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PCO Insurance & London Taxi Guide

Find out what it takes to become a Taxi driver in London

Call 0330 134 8923

Alternatively, arrange a callback below

PCO Insurance & London Taxi Guide
Part of Brightside Insurance Services Ltd

London Taxi Drivers:

Applying for a PCO Licence 

The process of becoming a Taxi driver in London can be time consuming without the right information. There’s a PCO (Public Carriage Office) licence to think about which includes an approved application, followed by the task of finding black cab insurance or Uber insurance for your vehicle.  

At One Insurance Solution, we can provide as much information as you need to get your Taxi driver licence. Although we cannot assist with your application, we can provide the right PCO insurance once TFL (Transport for London) have issued your badge.   

Whether you want to become a private or public hire Taxi driver, need mini-cab or black cab insurance, our PCO Taxi insurance guide should answer all your questions.

Thinking About Becoming a London Taxi Driver? 

If you’re planning on becoming a Taxi driver in London, we suggest reading our national Taxi Insurance Guide first so that you know the ins and outs. Our national guide will give you the general foundations of Taxi insurance whereas this focuses solely on London Taxis and PCO insurance.

To carry passengers for hire and reward in London, you will need to be issued a PCO licence by TFL. In order to obtain this licence, there are many steps that need to be followed. Without a PCO licence, you won’t be able to work as a Taxi driver in the capital.

Before you apply for your licence, you need to decide which area of London you wish to work within. There are two different types of PCO licences that are specific to different areas:

All London (Green badge)

Drivers can carry passengers for hire & reward anywhere in the Greater London Authority area.

Suburban (Yellow badge)

Drivers can carry passengers for hire & reward in one of the nine sectors in the suburbs of the Greater London Authority area.

Once you have decided the area you wish to work in, you will need to decide on what type of Taxi driver you want to be.

Private Hire

London minicab driver

Public Hire

London black cab driver 

To understand the differences between private hire and public hire check out our national Taxi Insurance Guide.

PCO licence requirements

Step 1: Apply for a London Taxi Badge

Step 1: Apply for a London Taxi Badge

 

In order to gain a PCO licence you will need to meet the minimum requirements set by TFL. These are put in place to protect passengers as well as other road users. Part of their requirements are that you’re medically fit and must be of good character. To prove this, you must undertake an enhanced criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). You must also undertake a medical examination with someone who has access to your medical history.

The first step in becoming a London Taxi driver is obtaining your badge. If you do not meet the criteria set out below, you will not be able to apply for a London Taxi badge.

London Public Hire (Black Cab)

  • You must be at least 18 years old at the time of applying (although you cannot be licensed until you are 21 years old). There is no upper age limit, as long as you meet the other licensing requirements
  • You must hold a full DVLA, Northern Ireland, or other European Economic Area state driving licence
  • You must have the right to live and work in the UK
  • You must meet the TFL character and medical requirements

 

If all of these requirements are met, you will then need to pass the Knowledge of London assessment. Taxi drivers must have a thorough knowledge of London and be able to demonstrate this during a seven stage assessment.

London Private Hire (Mini Cab)

  • You must be at least 21 years old at the time of applying. There is no upper age limit, as long as you meet the other licensing rules and requirements 
  • You must hold a full DVLA, Northern Ireland, or other European Economic Area state driving licence
  • You must have the right to live and work in the UK
  • You must meet the TFL character and medical requirements

 


If you meet all these requirements, a topographical skills assessment needs to be taken at an accredited assessment centre.

Step 2: How to Get a PCO Vehicle Licence

Step 2: How to Get a PCO Vehicle Licence

 

Now that you have your Taxi badge from TFL, you can apply for a PCO vehicle licence. Just like applying for the Taxi badge, there are different PCO vehicle licence requirements depending on whether you are public or private hire.

