Skip to main content

Thinking of becoming a Taxi Driver?

This information will guide you on what you need to:

  • pay for
  • get tested on
  • provide as proof 
  • and an idea of the time it will take to be licensed as a taxi driver in the Cotswold District area. 

It's designed to help explain the requirements, tests and checks that need to be carried out, and the time and costs involved so you understand if it's the right time to apply or not based on your current circumstances.

The legal requirements surrounding taxi licensing have been strengthened in recent years. There is a need to protect the public from harm and is as a result of a number of nationally significant criminal prosecutions relating to taxi drivers and vulnerable people across the UK. So the checks carried out as part of the application process are rigorous.

You can feel assured that you will be joining a taxi driving community that provides a safe and valued service in our district.

What's involved with getting a Taxi Driver Licence?

Immediate checks

To be able to proceed with an application you must:

  • have held a UK driving licence for over 12 months
  • be over 18 years old
  • have the ‘Right to Work’ in the UK

Your costs

We want you to be successful and to only incur costs to become licensed if you are confident that you can provide all the required evidence. We recommend you check what evidence you will need to provide before starting your application. All items that you pay for are non refundable.

Costs incurred will include: 

  • A New Applicant Licence to drive a Hackney Carriage (HC) / Private Hire Licensed Vehicle (PHLV)
  • A Knowledge Test (payable each time you sit the test)
  • A Driver Assessment Taxi Test (which assesses your driving)
  • An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring check and certificate (DBS) (and an ongoing cost per year to be registered on the update service)
  • A Safeguarding training course
  • Medical and vision assessments from a GP / Optician
  • English Proficiency Test (if required)

The total cost involved with making a first application will be around £700 and can be more depending on the number of tests you take, if you need to repeat assessments or extra requirements due to your personal circumstances.

Current costs

Additional costs to consider

It is not just you that is licensed as the driver. Your car will need to be checked and a vehicle licence set up. The car must be under 5 years old at the time you start your licence and there is a cost for the Vehicle Licence. Please see Vehicle Licence Information to get a full picture of the cost related to the vehicle. And, if you are planning to drive under a Private Hire Licence (PHL), you will need to be licensed as an operator if you are not working for a company.

Your time

You will need to set aside some time to prepare all your evidence, take your tests, assessments and gather information ready to make an application. Our downloadable checklist. will help you to do this in a logical order. In the past, some of our applicants have realised that their assessments have become out of date while they wait for information to be returned from other organisations. 

It is likely that you will be waiting to hear back from some bodies such as the DVLA and the Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service. Currently, GP practices are under pressure so it may take time to arrange medical assessments.

Our Knowledge Tests run monthly and get booked up quickly, but you will need to allow yourself time to revise. Please do not book and attempt the test without checking into the areas to study; this is a waste of your time and money.

Once you have completed all your evidence gathering and completed The Checklist as you go, an application form should take you less than 30 minutes to complete. When we receive your application, payment and all the evidence listed, a member of the team will do a check to see that all the evidence is in place.

If the Licensing Officer does not need to request any further information, the processing time is 5 working days. As part of their review, the Licensing Officer will speak with you at a pre-arranged time and date.

Licensing Officers may ask for more information from you if you have some non-standard items on your application. An example of this is if you have some criminal convictions. Please be aware that this means that it will take longer to process your case.

Your tests

While few of us look forward to taking tests, the tests involved with achieving licenced status are all about whether you:

  • are fit and safe to drive the public (medical and vision assessments)
  • are familiar with District Council Policy, know the routes and places of interest in our area, how to work out fares and follow The Highway Code (The Knowledge Test)
  • drive in a professional way (driver assessment)
  • can prove that you are a ‘fit and proper’ individual to be transporting the public. (DBS Check and Safeguarding training course)

There is lots of advice and information available to help you prepare for any tests where you need to revise. We also give you advice on how to prepare for a medical assessment, so that you check out your health status informally before you pay for a formal assessment.

Your evidence

The Licensing Team are making a decision whether they can grant a licence under the terms of our Cotswold District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy. The majority of documents they need to review to make the decision are statutory requirements, laid out by the UK government and other bodies. 

Here is a list to give you an overview of the type of evidence you will need to provide: 

  • Right to work in the UK documents
  • Identification 
  • List of all criminal convictions
  • Knowledge Test Pass, date and payment receipt. 
  • DVLA group 2 medical examination
  • Medical Declaration Form
  • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Check (DBS)
  • Evidence of joining the DBS Update Service
  • DVLA check reference number 
  • Safeguarding course certificate details
  • Driver Assessment Test
  • Confirmation of awareness of tax payment responsibilities
  • Confirmation of awareness of NR3 (National Register of Refusals and Revocations)
  • Evidence of English Proficiency

You will find much more detailed information to help you in our step by step guide and in our downloadable checklist. And, remember that you also have to make a separate application for your vehicle if you are planning to operate independently. This is to make sure that members of the public are not transported in defective vehicles. 

Want to apply?

View our Step by Step guide

Our step by step guide will take you through all you need to do and be aware of in making an application. This is particularly useful if you think one or more items of evidence are going to be less easy for you to achieve. You may find that applying for a taxi drivers licence is not right for you right now but possibly in the future. 

We hope that having full information at your fingertips will help find the right decision for you, avoiding costly time and money spent.

Step by step guide

Download our Checklist

We've also designed a Checklist to help you gather the information you'll need to support your application. 

We advise you to use our Checklist as it will make completing The Application Form much quicker and easier and a complete application will be processed faster by us.

Applications with evidence missing or that are inaccurate take much longer to process because of the need for our teams to follow up with you and request items.

New Applicant Checklist - Download

Ready to apply?

If you have held a taxi drivers licence elsewhere in the UK you will know the process in some detail already. If you have all your evidence in place, you may wish to apply below.

We would advise you to view our step by step guide first to ensure you are familiar with requirements and use our Checklist above. It will make completing The Application Form much quicker and easier and a complete application will be processed faster by us.

Apply for a Taxi Driver Licence - Download

Applications with evidence missing or that are inaccurate take much longer to process because of the need for our teams to follow up with you and request items.