So you want to become a Taxi Driver!
Taxi drivers drive either hackney carriages ( Hacks) which can be the traditional "black cab" or other approved vehicles outside London or private hire vehicles (PH’s), also in some areas known as "minicabs".
Every licensing authority has its own conditions of licence. These usually include:
There are no restrictions on the hours a taxi driver can work, although European legislation may soon change this but if you have an accident and injure someone after working excessive hours, this will be used against you in a court case. Because work varies in different parts of the country and at different times of the day, some drivers may only work a few days a week but most have to work a long week. There are firms that you have to work 8 hours a day for a decent wage but there are also others that you have to work nearer 18 hours a day. Firms can vary a lot, some may do more local work while others may do more long distance work or one could have a lot more evening work.
Some operators may implement a dress code or provide an informal uniform.
Once licensed, you have a choice of companies to work for in that licensng area, so if you are new to the trade and you find you don’t like it with the first firm you have joined, try another before saying that ‘taxi driving is not for you’.
To be a taxi driver, you should:
In London the geographical knowledge test is called The Knowledge and takes an average of 36 months to prepare for and pass. For more details see the Public Carriage Office (PCO) website under more links.
You can use our web site to find out who to contact.
You don’t have to have your own vehicle. Others with licensed vehicles are always on the look out for licensed drivers, (sometimes called ‘jockeys’ or ‘journey men’). If somebody has a vehicle that is licensed for 24 hours use a day and is only driving themselves for 8 hours, some make an extra income from hiring their vehicle to another driver for another 8 hours a day. This could be for a fixed fee so the more work the driver does, the more he gets or could be on an hour rate, only making extra on tips.
A good careful second driver is worth a lot to a vehicle owner.
Some will also hire out a complete licensed taxi to a driver, including the insurance.