To meet Uber driver requirements and get started with Uber or similar platforms such as Bolt, Ola, or FREE NOW, you need to get a PCO licence from TfL. Part of getting that licence is proving that your English is good enough to be an on-demand driver and passing the TfL English test.

To do this, you can either send TfL information about your qualification or take the TfL English language test.

Either way, here’s what you need to know about it.


TfL English test FAQ

What is the TfL English test?

The TfL English test is a language test for drivers coming from non-English speaking countries, who want to apply for a PCO licence or renew it. It’s been a mandatory step required by Transport for London (TfL), and it proves that you have a working understanding of the English language.

If you’ve had your PCO licence since before 14 October 2016, you must prove your English language skills when you renew your licence.

If you’ve received a new licence or renewed it on or after 14 October 2016, you should have proof of your English language skills by 30 September 2021.

You don’t need to take the test if you come from one the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, and the USA.

Why do I have to take the TfL English test?

As an on-demand driver, safety is critical, for both you and your passengers. Good communication will make interactions much easier, but it is also important that you can read and understand information, and communicate in all situations that can occur in your job as an on-demand driver, including an accident.

What certificates does TfL accept?

Here’s a list of accepted certificates:

  • UK GCSE/O level (or equivalent) certificate – grades A* to G
  • UK AS-Level – A-level certificate
  • UK NVQ*/BTEC/City & Guilds qualification – along with confirmation that the qualification is equivalent to GCSE or above (e.g. Blue Badge Guide qualification)
  • UK BA Hons, BSc Hons degree or higher (Master’s, PhD)
  • UK HNC/HND qualification
  • SELT certificate, issued by Trinity College London or IELTS showing proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening – B1-level or higher

Read more about TfL’s English language requirements

What if my language qualification is not from the UK?

If you were educated and examined in English outside the UK to the equivalent of GCSE level or above, you can provide TfL with the original certificate and proof that the qualification was taught in English. Make sure to translate any documents into English, if necessary.

If you have an English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) certificate or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) qualification, here are some examples of certificates that TfL will accept:

  • ESOL Skills for Life (Entry Level sub Level 3, Level 1, Level 2)
  • Functional Skills qualifications in English (Entry Level sub Level 3, Level 1,
  • Level 2) International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Cambridge
  • English Language Assessment
  • Cambridge English: First (FCE)
  • Trinity College: Integrated Skills in English (ISE 1)

How much does it cost to take the TfL English test?

The test costs between £180 – £200.

Where can I take the TfL English test?

You can book the test with one of the two approved English language providers:

  • Trinity College
    There are 3 locations where you can take the test: Blackfriars, Croydon Stephenson House, and Hammersmith.
  • IELTS (International English Language Test System)
    There are several locations across London where you can book your test.

Can I take the TfL English test more than once?

Yes. If you don’t pass the first time, you can take it again.

What does the TfL English test include?

The test consists of two parts:

  • Reading and writing
  • Speaking and listening

See more details about the test sections

For more details, check out the TfL Private Hire Vehicle Drivers English language requirements guide.

About Splend

We’re PCO car specialists enabling on-demand drivers to make money by driving. Our vision is a future where every on-demand driver can be successful.

We can set you up with a brand-new or new-model car, and provide the training and support you need to become a more profitable, safer, and fulfilled driver. Don’t take our word for it — Uber drivers rate us excellent on Trustpilot.

Make an appointment at our Member Support Centre at 393 Edgware Road Cricklewood, Londonemail us, or say hello on 0333 016 4331