As the new year approaches, many people who’ve been considering a career change are likely to make the steps towards training in a new profession – and you can do that too. Have you been thinking about becoming a taxi driver for a while? Perhaps you love the idea of working with the public or doing something special for a passenger one day.
But what’s involved in becoming a cab driver? Here, we look at the tests you need to pass and the training you need to make this your dream job.
To begin your path towards becoming a fully-fledged cab driver, you’ll need to decide if you want to apply for your taxi driver’s licence directly or opt for a Certificate in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving NVQ (Taxi and Private Hire) Level 2 course. Going direct is the most common option but if you decide to go for the qualification, you could be in a better position when you come to apply for jobs.
You’ll also need to apply for your taxi driver’s licence. To do this, check out your local council website where you’ll see how to go through the application process. It may take as long as 16 weeks to complete this process.
The cost of the licence varies between areas, but it usually costs around £430. This includes £250 for the application fee, the cost of a skills assessment that you need to complete, the cost of the Knowledge test, along with the price of the DBS check.
To be eligible for the licence, you’ll need to be able to prove you have the right to work in the UK and have held a UK driving licence for at least 12 months. You’ll also need a DBS check, which is a criminal background check.
You might also be asked to complete a medical exam, take a driving test, and have certain qualifications.
One major part of the cab driving application process is the Knowledge test. This is designed to show how well you know the local roads and surrounding areas. In London, this is referred to as a topographic skills assessment and you should be able to confidently plot a route from one part of the city to another.
Wherever you are in the UK, passing the Knowledge is crucial as it shows how competent you are at getting your passengers to where they need to go.
You’ll need to complete a skills assessment and depending on where you live, you might also need to complete a theory test. This might include questions about vehicle maintenance and how well you can communicate with passengers.
Things to note
Like any type of motoring, you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is fully insured. Invest in a reliable car or people carrier that’s able to endure daily drives across the city.
You’ll also need to decide if you want to be self-employed or work for a firm. There are pros and cons with both, but ultimately it comes down to whether you want to work under your own steam or you want the security of working for a company.
If you want to work for a firm or become an Uber driver, you’ll need to get a private hire vehicle (PHV) licence. You’ll also need to make sure that Uber operates in your area.
Are you feeling ready to take on taxi driving in 2021? This could be the perfect time to make the career move you’ve always dreamed of.