PCO (Private Hire Driver Licence) (2023)

The PCO Private Hire Licence allows holders to legally provide minicab hiring services in the United Kingdom. The PCO Licence also allows you to become an Uber driver.

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PCO (Private Hire Driver Licence) (1)

Licence Name

PCO Private Hire Driver Licence


Transport for London (TfL)


4 weeks




3 years


21 years, Right to work in UK, DBS Check, Pass tests: Topographical, Medical, English


Topographical Test;


Enhanced DBS Check
  • TfL Provider: GBGroup
  • Cost: £60
Medical Test
  • Medical standards: DVLA Group 2
  • Cost: £80
Topographical Test
  • Find accredited test centre
  • Cost: £75
Becoming an Uber driver
  • Sign up online - www.uber.com
  • Submit application documentation
  • Have approved Uber vehicle
  • Attend Uber Ignition' session

Get Licenced

View all steps

PCO (Private Hire Driver Licence) (2)

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  • About
  • Eligibility
  • How to apply
  • Training
  • Cost
  • Becoming an Uber Driver
  • Other Uber infomation
  • FAQs

PCO (Private Hire Driver Licence) (4)

Based on 21,141 reviews

  • About
  • Eligibility
  • How to apply
  • Training
  • Cost
  • Becoming an Uber Driver
  • Other Uber infomation
  • FAQs

What is the PCO Licence?

Are you looking to get licensed and work as adriver?Getting your PCO Licence is the first step towards working a new career where you can enjoy freedom of chosing when to work.

We makegetting your PCOlicence a simple, stress-free process

The PCO Licence,also known as the Private Hire DriverLicence, allows you to workas a minicab driver or chauffer, including working as an Uber driver.

The PCO licenceis valid for 3 years and is issued by the PCO(Public Carriage Office),who are part of Transport for London (TfL).

(Video) Private Hire Driver Licence Guide | Uber UK | Uber

Apply for your PCO Licence using the officialTFL application form.


To be eligible for a PCO Licence:

✅ You need tobe at least 21 years old

✅ Must have UK driving licencefor 3 years

✅ Have a validCriminal RecordCheck (DBS) check.

✅ Complete a medical examination,

✅ Complete the Topographical Skills Assessment

✅Take the English Language test.

EEA Driving LicenceException: You can also apply using a full clean and validEEA driving licencethat you have held for 3 years. Don't forget to submit the UK counterpart.

How do I apply for a PCO Licence?

Applying for a PCO Licence can seem complicated,but is actually quite straightforward. All you need to do is follow the steps below:

CompleteCriminal (DBS) Check

As part of the applicationprocess, you need to prove that you are someone of "good character". To do this, you will need to complete an enhancedDBS Check.

This can cost around £60.

Pass Medical Test

To obtain your PCO Licence, you will need to be declared medically fit according to DVLA Group 2 Standards. The criteria includesreaction times, hearing tests and checking for other serious health conditions. You can complete a your medical test with your GP or other health professionals who have complete access to your records.

This can cost around £80.

Pass Topographical Skills Assessment

The Topographical Skills assessment ensuresyou are able to use an A-Z Guide to locate places, as well as to plan routes (of varying distance)from one point to another. You will need to obtain your certificate froman accredited test centre.

Find out more about the topographical skills assessment and how to book at a TfL-approved centre on the TfL Website

Topographical Assessment with Uber

If you wish to be become an Uber driver you will have an option of taking your topographical assessment at the Uber Ignition Centre which is based in London.

This can cost £50 per applicant.

Pass English Language Test

The standard of English required is not advancedand equivalent to early secondary school.You will need to take a test with one of TfL’s approved language test providers.

Note - Inmany cases, your academicqualifications (such as GCSEs)can exempt you from having to take the English language test.

Click here for more information to find out if your standard of English is deemed acceptable.

Complete theapplication form on the TfL Website

Visitthe official TfL website and beginthe application process for your PCO Licence. You can also sign up online and request apaper application.

Do I need training for a PCO Licence?

There is no specific training course for the PCO Licence, however you can receive assistance with 2 aspects: the English test and the topographical skills test. Some providers will offer training and assessment for both of these areas.

Cost of the PCO Licence

There are several differentcosts associatedwith the PCO Livcence. For instance, there is a cost for starting an application and another for taking the required medical test.

✏️Note: The total cost to get a PCO Licencecould be up to £700.Costs can vary depending on your choice of provider. E.g. some medical tests can cost more than others.

How to renew your PCO Licence

Your PCO Licence is valid for 3years. To assist you, the Public Carriage Office (PCO) will send youyour renewal forms a few weeks before theexpiration date of your licence.

Don't wait too long!

