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.
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.
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.
+Years of teaching experience