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How Do I Apply for a PCO Licence?

How-Do-I-Apply-for-a-PCO-Licence

You need a PCO licence to drive for a commercial taxi service anywhere in the UK. This includes driving for ride-sharing companies like Uber. Here is how to apply for a PCO Licence in London. 

How to Apply for a PCO Licence in London?

1-Check Eligibility Requirements 

To be eligible for a PCO licence, you need to fulfil these requirements without exception:

  • You need to be 21 years or older
  • Have 3 years of experience driving in the UK
  • Have a legal work permit for the UK

You also need to have these documents to register for PCO Licence:

  • A valid passport
  • A UK Driver’s Licence
  • A National Insurance Number
  • Your debit/credit card for making essential payments
  • DVLA Cehck Code or an Electronic Counterpart Code
  • A TfL-approved English Language Qualification (B1 Level or Higher)
  • A proof of address document like a bank statement or a utility bill (it should be dated within the last 3 months)
  • Additional documents may be needed if you have changed your name or lived abroad within the last 3 years. 
pco car

2-Do a Complete DBS Check

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check is just to check your criminal record. Since you will be driving the public around, you will need to be certified as a good citizen. 

These DBS checks are only valid for 3 months, however. You can perform this check online at the DBS website. You can even renew it every 3 months so that your employers can access the most recent one online. 

DBS-Check-Requirements-for-pco-licence

Renewing your DBS check will also just cost £13. 

3-Get a Medical Examination 

Get a Medical Examination

A medical exam is necessary to make sure that you’re fit to drive. If you have any medical condition which makes you vulnerable to collapse, you can put passengers in danger. 

Your medical exam will be taken by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). This involves completing the TPH/204 Medical Form. You will have to get this form signed by your General Physician or Practitioner. 

Make sure that your General Physician also performs eye tests. If not, then you’ll need to complete that part of the form separately. 

4-Take the TfL (Transport for London) Test for English

Take the TfL

You will need to know how to speak, listen to, write, and read English fairly well to drive a taxi in the UK. If not, there will be problems communicating with your passengers. The TfL English test is simple enough and just tests your ability to communicate with people.

However, the test does cost between £180 – £200 to take. That’s why if you already have equivalent qualifications, you’re encouraged to submit them. 

If you already have qualifications like a degree from an institution with English as its medium of instruction, you’re safe. You won’t need to take the test. These certifications/qualifications include:

UK Qualifications 

  • GCSE/O Level Certificate (Grade A* to G accepted) or Equivalent
  • GCE/AS-Level or A Level Certificate (A* to G accepted) or Equivalent
  • SELT Certificate issued by Trinity College London
  • IELTS showing proficiency in reading, speaking, writing, listening (B1 or Higher)
  • UK HNC/HND Qualification
  • UK BSc Hons Degree/BA Hons Degree or Higher (Masters/PhD.)
  • UK NVQ*/BTEC/City & Guilds Qualification (Should have an included confirmation that the qualification is equivalent to GCSE or above; Blue Badge Guide Qualification accepted)

Non-UK Qualifications

  • Trinity College ISE 1 (Integrated Skills in English)
  • Cambridge English: First (FCE)
  • ESOL Skills for Life (Entry Level-Sub Level 3, or Level 1 or Level 2)
  • English Language Assessment

Also, if you’re from any of these countries, you won’t need to take the TfL test:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Ireland
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom 
  • USA

These countries all teach English as their first language already. 

5-Apply Online for Your PCO Licence 

Once you have all the documents you need, you can apply for the PCO licence online

You need to register at https://tph.tfl.gov.uk/. Follow the instructions and you should be fine. 

NOTE: You can’t press the “Go Back” button without closing the registration. That’s why you should take the time to read and select right answers at each step of the process. 

6-Take the Map Reading TfL Test

submitted-application for a PCO licence

After you’ve submitted your application for a PCO licence, you will be required to take a topographical test. This is a map reading test with the TfL. 

This test is to make sure you have a pretty good understanding of maps so you can navigate. This includes paper maps as well as map applications on your smartphone. You will also be tested on route planning. You’ll be tested on how well you can plan your trip with a customer from the pickup point to the destination. 

The route planning part of the test matters the most for your score. You will need to find the most direct routes and safest ways to your destinations. 

The test will also grade you on how well you follow traffic rules like one-way roads. That way, it will determine whether you’re a reckless driver or not. 

There will also be a direction test to find out whether you can recognize North, South, East and West. 

The test costs £50. You need a 60/100 to pass the topographical test. If you don’t succeed the first time, you can take it again.

The process may seem lengthy, but it’s well worth it. Driving taxis in London can be a very profitable trade. So, once you’re done getting your PCO licence, you’ll be on your way. When you’re looking to rent a taxi, call G&M Direct Hire. We’ve got the best pco cars for rent at the best prices. Chauffeur your customers around London in style with cars for G&M Direct Hire today!