17th June 2022

How to Register Your Car for Private Hire

If you’re wondering how to become a private hire taxi driver or a chauffeur, you need to start with the basic legal requirements. Find out which documents and licences you need to start a career as a taxi or minicab driver.

Depending on what car you have, you may be able to use it for your private hire work, however working for the right operator means you can also rent a safe, comfortable and brand new car to do your job. At Addison Lee, drivers can rent brand new electric vehicles from anywhere between £15 to £165, with all maintenance, repairs, and insurance costs included, as well as regular cleaning.

How to Become a Private Hire Driver: UK Requirements

If you want to work as a taxi driver or chauffeur for private hire in the United Kingdom, first make sure you have all the essential documents.

  • Identification: You will need a valid proof of identity, such as a national ID card or passport.
  • Driving licence: To legally work as a driver, you must hold a valid driving licence (DVLA, Northern Ireland or EEA).
  • PHV (Private Hire Vehicle) licence: Also known as a PCO licence, this is a specific type of driving licence issued by the Public Carriage Office, a department of Transport for London (TfL).

Getting Your Private Hire Drivers Licence

To qualify for a PCO licence, you must be at least 21 years old, hold a valid driving licence that’s at least three years old, and have the legal right to live and work in the UK. You will also be asked to pass a few essential checks, including:

  • a doctor’s examination to confirm you are medically fit
  • a topographical (map-reading and route-finding) skills assessment
  • a speaking and listening assessment
  • a SERU (Safety, Equality and Regulatory Understanding) assessment of your reading and writing skills
  • an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (criminal record) check

How to Register Your Car for Private Hire

Transport for London defines a private hire vehicle as “any vehicle that can carry up to 8 passengers and is available for hire with a driver”. If you are driving your own vehicle, there are certain cases where you will need to get specially licenced. This infographic from TfL answers the question of whether you should obtain a licence for your vehicle.

Vehicles registered as private hire vehicles (PHVs) must pass a vehicle inspection and must also meet the UK’s emission requirements:

  • PHVs newer than 18 months old must be zero-emission capable and meet the Euro 6 emissions standard when being licensed for the first time.
  • PHVs older than 18 months must have a Euro 6 (petrol or diesel) engine when licensed for the first time.

Addison Lee provides state-of-the-art electric vehicles for our private hire drivers to use. Drivers can hire the cars from us at reasonable rental rates, including insurance cover, in-house servicing and maintenance. PHVs that are fully electric will also meet the new UK licensing requirements.

To drive for us, you need a PCO licence, a good working knowledge of London, and enthusiasm for the job. Join the Addison Lee private hire driver team and enjoy access to excellent quality vehicles at the lowest rental rates on the market.

Join the team

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