How to get your taxi driver’s licence

You’ve decided you want to be a taxi driver, but where do you begin? Read our guide below, which tells you the important things you need to know about the taxi driver application process.

What you need before applying for a taxi driver’s licence

There are several requirements you’ll need to make sure you meet before applying for a taxi driver’s licence:

  • You need to able to work legally in the UK
  • You need to have held a full GB, NI or EU driving licence for at least 12 months
  • You need to be willing to have your background checked, which may include an enhanced criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

You might also need the following:

  • A medical examination
  • A ‘Knowledge’ or ‘Cabology’ test
  • To take a driving test
  • English and maths qualifications.

We recommend that you check if your local licensing authority has any specific requirements.

Also, note that the eligibility requirements are slightly different in London. The requirements also differ in Northern Ireland.

Taxi driver theory test

Many UK councils require budding taxi drivers to take an assessment to ensure that their driving knowledge and ability is at an acceptable level before gaining their taxi licence. Vehicle maintenance knowledge is also important, along with how to show consideration to passengers.

Such tests usually include both multi-choice questions as well as identifying key road signs and hazards, which you should be familiar with as a regular driver.

How much does it cost to apply for a taxi driver’s licence?

The cost of applying for a taxi driver’s licence depends on your location, but is usually around £430 in total. This includes the initial application fee of around £250, a skills assessment of around £40, a ‘Knowledge’ or ‘Cabology’ test fee of around £75, plus the cost of an enhanced DBS certificate, which is £66.60.

If you need to provide a medical certificate too, you’re looking at an extra £100 or so. Again, this depends on your location.

Application costs vary across the country - check yours with your local council.

Where to apply for a taxi licence

Head to your local council website to find details on how to start applying for your taxi driver’s licence, and exactly what you need to provide them with. The process usually takes 12-16 weeks, however it’s worth noting that it may take much longer in cities such as London, due to the higher number of applicants.

Do taxi drivers need insurance?

If you are successful in securing your taxi licence and are ready to go out on the road you will need insurance that covers you against damages and injury. There are different types of Taxi Insurance available depending on what type of vehicle you drive. Swinton offer a range of Taxi Insurance policies to suit your needs.