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How to Become a Taxi Driver

A career as a taxi driver offers freedom, flexibility, and the ability to decide your own schedule – it’s no wonder more and more people are wondering how to become a cab driver.

This article is divided into three sections, so you can skip to the part that is useful to you:


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How to become a taxi driver outside of London

These are the basic requirements you need to meet before applying for your taxi driver’s licence:

  • The right to legally work in the UK
  • A full driver’s license (held for at least one year)
  • Be prepared to undergo a DBS check
  • A medical exam to assess your fitness to drive.

If you meet all these criteria, you can then begin your application. See the qualifications you will need to become a private hire vehicle taxi driver in London.

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How to become a taxi driver in London: private hire vehicle license

Though there are other licence types available in London, the two we’ll look at here are private hire vehicle licences and taxi driver licences.

A private hire vehicle (PHV) licence only authorises you to carry out journeys that have been booked in advance. This means they cannot be flagged down spontaneously for use.

In order to apply for a PHV licence, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have held a full driver’s licence for at least three years
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Acknowledge your tax obligations to HMRC
  • Take an enhanced DBS check
  • Be medically fit in accordance with DVLA Group 2 medical standards.

See the qualifications you will need to become a private hire vehicle taxi driver in London.

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How to become a taxi driver in London: taxi driver licence

A London taxi driver licence authorises you to drive one of London’s iconic black cabs. Compared to a PHV licence, this type of licence requires you to have a truly exhaustive knowledge of London’s roads and streets. You’ll also need to be committed to this endeavour – because, from start to finish, it could take you three or four years to complete.

You can register for this type of licence online, but first you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old (although you cannot be licensed until you are 21)
  • Hold a full driver’s license
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Be of good character – this will be established with an enhanced DBS check
  • Be medically fit according to DVLA Group 2 medical standards and be willing to take a medical examination.

Read about ‘The Knowledge’ test you will need to become a London black cab taxi driver.

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Taxi insurance from Towergate

Taxi driving usually involves covering a far higher mileage than a standard car driver, often at unsociable hours and in built-up areas. This increases the risk of an accident and therefore it is hugely important that you are properly covered.

Taxi insurance includes motor insurance and passenger liability insurance as standard in every policy. This ensures that you and your passengers are protected should anything happen whilst you are working.

See our taxi insurance page for more information, get a quote online or call us on 01903 875 420.

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Taxi fleet insurance from Towergate

If your firm grows to have more than four vehicles we have a multi-vehicle policy, or for five or more taxis we can cover you using our taxi fleet insurance.

Complete our enquiry form for a call back or call us on 01903 875 420.

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About the author

Chris North FCII, commercial vehicles insurance articles author Chris North FCII is a respected industry leader with over 40 years' experience, who has worked in the insurance industry in a variety of roles, accumulating a wealth of knowledge.He is currently Technical Manager for Towergate's motor division, providing expertise on all matters relating to motor fleet insurance, in particular haulage and self-drive hire fleets.



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The information contained in this article is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such.