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A drivers guide to driving in the UK
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Introduction into Taxi Driving

Help and information for people looking to become a taxi driver, help and information on all the productive tests.

Taxi Driving Information

Wheelchair Exercise
Licence Categories

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) first introduced a non-statutory practical driving test for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire in 1999 and now DSA conduct tests on behalf of many Licensing Authorities on a national basis.

DSA take the view that professional Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers have a special responsibility in the safe transportation of fare paying passengers. Every journey should be a safe one, taxi drivers make millions of safe and efficient journeys in Britain each year and the safe completion of each journey totally depends on the skill of the driver.

Some Licensing Authorities insist that before you are issued with a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire drivers licence you must pass a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire assessment. If your Licensing Authority requires you to take the test, it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the content of the test and that you take professional instruction prior to taking the test.

The standard of the taxi assesmment test is set at a level suitable for the full driving licence holder, which is therefore higher than the learner driver test.

The eyesight test

At the start of your practical test you will be asked to read in good daylight (with the aid of glasses or contact lenses if worn) a registration mark fixed to a motor vehicle with letters and figures 79.4 millimetres high at a distance of 20.5 metres (20 metres for a new style number plate). If you fail the eyesight test, you will be unable to take the driving part but will still be able to continue with the wheelchair section.

The practical test

The practical test will last for about 35 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic. During the test you should drive in a natural way, and should not adjust your driving to what you may feel the examiner would expect to see. The examiner will give you clear instructions which you should follow throughout the test.

During the practical test, you will be examined on the following:

• awareness and anticipation
• effective planning of prevailing road and traffic conditions
• correct use of speed
• emergency stop (one in three tests)
• a manoeuvre involving reversing
• Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Car related exercise
• passenger safety and comfort
• wheelchair element (for Black Cab style only)
• Download Taxi safety Questions

The wheelchair exercise

If you are taking the taxi test with the wheelchair exercise you should also be able to:

• demonstrate your ability to securely erect the wheelchair ramps, floor ramp etc
• safely install the wheelchair in your vehicle
• secure seat belts/safety harness and also secure any wheel belts/clamps fitted to your vehicle
• reverse the process by taking off the belts, harnesses and clamps, taking the wheelchair out of the vehicle and putting the ramps away
•At the end of test

On passing the test you will receive:

• a pass certificate
• the offer of a debrief
• an assessment copy

If you pass the driving element of the taxi test you will receive a TPH10 certificate. If you pass the wheelchair element you will receive a WTA10 certificate.

If you fail the test you will receive:

• the offer of a debrief
• an assessment copy
• training advice

If you fail the taxi practical test you may retake the test again at a later date. You must, however, wait a minimum period of three clear working days between appointments. There is no limit to the number of times you can take the test.

Licence Categories

Categories Class of Vehicle (Cars, Light Vans, Motorcycles and Mopeds)
Motor bicycles
New licence holders limited to 25kW/33bhp for first 2 years of licence unless large motorcycle test taken on Direct/Accelerated Access scheme

Learner motorcycle (not exceeding 125cc 11kW/14.6bhp) CBT before going on road for learners

Motor vehicles not exceeding 3500kg M.A.M. and not exceeding 8 passenger seats (+ driver) towing trailer:
  • - not exceeding 750kg MA.M (4250kg tot) , OR
  • - trailer ex 750kg M.A.M. if max authorised combination weight does not exceed 3.5 tonnes and trailer M.A.M. does not exceed unladen weight of motor vehicle **
Holders of full licence before 1/1/97 retain entitlement to B+E, C1, C1+E (8.25 tonnes), D1 (not for hire or reward), and D1+E (not for hire or reward)

** Exemption - to tow damaged or defective vehicle from position where is likely to represent road safety hazard or obstruction to other road users so far as is reasonably necessary providing no consideration received for driving the vehicle - Regulation 7(7).

Cat B + trailers exceeding 750 kg M.A.M.
New drivers must hold Cat B licence and take a separate test

3 or 4 wheel motor vehicles not exceeding 550 kg unladen (Quadricycles)
If they exceed 550kg they fall into Cat B

(invalid carriages)
Motor vehicles in Cat B which are Invalid carriages

CBT required before going on road by all provisional licence holders and full licence holders who hold full entitlement as result of passing Cat B test on or after 1/2/2001.

More on Licence Categories

Licence Category Requirements

Categories Other Full Entitlements Provisional Entitlement Minimum Age Requirements Section 101 Road Traffic Act 1988
K, P, B1* (* B1 - only if test passed before 1/2/2001)
B, F
21 (17)
17yrs - Motorbicycle not exceeding 25kW/33bhp
21 years - Motorbicycle exceeding 25kW/33bhp
or 2 years after passing test (19yrs min) otherwise 17yrs if Motorcycle owned or operated by Secretary of State for Defence used for naval, military or airforce purposes, or being driven by a person subject to orders of member of British armed forces and used for naval, military or airforce purposes.

A, B, F, K
17yrs - A1 is limited to 125cc/11kW/14.6bhp.

F, K, P*
* From 1/2/2001 new full cat B licence holders require basic training (CBT) before riding a moped Cat P
B1 and B1 (invalid carriages) - these sub-categories are included with a full Cat B licence although they are not shown on the licence

A, B+E,
G, H
17yrs (16 yrs - person in receipt of disability living allowance at the higher rate providing no trailer is drawn.)
More on Licence Requirements
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