What It Takes To Become a Black Cab Driver

Black cabs can be found all across the UK and are used by countless people every day. If you’ve ever considered becoming a black cab driver then the guide below should prove to be extremely useful.


Below are the main requirements for obtaining a taxi driver licence. It’s important to note that these requirements are for London black cab drivers. The requirements for other parts of the country usually aren’t as strict but they tend to vary a bit from one city to the next so be sure to check with your local council about the exact requirements for your city.

  • Character requirements – In order to be eligible to apply for a taxi driver’s licence, you must show that you’re of good character. An advanced criminal records check will be performed when you apply for a licence to find out if you have any convictions and if so, how serious they are.
  • Medical requirements – You’ll also need to medically fit enough to work as a black cab driver. This means undergoing a medical examination and access to your medical records will be obtained.
  • The Knowledge – The Knowledge is a notoriously gruelling test that all London taxi drivers must pass in order to be licenced. It is a multi-stage test where you must be able to demonstrate that you have an intimate knowledge of all of London’s streets and landmarks.

Practical considerations

  • A cab – You will of course also need your own cab in order to work as a black cab driver. You might have the option to rent a cab depending on the city you work in. However it’s worth noting that if you apply to become a black cab driver in London then you’ll need to get a vehicle that adheres to the new emission guidelines that came into effect from the beginning of 2018. You will need to have a vehicle that is capable of doing at least 30 miles emission-free so a hybrid or electric vehicle will be required.
  • Insurance – If you want to work as a black cab driver then you’ll need to get the right type of cover. A black cab taxi insurance policy will cover you for accidents while you’re working. You can choose what level of cover you want to get from third party; third party, fire and theft; or fully comprehensive. You can also add other types of cover to a black cab insurance policy such as breakdown assistance and personal injuries. Other considerations could be a private hire insurance policy should you decide to become a private hire vehicle driver.


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