How to get a Private Hire Driver Licence in London

May 13, 2022


So, you’re interested in hitting the road and earning a living as a private hire driver in London? Great! Before you get started, you’ll need a private hire driver licence issued by Transport for London (TfL).

Requirements for getting the Private Hire Driver Licence

Before you get started, there are several eligibility requirements that you need to meet. These requirements include:

  • Being over the age of 21;
  • Having at least 3 years of driving experience in the UK;
  • Having the right to work in the UK.

Additionally, you’ll need to show that you have the following documentation and details to hand:

  • Passport;
  • Valid UK Drivers Licence;
  • National Insurance Number;
  • Proof of Address, either by a bank statement or utility bill dated within the past 3-months;
  • Bank Details;
  • Approved English Qualification (at level B1 or above);
  • DVLA Check Code.
  • Confirmation that you have completed a tax check with HMRC

How do I get my private hire licence from TfL?

Once you have all the documents outlined above, you are ready to begin your application with TfL. Fortunately, the process is straightforward, and it can all be completed online.

The process begins by registering for an account with TfL, enabling you to track your application’s progress. Remember, you’ll need to be able to upload a passport-style picture of yourself when making your application. So, make sure you have one available on your computer, phone or tablet.

TfL has provided this useful guide, explaining which photographs are suitable for your application.

How much does it cost to get my private hire driver licence?

There are a number of costs you need to factor in when applying for your private hire driver licence in London. Overall, the total cost usually comes to around £570.

How long does it take to get your private hire driver licence?

Overall, it usually takes around 27 weeks for TfL to reach a licensing decision from receiving your application once it has been submitted.

Getting your paperwork in order ahead of time and ensuring you are ready to progress with your application is the quickest way to ensure your application progresses smoothly.

If TfL cannot process your application for any reason, you should receive an email explaining why your application has been unsuccessful. The best way to avoid this outcome is by ensuring you meet all the required standards set by TfL ahead of making your application. Check you have all the required documentation, ensuring each one is valid.

Once your private hire driver licence has been granted, it remains valid for 3 years. After this period, you will need to submit a renewal application, which on average can take around 7 weeks to process.

What stages do you need to complete to get your licence with TfL?

In addition to submitting your application for your private hire driver licence, TfL requires you to pass a series of tests. These tests ensure you are fit and well enough to work as a private hire driver and help you provide a good level of service to the passengers you will be driving.

Here are the tests you will need to undertake in applying for your private hire driver licence:

Medical Examination

This is a routine check, often carried out by your GP. This check ensures that you pass the Group 2 requirements outlined by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). This check ensures that you don’t have any medical or visual impairments.

DBS Check

All private driver licence applicants must prove they are of good character by undertaking an enhanced check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). This routine background check ensures each applicant is free of any convictions.

TfL English Test

TfL requires that all private hire driver licence applicants have a good level of English. This means taking the TfL English Test. As part of the test, each applicant will be required to respond to a number of written and spoken questions.

Safeguarding Awareness

All applicants are also expected to undertake the online Safeguarding Awareness training course prior to the SERU assessment. This course provides important information on protecting children and vulnerable adults at risk from harm and abuse, a topic also covered as part of the SERU assessment.


As of October 2021, applicants are required to pass TfL’s safety, equality and regulatory understanding (SERU) test. This test assesses the applicant’s understanding of the regulatory requirements to improve public safety and customer service. The test is completed online under TfL supervision, and is based upon the content in its PHV Driver Handbook.

Topographical Test

Finally, the Topographical exam assesses your sense of direction and map reading abilities. If you’re going to drive passengers in a big, busy city like London, you need to know where you’re going!

Ready for your first trip as a Bolt driver

Once you have submitted your application and completed each of the steps outlined above successfully, you will be well on your way to earning a living as a private hire driver in London. Earning a living with your private hire driver licence is straightforward with Bolt. With driver earnings as high as £1,200 a week in London, Bolt offers a convenient, flexible way to earn money.

To learn more about becoming a Bolt driver and start applying, visit


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