To drive a taxi or private hire vehicle in Bristol you need to have a good understanding of the local area as well as be able to demonstrate skills in customer service.  There are a number of tests and qualifications that we require you complete before you're granted your first licence.

Knowledge test

The knowledge test helps to make sure our taxi and private hire drivers know Bristol and the surrounding areas well. There are different tests for Hackney carriage drivers and private hire drivers.

Prepare for the knowledge test by exploring Bristol and reading the further information links. Your friends, relatives and other taxi drivers might also be able to help you.

How long the test  takes

The test takes up to 90 minutes to complete.

What's in the test

Hackney carriage and private hire drivers answer questions about:

  • safety, including child sexual exploitation
  • clubs, pubs, restaurants, and hotels 
  • districts and places of interest 
  • how to calculate change and general road safety 
  • policy and legislation 
  • equality 

Hackney carriage drivers also answer questions about:

  • offices and flats
  • outside of Bristol

There are 100 questions in total for both tests.

Download pdf example questions (387 KB) .

Passing the test

Hackney carriage drivers need to answer 90% of questions correctly.

Private hire drivers need to answer 75% of questions correctly.

There's also a minimum pass mark in each section. This is 40% or 50% depending on the section.

How to book a test

You'll need to apply for a licence before you can book a knowledge test.

To book a knowledge test call 0117 357 490

You'll need to pay for the test when you book. The cost is £57.

You can't change a booking, so if you can't go to the test you'll need to book and pay again.

Further information

Licences and policies you should be aware of as a taxi driver.

Know your traffic signs, on GOV.UK.

Stopping distances, on Brake.org.uk.

Guidance for helping passengers with sight loss, from GuideDogs.org.uk.

Child Sexual Exploitation, This Is Not An Excuse, from Avon and Somerset Police.

Gold standard training

All new drivers need to complete our Gold Standard training programme.

Our current provider has stopped offering this training, so we're looking for a new one.

If you apply for a new hackney carriage or private hire driver licence, or renew and you're required to complete the gold standard, we'll issue your licence without the need for this training until our new provider has been approved.

If you're granted a licence without completing the gold standard training we'll tell you when a new provider has been selected.

You'll then need to pass the new test in the timeframe we give you.

Certificates from a provider who has not been approved by Bristol City Council will not be accepted.

We'll add details of the new test provider on this page when they've been selected.

DVSA advanced driving test

The Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) advanced taxi driving test has been stopped by the DVSA.  

We'll approve a different provider of the test as soon as we can. 

Applications for the grant of new private hire or hackney carriage driver licences will be granted without the need for this test to be undertaken until a new provider has been approved.

If you're granted a licence without passing the DVSA test, you'll be notified when a new provider has been selected.  

A period of time will then be given in which you must pass the new test.  

Certificates from a provider who has not been approved by Bristol City Council will not be accepted.  

Details of the new test provider will be on this page when they've been selected.