Getting licensed for PHV and taxi work

Jun 30, 2021

You need to be a licensed taxi or private hire driver before you can set up your taxi company. Here are the steps to follow.

Running a taxi firm can be a rewarding business and we believe that, despite the hardships of the 2020-2021, there are big opportunities for hard-working people in the taxi trade.

PaperworkYou need to be a licensed taxi or private hire driver before you can set up your taxi company. If you are outside London, apply to your local council authority to get the right vehicle licence (taxi or private hire). Your local authority will: 

  • Check that you have the right to work to work in their domain
  • Check your driving licence is current and valid
  • Do some background character checks

Within the capital, Transport for London looks after all such licences. You will need to:

  • Have a full driving licence from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
  • Be over 21
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Pass a DBS check
  • Have a medical in some cases

To drive one of the iconic black cabs, and enjoy all the benefits that come along with the role, you must pass the notorious ‘Knowledge’ test. You'll need to memorise all streets and landmarks within a six mile radius of London’s Charing Cross. If you think about it, that is thousands of streets and sites, so it’s not for the faint-hearted! Learning the Knowledge typically takes people three to four years, so it's a serious challenge, but there’s help and support available if you are determined. The test itself has written and oral elements—and, obviously, you cannot use a GPS system.

The benefits of becoming a licensed black cab in London are well-known. You are your own boss, can work when you like, and there is good money to be made. However, for a rounded view of what ONGOING COSTS there are for black cab drivers, watch this video from Tom The Taxi Driver. 

LONDON LICENSES

This is the second post in a series on starting a taxi or private hire business. Read the first here.


For an introduction to the new and used vehicles we supply call 01525 717695 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We are the largest supplier of vehicles for the cab trade in England and Wales. We aim to provide the best combination of Price, Service and Delivery. With 70+ years combined experience in the cab trade, we will help you find the perfect vehicle. 


Bus and Taxis Direct Ltd T/A The Taxi Shop is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (674319). We act as a credit broker not a lender. We can introduce you to a limited number of lenders who may be able to offer you finance facilities for your purchase. We will only introduce you to these lenders. We may receive a commission payment from the finance provider if you decide to enter into an agreement with them. You may be able to obtain finance for your purchase from other lenders and you are encouraged to seek alternative quotations. If you would like to know how we handle complaints, please ask for a copy of our complaints handling process. Visit Financial Ombudsman for information about how to refer a complaint. 

Company registration number (05306798). Registered in England. Registered address: 28-31 The Stables Wrest Park, Silsoe, MK45 4HR.