If you wish to make an income through driving, such as being an Uber driver, then you need to attain a private hire driver (PCO) license. You will not be able to make money on the roads without this license, meaning it should be at the top of your list when entering the industry.
Applying for a PCO license is a relatively simple process; however, there are some strict guidelines to follow in order to make sure that you’re compliant. As PCO car hire and rental specialists, we have put together this important guide on how to apply for a PCO license. You’ll find all of the necessary information within this guide, meaning you can focus on getting on the roads as soon as possible.
What is a PCO license?
The Private Hire Driver License also goes by the name of a PCO License. This license gives you the freedom to work as a cab driver or chauffeur; earning money for doing something as simple as driving around. This license is valid for three years before having to be renewed and will be distributed by the Public Carriage Office (in conjunction with Transport for London).
Why do I need a PCO license?
It’s likely that just about anyone would head out on the roads in an attempt to earn more money if PCO licenses didn’t exist. This would put the lives of passengers and other drivers in danger, as there’s no telling as to whether the driver is the right fit for the job.
You won’t be able to apply to become an Uber driver without a PCO license, and in addition to this, trading without a license can face you with a hefty fine.
How do I apply for a PCO license?
To apply for a PCO license, all that you need to do is complete an application form on the TfL website. However, a series of checks will need to be carried out in order to ensure that you’re compliant with the rules and regulations involved with owning a license.
In terms of eligibility, you need to match the following criteria:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Owned a UK driving license for 3 years
- Hold the right to live and work in the UK
As well as these three non-negotiable factors, you need to pass a series of assessments before attaining a license:
Criminal (DBS) Check: You are expected to be someone of ‘good character’ when applying for a PCO license. This means that you will need to have an enhanced criminal records check carried out; usually done through GBGroup when applying via TfL.
Medical Test: A visit to your GP will be needed when applying for a PCO license; you need to prove that you’re medically fit. A series of tests will be carried out in order to conclude whether you’re considered medically fit in line with the DVLA Group 2 Standards.
English Language Test: As you will be working as a PCO driver in the UK, it’s important to have the skills necessary to communicate well in English and understand English directions. You will be expected to pass an English test, with your level of English being the early years of secondary school standard or higher.
Standard Topographical Skill Assessment: The Topographical Skills Assessment helps to establish whether your map-reading and direction skills are up to scratch. You will be expected to follow an A-Z Guide and plan various routes.
Uber’s Topographical Assessment: It’s worth noting that if you’re applying to become an Uber driver, then you’ll also need to pass Uber’s Topographical Assessment, which consists of map reading. This takes place at their very own Ignition Centre and tends to cost around £50.
How much does it cost to get a PCO license?
The cost of the PCO license application process will vary between applicants, depending on what tests are needed. The below chart is a rough guideline given by TfL.
What are the next steps once I have a PCO license?
Once you have a PCO license, you’re officially ready to get on the road and start earning income through driving! All that’s left to do is get a car suited for the job. Our PCO car hire and rental services are perfect for PCO license holders, as all of our vehicles are already Uber and PCO approved, equipped with insurance and flexible contracts. You’ll be ready to get on the road in no time with our Uber car hire service in London!
As soon as you have your licensed vehicle, you can apply to become an Uber driver here.
Further information on the whole PCO license process can be found via the TfL website.