Many people are attracted by the idea of becoming their own boss and working flexible hours by becoming a taxi driver. Anyone who is keen to work as a fully licensed private hire driver in London needs to know how to go about getting hold of a PCO licence first of all. Provided that you check on this site for the information you need and then follow the right process then this shouldn’t be too difficult to do.

The Basics

PCO simply means Public Carriage Office and refers to the section of Transport for London where licences are issued for people who want to work as taxi drivers and chauffeurs in the city. You may already be aware that London Black Car drivers (also known as Hackney carriage drivers) need to go through a different licensing process, as they get given the famous test known as “The Knowledge”.

 The Application

It is easy to start the PCO application by requesting that a pack be sent out to you. You might feel a little daunted when you see how comprehensive and confusing this pack appears to be. However, by reading through the different sections on this site you will find out very easily how to deal with each of the different parts of the process. By breaking it down into sections and doing one thing at a time you will be able to complete your PCO licence application smoothly and without any hassles.

The Requirements

To be sure that you aren’t wasting your time you need to check before you start that you meet the eligibility criteria to apply for a PCO licence in the first place. The following are the points you need to meet.

  • Be a minimum of 21 years of age.
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK.
  • Be the holder of a UK or other EEA driving licence for at least the last 3 years.
  •  Able to meet the medical requirements covered in the DVAL Group 2 standards. This will be confirmed in a medical assessment which you need to get done by a GP before sending your PCO application pack back to be processed. Anyone with health problems or disabilities should look at our pages on this subject for further information.
  • Be able to read a map and work out routes. This is an essential part of the skills needed to be a private hire driver and you can show that you possess these skills when you undertake the topographical test which is part of the licensing process. If you aren’t confident about passing this test then you can get training done before the test.
  • Be of good character. This might seem the most difficult point of all to prove but it simply involves getting a CRB check done. This is a criminal records checks and our page on the subject will show you the types of conviction which are going to cause you a problem in getting your licence sorted out.

The Next Steps

If you meet the points on the previous list of requirements then you are in a great position to go ahead and start your application for a PCO licence. It shouldn’t take you too long to fill out the forms and do the relevant tests so before you know it you could driving around London and making money in your new career.