How to become a taxi driver

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Over 18? Have a driving licence? In good health? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you could sail through the application to become a taxi driver.

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Requirements

It is surprisingly easy to become a taxi driver. All that you need is to be over 18 years of age, have a full, clean and valid driving licence that you have held for at least 12 months, be healthy, and have passed a basic DBS check. You also need to pass a driving skills test. In some instances, you will have to pass a geographical test in your local area too.

Note: Different councils may have additional requirements, but these are the main criteria required universally.

Suitability

As mentioned, you must be in good health to be at the wheel of a taxi. As such, a Group II Medical Form will extract all of the information needed to ensure you are medically fit for the role, and you will additionally need to pass a vision test (much like a normal driving test). You will be asked to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres, with or without your glasses, depending on your eye prescription.

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Reminder: You can get a basic DBS check through Carecheck, or another organisation specialising in criminal record checks.

Acceptance

A practical assessment will allow an assessor to see how well you manoeuvre a car, including stopping for passengers, performing an emergency stop and turning your car around. The examiner will also want to find out how quickly and easily you can identify traffic and road signs, as well as how much you recall from the Highway Code. If you pass all of the above stages, you will then be awarded a TPH10 pass form, along with some notes on your performance.

What next?

Now that you have your test result and have passed your local knowledge test (if applicable), your council will supply you with a 1-year taxi licence for a fee. You then have the choice of whether you work as a sole trader, competing with other drivers or firms, or if you wish to apply to work for an already established company. Remember that, if you use your own vehicle for your service, you will need to take out additional insurance to cover your taxi work.