TFL Private Hire Inspection
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TFL Private Hire Inspection


Are you planning to purchase a PCO car or thinking about registering yourself as a part-time PCO driver? It’s the perfect investment as you will be making a great amount of money while working flexible hours. However, in order to get yourself associated with renowned rideshare platforms such as Uber, you need to clear the (Transport for London) TFL Private Hire Inspection Test. In this guide, you will learn how to pass the TFL vehicle test and the criteria and conditions you need to focus on to get your TFL PCO driver’s licence. 

Why Do You Need a Private Hire Vehicle Licence for Your PCO Car?

Transport for London (TFL) officers are responsible for inspecting, regulating, and providing licence to all PCO cars, PCO drivers, and rideshare operators while ensuring that they comply with the relevant regulations and legislations. One of the best things about investing in a PCO car that has passed the TFL Private Hire Inspection Test is that you will not be required to visit the NSL centre. Until then, all you need to do is submit the relevant documents to the TFL officers. Don’t forget to ask the previous owner to send you the back page of the licence document. Once all the necessary documents are submitted, the TFL officers will send you a new Private Hire Licence comprising your name and details. 

On the flip side, if the PCO car you have bought isn’t licenced, you will need to get it inspected before signing it up with any rideshare app. However, in either case, there are specific terms and conditions that you should keep in mind before purchasing a vehicle. 

TFL Private Hire Inspection | Eligibility Requirements

Keep the following pointers in mind to make sure that your PCO car is eligible to sign up for the TFL Private Hire Inspection Test:

  • The vehicle should either be older than ten years or should be a newer model. 
  • It should be Euro 6 for all fuel types. 
  • Note that in case the PCO car is 18 months old, it must be completely emission-free. This means should stand under any of these categories: electric vehicle, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid.

Moreover, even after you clear the test and get the licence, you will be expected to renew it every year by reappearing in the test.

How to Sign Up for a TFL Private Hire Inspection?

Whether you want to renew your TFL licence or want to register a new PCO car, you will have to register yourself for a TFL Private Hire Inspection. Follow the below-mentioned steps to sign yourself up:

  1. Create a TFL driver’s account or call the TFL inspection centre to book an appointment.
  2. Once you have registered yourself, to confirm the booking, you are advised to pay £140 in advance. This fee gives you the leverage to reschedule the test date according to your convenience without being charged any extra amount.

Pro Tip: Always use the online portal to register yourself for the TFL Private Hire Inspection, as it’s more convenient and will save your time.

How to Pass the TFL Vehicle Test?

Now that you have booked a TFL Private Hire Inspection appointment, it’s time to prepare yourself for the TFL Private Hire Inspection Test:

Documents that Must Be Brought to the Inspection


After you have made the reservation, make sure that you bring the following documents with you on the TFL Private Hire Inspection day:

  • MOT Certificate issued within the last 14 days. 
  • Existing PHV vehicle licence (for renewals).
  • Reward and hire insurance documents.
  • V5c DVLA Vehicle Registration Certificate.
  • Bill of Sale.

When it comes to the MOT certificate, make sure that it isn’t older than 14 days. The day you get the test is considered the first day. Therefore, start counting from that day. For example: an MOT certificate taken on 14th will be valid until the 27th

The bill of sale is one of the most forgettable documents. When finalising the deal for your PCO car, remember to ask the dealer or the owner to give you the bill of sale. However, if you have purchased your vehicle from a private seller, create a bill of sale on your own. Lastly, on the day of the TFL Private Hire Inspection, you will be asked to sign an agreement that states that you will not use your vehicle for Private Hire Activity if it fails the test or if your licence expires. 

Know the Common Causes of Failure 

This is the most important part of the TFL Private Hire Inspection; preparing yourself and the vehicle on how not to fail the test! Inspect your PCO car for any of these common causes of failure:

  1. Invalid Documents

Ensure that you have all the necessary documents in hand before you visit the NSL centre. Follow the bill of sale and MOT certificate guidelines as you have no chance of passing the test if any of the documents in invalid. 

  1. Damaged Tapestry

Raptures and holes in the ceiling covers, seat coverings, rugs, and upholstery of the vehicle can also result in failure. Therefore, ensure that your vehicle is in tip-top condition and all damages are repaired. 

  1. Body of the PCO Car

The exterior of your car says a lot about how well it’s maintained and serviced. Thereby, make sure that the car’s body doesn’t have any dents, scratches, or paint damage. 

The TFL Private Hire Inspection Test Day


On the day of the TFL Private Hire Inspection Test, make sure that you are on time, or better, try to reach the centre 10 minutes earlier because you will automatically fail the test if you are marked late. A TFL Private Hire Inspection typically takes around 20 to 30 minutes. During the test, an inspector will test your PCO car by driving it within a test garage. After a thorough inspection, the TFL inspector will give you back your documents and will tell you whether you have passed or failed the test. 

Currently, there are a total of 4 NSL centres in London; Coulsdon, Staples Corner, Canning Town, Crayford, Enfield, and Heston.

Wrapping It Up!

Follow the above-mentioned “How to Pass the TFL Vehicle Test Guide” to the tee and clear the TFL Private Hire Inspection test. If you don’t want to go through the hassle, the easy way out is by hiring an Uber-ready PCO car. To find the vehicle of your choice and needs, contact us at G&M Direct Hire – the best PCO car rental in London!