Qualifications for Working as Private Hire Vehicle Driver in and around London


Working part-time as a minicab driver is a good way to make extra money and meet interesting people, especially in a city like London, which is full of tourists from around the world. However, one cannot simply get in one’s car and start picking up people. If you want to work for companies like Uber or Lyft, this information will help you get started.

Acquire the Right License

To work as a minicab driver or a private hire vehicle (PHV) driver, you need to have the right driver’s license, a PCO license. The processes for PCO, or Private Carriage Office licenses are different depending on whether you live in London or outside the city.

Outside of London

To acquire a PHV driver license outside of London, you’ll need to contact the local council where you live. There are two qualifications for applying for a license, as follows:

  • You must be eligible to work in the UK
  • You must have held a full GB, EU or Northern Ireland driving license for at least one full year

Background Check

You must also be a “fit and proper person,” to drive the public, so the council will do a background and character check on you. This may include an enhanced criminal records check as well. Although it isn’t mandatory, you may also be required to have a medical exam, take a “knowledge test,” and take a driving test.

In London

If you want to drive in London, you will need to contact TfL, or Transport for London, to see if you qualify to apply. Their qualifications include the following:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age at the time of applying
  • You must be eligible to live and work in the UK
  • You must have held a DVLA, an EEA state license or a Northern Ireland license for at least three years
  • You must be of good character, and they will do an enhanced criminal records check on you
  • You must have a medical examination to make sure you are fit and can meet the medical standards of a DVLA Group 2 driver
  • You must pass a topographical skills assessment

There are several fees to pay for driving in London, starting with a £150 application fee.

The Right Vehicle

To drive for Uber in London, you must have a certain type of vehicle. It should have the following attributes:

  • It must be a 2009 model or newer
  • It must have 4 doors and be in good condition
  • It needs to seat at least four passengers in addition to the driver
  • It cannot be a van or a truck

If you don’t have this type of vehicle, you can look for a PCO car hire in London if you think it is economically feasible for you. You may wish to chat with other Uber or Lyft drivers to find out if hiring a car to drive for those companies is financially worth the effort of going through the application process.

Whether you want to earn extra money on your days off or you are retired and don’t wish to stay home, working as a PHV driver can allow you to earn money while meeting new people.

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