It takes a few weeks for PCO Licence application to be processed. If you wait more than 3 months after your PCO Licence has expired, you will no longer be eligible for a renewal and be treated as anew applicant.

Becoming an Uber Driver with a PCO Licence

Benefits of becoming an Uber Driver

For many people in the UK, using an Uber is preferred over the traditional black cabs or private taxi services. Working for Uber offers freelance and flexible hours for drivers and is used by millions of passengers in the UK with an average of 3.5 million users in London alone.

Make as much money as you want

(Video) How to apply for Taxi and private Hire,How to apply for PCO License London online application

Being an Uber Driver is a quick and easy way to make money, with a lot of drivers actually earning a full time living as an Uber Driver.

Set your own schedule

You will be able to drive at times that work for you, whether that’s before or after another job or on your weekends off.

Easy and user-friendly app

The Uber app is as easy as just a tap and go. You’ll get turn-by-turn directions, suggestions to help you make more, and 24/7 support.

To find out more about becoming an Uber Driver, please visitOfficial Uber Website.

Tip: You can work for multiple operators at the same time, not just Uber.

More information to help you kick-start your Uber Driver career

The minimum requirements of becoming an Uber Driver

There are certain requirementsthat you must need in order to be eligible to drive with Uber This includes:

  • You must have a valid driving licence(if you have an EU one, it has to be converted to a UK licence)
  • You need to be at least 21 years old
  • Depending upon the area in which you are based, you will need a certain number of years driving experience in order to qualify

✏️Note: You will need to provide the following documents in order to drive with Uber as part of your application.

✅ National Insurance Number

✅ Electronic Counterpart Code

✅ Private Hire Paper licence

✅ Original UK Plastic Driving Licence

✅ Private Hire Insurance Certificate

✅ MOT that has been issued within the past 6 months

✅ Logbook

Do you need training to be an Uber Driver?

Before you officially begin driving with Uber you will need to attend an Uber Ignition' session.

This is basically a free half-day information session where you will learn about what it will be like to work for Uber.

The Uber Ignition' session can take up to four hours and involves the following:

  • Training for the maps test
  • Guidance on how to get your health and background check
  • Advice on obtaining insurance
  • Guidance on how to apply for your private hire licence (if you haven’t already got one)

What vehicle will you need to become an Uber driver?

As you'll be driving people around in your own vehicle, you'll need to make sure it's up to the standards Uber requires. Your car needs to be under five years old, and should comfortably seat between four and eight people.

The approved list of accepted cars if you want to become an Uber driver in the UK can be found on the Official Uber Website.

How much can you make as an Uber Driver?

On average Uber drivers could make around £565 for a 35-45-hour week which on average works out at roughly £15 per hour. This also includes tips which can be granted by the passenger via the app.

✏️Uber charges 25% commission for each ride.

Uber drivers get paid on a weekly basis. The money goes directly into your bank account along with an invoice detailing all the trips.


The pco licence allows you to workas a private hire vehicle minicab driver or chauffer.It is also known as the Private Hire DriverLicence. PCO stands forPublic Carriage Office - they are part of Transport for London (TfL).

If you wish to work for a licensed private hire operator as a driver or chauffer, it is a legal requirement for you to hold a valid pco license.

There is no simple answer. The TfL applicationcost for thePCO Licenceis£250. Then you need to factor in other elements of the application form. Thisincludes DBS criminal record checks, English Language, Medical andTopographical tests. The estimated total, as reported by TfL (the Licensing Authority) is around £700.

(Video) How to Apply for Private hire PCO Licence in London| Step by Step| ELTC

The PCO Licence is valid for3years. Public Carriage Office (PCO) will send youyour renewal forms a few weeks before theexpiration date of your licence to give you a hand. If you wait more than 3 months, you will need to re-apply from scratch.

Having a basic level of Englishis a requirement for the PCO Licence. TfL approveISE I (B1) andIELTStests to show your level.Please note, you are exempt from this if you have anyof the following qualifications in certificate form: GCSE, AS Level or A-levels, University Degrees and so on. For the full list of exemptions, click here.

As part of your PCO Licence application, you need to prove that you are medically fit to drivethrough a medical test. The test will check your reactions, coordination, memory and so on. See more on:DVLA Group 2 medical standards. To takethe test, you can contact your GP or book with an external centre(provided they have access to your full medical history). TfL advises that the cost is around £80. The test resultis only valid for 6 months, so make sure you apply before it expires.

You need to pass the Topographical Skills assessment to complete your PCO Licence application.The test ensuresyou are able to use an A-Z Guide to locate places, as well as to plan routes (of varying distance)from one point to another.

Yes. With the PCO Licence, you are able to work for private operators as a driver, this includes working as a driver for Uber.

