FAQs

  • Previously licensed PHV drivers who have passed a TfL topographical skills test
  • Licensed London taxi drivers - All London and Suburban
  • Professional London tourists guides (e.g. Blue Badge Driver Guide)
“It’s true TfL seem to be capping the total number of Private Hire Drivers in London”

  • The Total Cost for London’s PCO Licence is £495.
  • Topographical Training – 4 Days (3 Hours)
  • 3 days of intensive training with Trask, guidance, video and notes and given to them. Along with personal tutoring by the field expert.
  • A on the 4th day a full mock test of the topographical test to test your skill and 1 hour reviewed with tutor to help you understand your weakness.
  • Providing all necessary Maps and Testing Materials
  • • Tailored Training
    • Professional Training
  • Hassle free & prompt (Electronic) Application Submission Service, w e can help you with.

  • If your new to this you will get a full knowledge for everything that might come up in test and understand how to do it.
  • If you have done this before you will get a fresh reminder and you will also pickup a few new things that might have not known.
  • 1-day Crash Course + Mock Test is £395

  • To make a PCO License Application you must meet the following criteria:
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Undergo a DBS Check (Max. 4 months old, if you have already one)
  • Undergo a Medical Examination + Eye Test
  • Demonstrate sound Topographical Skills
  • Have an ability to Speak, listen, read & write in English

  • PCO License application form (PHV/203) including your DBS reference number.
  • Medical form (PHV/204) signed and stamped by a GP (doctor)
  • Application Fee ( £250)
  • A photocopy of your DVLA driving licence or EEA driving licence and GB counterpart
  • A photocopy of your passport or other proof to show you have the right to live and work in the UK (Dependant on your Passport type)
  • A photocopy of the certificate showing you have passed the topographical test
  • Passport photograph for your new license
  • Any further relevant details

  • How to Track my application?
  • If you have waited 10 working days and still not received your PCO License application forms or if you sent your completed forms off months ago and want to keep track and know how your License application is proceeding then please contact Transport for London using the details below:
  • Telephone: 0343 222 4444 (08:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday except Bank Holidays) Fax: 020 3054 3160 Email: TPH.Enquiries@tfl.gov.uk
  • If you opted for our Package, we take care of everything. Just give us a call on 020 8928 0026 and we’ll update you.

  • If you have met all the PCO licensing requirements, and completed your application form correctly, you will hopefully soon be the recipient of your PCO license, but if this is not the case and your application is refused then you will be informed of this in writing by Transport for London (TfL) and the letter will include:
  • Confirmation that your license application has been refused.
  • The reason for the refusal.
  • Your right to appeal the decision which includes what you need to do to appeal and the time in which you have to do it.

  • If the refusal is upheld then you will only get a refund for the portion of your fee relating the to the ‘grant of license’ which is £100 of the total £250 as the application fee and the DBS fees are non-refundable.
  • The PCO License renewal process is simple. The PCO License is valid for a period of 3 years, and every 3 years you will have to get it renewed in order to carry on working as a licensed private hire driver in London. Luckily Transport for London, who run the Public Carriage Officer (PCO), will send you your renewal forms before your current license expires. So, all you need to do is remember to send them back.

  • It can take many weeks for PCO licence renewals to be processed. Don’t leave it too late otherwise your license may expire and you won’t be able to work. Coupled with this your insurance policy will be invalid too.
  • If you overlook the renewal of your licence make sure you don’t re-apply too late. If more than 3 months has lapsed from your licence expiry date before your renewal application will be refused. In such a case you will be treated as a completely new applicant meaning you will have to go through the entire application process from the start.
  • As part of the renewal process, it is important that you follow these guidelines:
  • Read through thoroughly and sign the declarations
  • Send your renewal application form in before the expiration of your current PCO-licence
  • Remember to send both the Licence Fee and the Application Fee with your completed form
  • A new DBS (CRB) check is required (as they only have a validity of 3 months)
  • A new Medical Check is also required
  • The appropriate renewal payment

  • There are no definitive yes or no’s to what medical conditions could prevent you from passing this examinations but if you have any of the ailments listed below then it’s highly likely that your PCO license application will be refused:
  • Epilepsy
  • Insulin treated/insulin dependent diabetes
  • Monocular or poor vision
  • A progressive degenerative illness
  • A history of alcohol or drug abuse
  • A history of mental illness or severe mental handicap
  • A physical disability which might impair the ability to discharge the requirements of a vocational driver
  • Heart problems
  • Neurological or neurosurgical disorders (.e.g. strokes, blackouts, head injuries)
  • Certain prescribed medications

Having points can’t stop you from applying and getting your PCO licence as it depends what the conviction was for, the sentence imposed and how long ago it was. If the points are for minor offences then you may find that there is no problem with your application but there is no clear yes/no for offences and you may only find out once you’ve applied. Be aware though that points on your licence could affect your insurance premiums.

Even if you have had a DBS check from your previous employment you will still need to complete a new Enhanced Disclosure Form as you need a new DBS check for every new job you apply for.

The simple fact is that if you’ve lost your PCO badge/license then you are not allowed to work as a private hire driver. It’s what marks you out as someone who has completed their training and got their PCO License. You must display your license in your vehicle at all times as this shows that you’re an official minicab driver and not a tout or illegal cabbie. If you have somehow lost your PCO License, it’s so important to get this sorted out so that you can continue working and earning your living. It could be that you’ve simple lost it, it’s been damaged, or it’s been stolen. If your badge or licence has been lost in a public place or stolen you must report this to the Police, who will provide you with a ‘Lost in Streets’ or Crime Reference’ number.

