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

What is it?

The knowledge test helps us to ensure that all Hackney carriage and private hire drivers have a good knowledge of Bristol and the surrounding areas.

The best way to prepare for the knowledge test is to get out and explore Bristol.  Your friends and relative might also be able to help you out, as well as other taxi drivers.

Contact us at or 0117 357 4900 to book a knowledge test. You'll need to pay for the test when you book. You can find out about fees at our new driver licence page.

How long does it take?

The test takes up to 90 minutes to complete.

What's in it?

There are 100 questions in total, divided into the following sections:

  • Roads, districts, flats: 42 questions
  • Routes in Bristol: 8 questions
  • Pubs, hotels and restaurants: 40 questions
  • Outside of Bristol: 10 questions

Passing the test

Hackney carriage drivers to answer 90% of questions correctly.

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

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

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

Telephone: 0117 9710 883
Website: N-Gaged Trainining

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

We will close at 1pm on 24 December.

Office address

Citizen Service Point
100 Temple Street