Want to become a Taxi Driver? find out how!

We all work hard in this day and age to earn our livelihood by all legal means possible. Sometimes it can involve working for an individual or working for a company. Which ever the case, the idea of working for someone may feel daunting at times as it almost always involves following a set routine and timetable to remain fruitful to the employer.

Not to mention all the early mornings and late nights you may have to put up with on a regular basis. Your family wants to plan a holiday together but you cannot commit due to work, or your friends planning a day out but you are thinking in your head “How am I going to get time off work?” Right?

This is the time when you think about being self employed and not having to ask for a holiday or a day off, and be able to plan and do anything at anytime you want. If you are one of many of us who are in that mind phase, then there is good news. You can choose to become self employed and probably the quickest and easiest way to start earing money is to become a local licensed taxi driver.

Sure, there are some pros and cons to it but it is just like any other venture you take up in life. There will always be some good and some not so good things attached to it. If you weigh the pros and cons of being a taxi driver, the pros weigh far more than a few cons.
You will enjoy the following benefits if you become a taxi driver.

Advantages of Being a Taxi Driver

By becoming a taxi driver you will enjoy the follwing benefits:

  • Flexible Hours
  • Earn as much as you want
  • Flexibility & Lifestyle
  • Meet new people
  • Be your Own Boss
  • Regular Work
  • Indulge in your love of driving

For the safety of public, Thurrock council requires you to have a valid license issued by them if you wish to drive a taxi in Thurrock.

Types of Taxi Driver License

You can apply for a license to drive a Hackney carriage or a private hire vehicle. Read below to see which one suits your specific needs.

Hackney Carriage:

Vehicles can ply for hire on the streets and can use the taxi ranks around train stations in Thurrock. A successful candidate will be awarded a combined hackney carriage/private hire driver’s license.

Private Hire:

Vehicles can only be booked for hire by the general public through an operator, operating private hire vehicles, meaning you can not work from the taxi rank and cannot be flagged down on the street for a fare.

Validity:

The issued license is generally valid for 12 months and can be renewed for an extended period of time.

Application Process

You will need to follow certain steps mentioned below to successfuully complete the application process and get your taxi driver’s license in Thurrock.

1. Make an Appointment

Call Thurrock Council licensing department and book an initial appointment with the licensing team. You will be given an appointment to meet one of the team members where you will do the following:

  • Fill out an application form.
  • Pay the License fee.
  • Book your DBS Check with Disclosure and Barring Service Application.
  • Book your Local Knowledge and
  • Driving Knowledge test.
  • Fill out DriveTech fair processing declaration to verify your license with DVLA

The documents you will have to take with you include:

  • A Valid UK or EU Driving License.
  • Recent Passport photograph.
  • A Valid passport or a birth certificate.
  • Proof of National Insurance Number.
  • Proof of Address (Utility Bill less than 3 months old).

In your application pack, you will also find a medical questionnaire/form to be filled by the doctor or your GP after evaluating your medical condition. Keep it safe as you will need it at later stages of the application.

You can download the medical Examination Form by clicking here.

2. Take the Knowledge/Driving Test

At the second stage you will be required to pass the local knowledge test and driving knowledge test which is similar to DVLA theory test but with less questions.

For Private Hire:

If you are applying for a private hire license only, you will not be required to pass the local routes knowledge test which involves a multiple-choice exam comprised of 15 questions asking you to choose the best route for a journey mentioned in each question and choosing the appropriate answer.

However, you still have to pass the driving knowledge (Highway code) and local knowledge of places which involves knowing all famous places and attractions general public may ask you to go to.

They are Local schools, pubs, clubs, hospitals and may include any other local place of interest.

At your first appointment, you will be provided with a handout containing all the information needed for the test. All places and their corresponding road names will be mentioned in the hand out which will make it easier to prepare for the test.

For Hackney Carriage:

For hackney carriage license, you will have to pass all the tests mentioned above for private hire and also the local routes knowledge test.

3. Medical Exam

Once you have passed the driving test, it will become fairly easy from here on to complete the process successfully. You will need to make an appointment with your GP or a local medical practice offering the Medical Exam service for Drivers. A fee is payable but it varies from one GP or practice to another.

Your general medical condition and eyesight will be evaluated and if all is well, you will be given a signed medical report by the doctor declaring you fit for the job as a taxi driver.

You will be required to provide this completed medical report to the Licensing department before a license can be issued.

4. PATS Certificate

Passenger Assistant training Scheme (PATS) is a nationally recognized standard of training to people who are in this business niche, where their job involves providing assistance to passengers travelling by road.

You will need to book for this training and pay the fees not covered in your initial application fee.

On the day of your appointment, you will be expected to listen to all the training provided and demonstrate the clear understanding of the role, after which you will be issued with a PATS certificate. You will be required to provide this to Thurrock Council along with the medical report mentioned earlier.

For information about PATS providers, please click here.

Now you have successfully completed all the stages of application. Your DBS check which you applied for at the first stage of application should be complete by now. If all your DVLA checks have been successful with no concerns, you have a PATS certificate and a completed medical approval report then congratulations!
You got yourself a shiny new license allowing you to become self employed and be your own boss. Now you can work when you want and have plenty of time for your loved ones as well.

Welcome to the Free world of Cabbies!smile