is fitted with special equipment to allow easy access for wheelchairs and people with special needs.
You will need to load and unload a wheelchair safely, and make sure it is secured for any journey. The examiner will ask you to:
- load and unload a wheelchair safely
- securely and correctly erect the wheelchair ramps
- safely and correctly install the wheelchair in your vehicle, backing the chair to the fold down seats. Secure both the wheelchair and brakes
- secure seat belt/safety harness and also secure wheel belts/clamps if they are fitted to your vehicle.
Highway Code Cabology QuestionsAt the end of the test you will be asked ten questions.
- three will be on the Highway Code
- two on Cabology - on the safety of your vehicle, your responsibilities as a taxi driver, on the safety of your passengers
- five on traffic signs.
How The Test Is MarkedThe examiner will mark you as they would a learner driver taking the normal practical driving test. For more info see how the driving test examiner expects you to drive. However, if you commit ten or more driving faults you will fail, a learner can score fifteen. You will also fail if you score one dangerous or serious fault.
Driving Fault - a non-dangerous fault such as hesitating at a junction or not siganlling too late.
Serious Fault - recorded when a potentially dangerous incident has occurred or a regular driving fault shows a serious weakness in the candidate's driving.
Dangerous Fault - an incident that caused actual danger while driving.
Booking The Taxi Assessment TestBook the test as you would a normal driving test:
- online at direct.gov.uk/drivingtest
- phone - 0300 200 1122