You must be at least 21 years old to be an approved Uber driver.

An Uber drive can earn on average £15 per hour. This also includes tips.

You'll need to have the correct insurance when working as an Uber driver, and even if you're already insured to drive your vehicle, you may not be covered to use your vehicle for work or business use, so check your documentation.

Price comparison sites such asCompare the MarketorCompare.comcan help you find a good deal if you need to change your vehicle insurance.

Uber will pay you weekly, usually on a Thursday, and it calculates the amount of fares you've taken between 4am on a Monday and 3:59am the following Monday.

Yes. You'll need to either rent or buy an Uber-approved vehicle. This can be done via the Uber Marketplace, which helps you find vehicles to drive.

There are no hours or shifts, Uber drivers can turn on the app whenever they want and can decide when they want to drive.

You can use your own phone and sat nav if you already have both. However, you can pay £5 per week to obtain a company phone and a sat nav. This includes phone, data charges and repairs. This option is also covered by insurance if the phone or sat nav gets damaged.

(Video) B1 English Language Test For Private Hire Driver | B1 for PCO licence in London | Topographical Test

(Video) How to apply for PCO LICENCE in London 2021 step by step | Topographical assessment test information


What happens if you fail Seru assessment? ›

SERU is about everything you should know about being a driver. However, if you fail (60% pass mark), TfL will assume that your English isn't sufficient as you were unable to read the Drivers Handbook and understand it – so your licence will be revoked.

Can I get a PCO Licence with 6 points? ›

TfL will sometimes issue a PCO licence to new drivers who already have up to nine penalty points on their driving licence but it might affect your ability to get insurance.

Can you get a PCO Licence with a criminal record? ›

Having a criminal record doesn't instantly disqualify you from getting licensed but if you do have any previous convictions then they will be assessed on a case by case basis using the following criteria: Nature of the offence(s) Circumstances in which any offence was committed. Circumstances of the individual ...

What is the pass mark for topographical test? ›

What score do you need to pass the topographical test? You must score at least 60 out of 100 to pass. This sounds high but it's only slightly more than half the marks.

How long wait for PCO Licence after passing topographical test 2022? ›

It generally takes between 12-16 weeks for your PCO application to be fully processed.

How do I pass a TfL topographic test? ›

How to get ready for the TfL topographical test
  1. Section 1: Use indexes to identify points/locations.
  2. Section 2: Use a map to identify directions and points/locations.
  3. Section 3: Plan a route between two locations.
  4. Section 4: Demonstrate knowledge of compass points within directional-based questions.
24 Jun 2022

How long is the Seru assessment? ›

SERU Group training will happen over a course of 2 days with a total of 6 hours. It will cover, all 10 sections from the PHV drivers handbook, MCQs, Drag and Drops, and tips and tricks to succeeding the exam.

How many PHV drivers are there in London? ›

London - March 2022 (thousands)England - March 2022 (thousands)
Licensed PHV operators1.714.2
Total driver licences119.6330.3
Taxi only licences19.540.0
PHV only licences100.1214.3
7 more rows
13 Jul 2022

Can I be a taxi driver with 9 points? ›

Any driver accumulating nine or more penalty points will receive a warning that incurring additional points is likely to result in the loss of their taxi licence.

How much can a PCO driver earn in London? ›

An average PCO driver earns around £20,000 to £30,000 per year. On the other hand, the average rate per hour of a UK-based PCO car is £9 to £15, which can boost up to £18 to £25 based on certain factors such as driving on Saturday evenings, bank holidays, or peak hours.

Do you need PCO for Uber? ›

The most important document that you need to work as an Uber driver is a PCO licence, which is technically called a Private Hire Licence (PHL). In London, these licences are issued by TfL (Transport for London).

How much does a PCO driver earn? ›

According to the renewed PCO driver's plan by Uber, all UK-based drivers would be considered working employees, and so they will be guaranteed a minimum wage, pension, and holiday pay. An average PCO driver earns around £20,000 to £30,000 per year.

How much does it cost to get PCO license? ›

Application Forms – PHV/203 Cost – £250

Some of them are paper ones that need to be filled out, and others can be done online via the TFL website. The actual TFL application cost is £250, and in case they reject you for some reason, they will only refund you the license fee – £100.

How long does it take to get topographical test results 2022? ›

2) When you undertake your test on average you need to wait about 2 weeks for your test results from TFL, if you have failed you need to book another test which could take another 2 weeks for a date, then wait another 2 weeks for those test results.

Who is exempt from topographical test? ›

PHV drivers are required to undertake a topographical skills assessment unless they can prove to TfL that they should be exempt from this requirement (a concession). One such concession is for individuals who can provide TfL with evidence of a relevant vocational qualification in road passenger transport.


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