I want to be a taxi driver - Home study pack

This collection of pages contains everything that you need to know about the application process, the prerequisite assessments you will have to undertake before submitting your application and information about the Knowledge Test all applicants must pass.

The collection is periodically reviewed and the contents may be amended to reflect any changes in legislation, the application process or licence conditions.

Introduction

The purpose of this collection of web pages is to explain the difference between how a Taxi and a Private Hire Vehicle operate and what is required to become a licensed driver for each licence. You will discover that it involves more than simply being able to drive a car. For example, a licensed driver is expected to be a safe and confident driver and to have good communication skills in order to understand the instructions of their customers. You must therefore have a good command of the English language, both spoken and written.

We have found that many people who tell us that they want to be a taxi driver don't actually know what the legal definition of a taxi is. It is not uncommon for members of the public to refer to any vehicle which can be hired with the provision of a driver as a taxi. However, this is not the case because a Private Hire Vehicle can also be hired with the provision of a driver. It is therefore very important that anyone considering becoming a 'taxi driver' to be fully aware of the difference between how both types of vehicle operate before deciding what type of licence to apply for.

A 'taxi' is also referred to in law as a Hackney Carriage or a Public Hire Vehicle. Taxis are licensed by the Local Authority and can seat up to 8 passengers. Unlike Private Hire Vehicles they have a 'Taxi' roof sign and do not have to be booked through an Operator. They can ply for hire from designated taxi stands within the borough or on a street and can be hailed (flagged down) by customers. All taxis must be fitted with a fare meter which is checked and sealed by the Council which also approves the rate of fare which they can charge. All Hackney Carriages licensed by Bury Metropolitan Borough Council are wheelchair accessible. Only the holder of a Hackney Carriage Driver licence can drive a licensed Hackney Carriage.

A 'Private Hire Vehicle' can also seat up to 8 passengers (excluding the driver) and must have more than two passenger doors. They are not allowed to have a 'taxi' roof sign nor can they use the word taxi or cab on any of the vehicle signage. It is illegal for a Private Hire vehicle to ply for hire or to wait on a Hackney Carriage stand. A Private Hire vehicle must be booked via a Private Hire Operator otherwise their motor insurance may become void. In addition to the licence plates, the vehicle has to display the name of the firm on both front passenger doors, on the windscreen and rear window and Council issued notices on the two rear passengers doors and on the inside of the front passenger and rear passenger windows. Only the holder of a Private Hire driver licence can drive a licensed Private Hire vehicle. Once licensed, the vehicle must display the licence plates at all times. The wife of a private hire vehicle owner cannot drive the licensed vehicle (even though the insurance may state that it is covered for both spouses) unless she also holds a Private Hire driver licence.

Home study pack

If you intend to apply for either a Hackney Carriage Driver Licence or a Private Hire Driver Licence you will need to know the following in order to help you pass the Knowledge Test.

Expected conduct of a licensed driver

Hackney and Private hire driver knowledge test format


If you intend to apply for a Private Hire Driver Licence you will also need to know the following in order to help you pass the Knowledge Test:

Private Hire driver conditions

Conditions and information for owners of private hire vehicles


If you intend to apply for a Hackney Carriage Driver Licence you will also need to know the following in order to help you pass the Knowledge Test:

Hackney Carriage Vehicle licence conditions