In order to apply for a licence the vehicle must meet the following criteria:

London Public Hire (Black Cab)

  • All new vehicles or vehicles new to licensing must, as a minimum, meet the Euro 6 standards for emissions at time of licensing. From 1 January 2018 all Taxis presented for licensing for the first time must be zero emissions capable
  • Vehicles already licensed by TFL must be no older than 15 years at the time of licensing
  • The vehicle must meet the design standards set out in TFL’s conditions of fitness document and meet all specifications of the Taxi meter standards. TFL’s document can be found here:

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/taxi-conditions-of-fitness-update.pdf

  • All Taxis must have the facility to accept card and contactless payments. This is via an approved fixed card payment device installed in the passenger compartment, which must be capable of producing a printed receipt on demand.

London Private Hire (Mini Cab)

  • All new vehicles or vehicles new to licensing must be no older than five years
  • Vehicles already licensed must be no older than 10 years at time of licensing
  • From 1 January 2018 all PHVs licensed for the first time must have a Euro 6 petrol or diesel engine, or a Euro 4 petrol-hybrid engine.
  • The vehicle will also need to meet TFL’s inspection criteria which can be found here:

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/phv-how-to-obtain-a-licence.pdf

Uber Licence 

If you are planning on working for Uber in London, you’ll need to follow the same steps as the private hire Taxi licensing.

Uber may have their own requirements of their drivers and therefore it is best to check their website for specific driver and vehicle requirements.

Taxi Licence Cost in London 

It is very difficult to determine the exact costs of becoming a Taxi driver in London. The PCO licence cost can vary due to the type of Taxi licence you want and where you are wanting to work. TFL require that you also renew your vehicle licence every year and personal licence every 3 years. Visiting the TFL website will give you up to date costs.

Apart from the costs of getting your Taxi badge and PCO vehicle licence, you also need to consider the cost of buying your vehicle, running and maintaining it, then also the cost of Taxi insurance. Taxi insurance is inevitably higher than private car insurance - especially in London where accidents are more likely to happen compared to rural areas.

PCO Insurance 

Having the right PCO insurance in place for your Taxi is very important. It will give you peace of mind knowing that if the worst was to happen, your source of income (your vehicle), will be covered against accidents or damage.

At One Insurance Solution (trading style of Brightside), we offer London Taxi insurance at competitive prices. Our experts are on hand to run through a bespoke quote for your PCO insurance needs. Regardless of the type of London Taxi driver you are, we can insure you and your vehicle in almost all circumstances.


For example:

If you’re a driver that

  • Is under 25
  • Has previous claims
  • Has previous convictions
  • Is new to driving
  • Has zero no claims bonus

If you're looking for

  • Minicab insurance
  • Uber insurance including UberEXEC and UberLUX
  • Chauffeur Insurance
  • Minibus Taxi Insurance
  • Disabled access Taxi insurance
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If you’re ready to insure your London Taxi or want to challenge us to beat your renewal, arrange a callback below or call us on 0330 134 8923

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What else can I include on my policy?

 

As well as multiple levels of vehicle insurance to suit your requirements and budget, we can offer additional products to fully tailor your PCO insurance package. All of the following products are optional but can benefit your daily work in many different ways. Our experts are on hand to fully explain the features and benefits of each product.

PCO Breakdown Cover

PCO Breakdown Cover

Full UK breakdown cover provided by the RAC. Keeping you on the road 365 days a year.

Excess Protection

Excess Protection

Cover the cost of your excess should you be at fault in an accident.

Public Liability

Public Liability

Financial protection for any claims bought against you by members of the public that relate to injury or property damage caused by you.

Legal Protection

Legal Protection

Provides up to £100,000 worth of legal expenses, covering solicitors and court fees, including Personal Injury and Loss of Earnings cover.

Vehicle Replacement

Vehicle Replacement

Keep on working even if you have an accident that was your fault

Key Cover

Key Cover

Protect your car keys for loss and theft and automatically get cover for other keys on your fob.

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Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or need to get a PCO insurance quote. Arrange a callback below or call us on 0330 134 8923

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Finished here?

Head over to our main Taxi page or check out some other guides below