Its official name is Private Hire Driver Licence, so don’t let this confuse you. Most people reference it as the “PCO licence” since it’s issued by the Public Carriage Office – a TfL agency. We at Splend also always use “PCO licence”
We’ve outlined 6+1 steps below to help you obtain your PCO Licence in London.
Table of contents
1. Check if you’re eligible for a PCO licence
To be eligible for a PCO licence you need to pass the following criteria:
- 21 years or older
- At least 3 years of driving experience in the UK
- Right to work in the UK
If you pass these eligibility requirements, you can start gathering the documents needed to obtain your PCO licence.
2. Take a background check
TfL states that in order to apply for a PCO licence, you must be of good character, so they require you to take an enhanced criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
DBS checks are only valid for three months, but you can save time and money in the long run if you sign up to the DBS update service. This lets you keep your DBS certificate up to date while allowing employers to access it online, with your consent. This only costs £13 – significantly cheaper than the ~£60 fee you’d otherwise have to pay for every new background check.
3. Get a medical exam
You must be medically fit in order to get a PCO licence, meaning you must pass the Group 2 standards of the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA).
You’ll need to print and complete the TPH/204 medical form. Book in to visit your local GP as they’ll need to sign the form to confirm the information you provided is correct.
Tip: Make sure your local GP offers eye tests, otherwise you’ll need to complete it separately.
4. Prove your English competency or pass an English language test
TfL requires you to have a working understanding of the English language. Here’s a list of the suitable evidence they accept for your PCO licence application:
- UK GCSE/O level (or equivalent) certificate at grades A* to G
- UK AS-Level/A level certificate
- UK NVQ*/BTEC/City & Guilds qualification, along with confirmation from the awarding body that the qualification provided is equivalent to GCSE or above (for example, a Blue Badge Guide qualification)
- UK BA Hons, BSc Hons degree or higher i.e. master’s, PhD
- UK HNC/HND qualification
- SELT certificate at B1 level or higher, issued by Trinity College London or IELTS showing proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening
If you don’t have any of the support evidence examples listed above, don’t stress. You can complete a short course with the following two approved providers:
5. Apply online
Now that you’ve completed the background check, got the medical examination and have proof of your English language skills, you’re ready to submit your PCO licence application online.
6. Pass the topographical test
Once you’ve completed the application you will also need to pass a topographical test, which will determine your ability to read a map.
+1. Start earning a flexible income
If you’ve completed all the steps above, you’re ready to start earning an income with on-demand platforms. Which ones you choose is entirely up to you, but we suggest signing up to several ridesharing and delivery apps to make the best use of your working hours and maximise your income
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.