Need to carry out a PCO License check? Contact Transport for London to check whether a private hire driver, operator or vehicle is licensed. This is useful for if you are an operator checking on a potential driver’s license, if you are a driver checking up on a potential employer, or perhaps even if you are using a vehicle and want to ensure that it’s licensed.

Licensing and regulation gives passengers the confidence that when they use a licensed private hire operator, licensed driver, or licensed vehicle that they are dealing with an honest, professional organisation with reliable drivers and safe vehicles.

Private Hire drivers are allowed to pick-up and drop-off their passengers on most red routes as long as they are displaying the proper sign in their car which will let police, CCTV, etc know that you’re licensed to do this. This sign isn’t the same as your badge and instead must be applied for by PCO operators which in turn can then be passed onto driver for free. If you are stopping on red routes without a sign then you can expect to receive a penalty of £130 so it’s worth getting one especially as they don’t cost anything. The 580 km of red routes in London are constantly policed as unlicensed infringements could cause the roads to backup and stand still.

What are red routes?
Red routes are busy sections of road where stopping restrictions are in place and this is due to the fact that although red routes only account for 5% of the roads in London, they can carry up to 30% of the traffic.You will notice red routes by the continuous red lines painted alongside the road.

The Equality Act 2010 aims to protect disabled people and prevent disability discrimination and as such becoming a licensed Private Hire driver or Chauffeur is open to anyone and an employer must make reasonable adjustments for Licensed Disabled Drivers. You will still need to complete an application form like anyone else and still go through the same processes but there are some things to consider before sending in your application though.

  • It may be assumed that you may need some modifications made to your vehicle to ensure that you have full control over it and you will need to be assessed by a medical professional and driver assessor who will make recommendations as to what equipment may be needed. You can arrange this by contacting the Driver Licensing Team at Transport for London.
  • Some examples of vehicle modifications include:
  • Steering wheel ball
  • Hand operated braking controls
  • Hand operated accelerator control
  • Reconfigured foot pedal controls
  • Infra-red control panel for operating vehicle lights, indicators and horn
  • These will need to be installed and fitted by an authorised Motability installer and you will need documentary evidence that this has happened. Before you do any of this though please get in touch personally with the Driver Licensing Team
  • Telephone: 0343 222 4444 (08:00 to 17:00 Monday to Fridays)
    Email: tph.enquries@tfl.gov.uk

  • How old can my vehicle be?
  • The Mayors Air Quality Team has decided to put age limits on licensed taxis and private hire vehicles with a view to improving London’s air quality and environment and also providing improved safety for passengers and if your vehicle is too old then it won’t be licensed.
  • With effect from 1 January 2012 private hire vehicles that are 10 years old or older will no longer be licensed.
  • With effect from 1 April 2012 any new private hire vehicle that is more than 5 years old will not be licensed.
  • As of 1st Jan 2018 all PHV’s new to licensing must now be Euro 6 petrol or diesel or Euro 4 petrol-hybrid. Further emissions information can be accessed here.
  • There are age exemptions in place and exempted vehicles can be licensed for an additional 5 years. Visit the TfL website for more information.

Due to the nature of the job you will need a policy that will cover the use of carrying passengers for hire or reward, and most standard car insurance policies do not include this. It may be worth checking with your provider as to whether they offer this ‘upgrade’.

Typically, a year’s insurance will cost around £2,000-£2,500 for fully comprehensive insurance on a standard saloon car, but there are a variety of factors that can effect this, but remember that not all insurance companies offer the same prices so shop around. If you feel that you can’t commit to paying this amount then you will find that most insurance companies will offer 3 month and 6 month policies as well as the standard 12 month, but the downside is that you will not be able to build up your no claims bonus with a short policy.

Buying a private hire insurance policy is just like getting insurance for your own private car so think of what you look for when getting that.

    Levels of cover
  • You can choose from three levels of cover: comprehensive, third party fire and theft and third party only. Your choices for this will depend on the age and value of your vehicle. Fully Comp insurance will obviously cover everything but you will pay more, whereas third party insurance will only protect your customers and other vehicle involved if you have an accident so you will be responsible for costs to your own vehicle, but it will bring down insurance costs closer to the £1,000 mark.
  • No claims discount
  • The no claims discount will only apply if you have no claims from another private hire insurance policy, you cannot normally transfer NCD from your personal car to your minicab, but it is worth mentioning anyway as you could get some sort of discount. If you do build up your no claims you will get a substantial discount on your private hire policy ranging from 20% up to 60%. Having a clean driving license with no offences will also reduce costs.
  • Voluntary Excess
  • Adding extra voluntary excess on to your policy can save you money off your private hire insurance in the short term, but if you do increase the excess and have to make a claim then any savings will be lost. Compulsory Excess will normally start at around £250, so get quotes for increasing the level as see what the difference it.

There is no definitive answer to this as it’s not a straight-forward cost and depends many factors, so the best advice is to get as many quotes as you can. This may take a few hours longer but could end up saving you hundreds of pounds, so it’s well worth it. If you find that insurance costs are too high then you may consider renting a vehicle from your operator which will normally cover insurance and all other costs for about £35 a shift, which in some circumstances may prove cheaper than using or buying your own vehicle and having to insure it.

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