This is your one stop shop for finding out everything you need to know about getting your PCO Licence and getting a job as a London private hire minicab driver. Any private hire driver, operator, or vehicle must be licensed and this site will guide you through all the processes you need.
Becoming a private hire driver is a great profession if you like getting out and meeting new people, and of course it helps if you like driving too! This is also the licence you will need if you want to become a chauffer or run airport transfers too.
Licensed drivers have great flexibility with their working hours and this means that you can fit your job around your life and vice versa meaning the potential for earning is really down to you with evenings and seasonal work increasing your earning substantially. Many drivers are earning £30,000 a year doing something they love.
What is the PCO Licence?
PCO stands for Public Carriage Office, the former name of the Taxi and Private Hire division of Transport for London, and they regulate all minicab related licenses around the Greater London area. This is to ensure that passengers get a safe, trustworthy, and reliable service and cuts down on dangerous illegal minicabs.
So if you want to become a minicab driver or operator in London then you must be licensed.
Types of PCO Licence
- Private Hire Drivers Licence – This is the main licence people apply for as it allows drivers to work in the private hire industry.
- The Operators Licence – All private hire drivers need to get their booking through an operator who needs to be licensed.
- Private Hire Vehicle Licence – This licence is issued to ensure that all vehicles used for hire and reward use have been tested and fit for this use.
- You must be at least 21 years of age at the time of applying. There is no upper age limit, as long as you meet the other licensing requirements.
- You must hold a full DVLA, Northern Ireland, or other EEA state driving licence for over three years which shows that you are an experienced driver.
- You must have the right to live and work in the U.K.
- You must be of good character. To establish this you will be required to undertake an ‘enhanced’ criminal records check.
- You must be medially fit as outlined in the DVLA Group 2 standards and this will need to be assessed by a GP with them signing off a section on you application form. If you’ve had heart problems or epilepsy then these are amongst some of this conditions that may prevent you from getting licensed.
- Map reading and route selection are essential skills and your will be tested at an accredited topographical skills assessment centre.
How much does it cost?
Certain aspects of applying for your licence are fixed whilst certain costs vary depending on who you use for your medical and topographical skills test. The application and licensing fee is £250 but you should also account for your criminal record check, medical, and topographical test.
How do I apply?
Is this the job for you? If so then check out how to apply. We’ve written an in-depth article on this and the best way to go about getting your job as a private hire driver. The first thing you will need to do is get a paper based application pack sent out to your home address or download one, and this will include all the forms and helpful guidance you should need. To get a sneak peek we’ve uploaded an adobe pdf version for you to look at and perhaps get a head start whilst you’re waiting for the application pack to drop through your letterbox.