Taxi driver tests and certificates

Taxi driver tests and certificates

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 with your first licence.

Knowledge test

The knowledge test helps to make sure our taxi drivers know Bristol and the surrounding areas well. There's 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 some example questions (pdf, 388KB) (opens new window) .

Passing the test

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

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

You'll need to get at least 40 or 50% of questions right in each section in order to pass.

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, either:

You'll need to pay for the test when you book. Check how much it costs at our driver licence page.

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.

The purpose of the training scheme is to improve your skills in customer service and give you the knowledge to become ambassadors for Bristol. You must complete an assessment to be awarded the Gold Standard. 

The assessment contains:

  • English and Maths entry level and level 1
  • Highfield level 1 Award in Customer Service
  • Pearson Level 1 Safe Road Skills
  • Highfield Level 2 Introduction to the role of the professional taxi and private hire driver

You'll be provided with skills in the following areas:

  • health and safety
  • road safety
  • customer service
  • taxi maintenance and safety inspections
  • disability assistance
  • routes and fares
  • transporting luggage and parcels
  • working with children

Classes are offered by the following provider: you'll need to contact them directly to book onto the programme:

N-Gaged Logistics Training
Email:  Chris.Morgan@fmbusinessschool.com 
Website:  Home | N Gaged (n-gaged.co.uk)

DVSA taxi driving test

The DVSA taxi driving test has been stopped by the DVSA.  

Bristol City Council will 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 will 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.

Right to licence check

From 1 December 2016 you'll need to have a right to licence check to show you have the right to work in the UK.

Contact information

Licensing Team

100 Temple Street

Bristol City Council

PO Box 3399

Bristol, BS1 9NE

Opening Hours

Drop in hours at Citizen Service Point, 100 Temple Street:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9am to 5pm
  • Wednesday: 10am to 5pm

Office address

Citizen Service Point
100 Temple Street
Bristol
BS1 6AG

Email: licensing@bristol.gov.uk