Commonly abbreviated as PCO, the Public Carriage Office is basically a licence that indicates a certain automotive owner has undergone rigorous testing on criminal record and that s/he has a substantially significant knowledge about London transport and automotive industry. Thankfully, this provision has rendered the PCO new transformation in London taxi industry. However, cab owners should understand that Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) as well as taxis must be inspected and approved by the Transport for London to meet both safety and efficiency in private London transport. This is due to the increased and overwhelmingly intersected London transport systems which are calling for increased knowledge and caution when driving.
The Licensing Process by Mini-Cab Drivers
First and foremost, all candidates preparing for the licensing must show that they are fit and proper by completing a personal declaration form. This form often takes to account candidate compliance with diverse legal requirements. Some of the questions asked regard previous criminal convictions, bankruptcies and/or terminations and it is highly advisable to fill the form correctly and honestly as any sign of misconduct can promptly lead to the withdrawal of your cab’s license as well as further legal proceedings against you.
If you’re applying to be an operator then you will have to prove the credibility of your working premises. And prior to application, it is highly advisable to secure at least one operating center within and across London where you will be taking any client and customer bookings. This can either be a booking office, home address or even a street address. However, ensure to secure a relevant planning permission from such premises. Of course you may be self-employed and decide to work for another operator so all you need to do is drive.
The payment for application will follow suit and here you will be exposed to diverse and multidisciplinary payment options. The total cost for the license will depend on the type of the application you settle for with the standard application costing twice as much as the small type. The latter has a validity period of 5 years and is inclusive of two primary costs; the grant of license fee which goes for £550 and the license application fee which cost £703. In total, the cost will averagely range at £1,253. The standard operator’s license also has a 5 year validity period and a license application fee similar to the small operator’s license which comes at £703. However, the grant of license fee is relatively expensive coming at a non-negotiable £1,707.
Getting your vehicle licensed.
Then, you will have to book for your cab’s licensing by making sure you bring with you a list of documents. These include but not limited to; a valid tax disc, an existing PHV license if applicable, a MoT certificate for vehicles under 12 months old, V5 vehicle registration certificate, a new vehicle automotive first registration and any other relevant document relating to the vehicle and where appropriate. However, be advised that some documents can be exempted and might possibly favour your licensing process hence the need to include any document that might possibly enhance the position of your licensing.
The Delivery of Payment
The pco Vehicle Licence advises taxi operators and cab owners in general to send the above fees in a single payment with the application form intact. However, please note that the application fee in both instances is non-refundable and so if the application is rejected due to both minor and major concerns, you will only receive the grant of license fee.
The Application Overview
In short, the application has three integral stages. And the required forms include:
-Application form PHV/101, fully completed.
-Personal declaration form PHV/103 from each and every named person in your above application
-Application form payment (can either be a building society cheque, a credit/debit card details sent as attachment in the form or even a bank overdraft).
The Unmatched Beauty of PCO Licensing
The unmatched beauty of the application is that many sites are now offering application form download options for anyone willing to become a private hire (Minicab) driver in London. And anytime with all these provisions, merits and metrics, the PCO has been an all time inclusive and concerned department which is working towards the safety of London citizens and travelers as well as the betterment of London automotive industry at large. Thankfully, as many cars and transportation models lag in the implementation of interoperable systems that can award Mini Cab drivers and improve traveller experience, then, the Public Carriage Office licence will always be there to solve these inefficiencies.