How to Become a London Chauffeur

Well, well, well, here you are, chomping at the bit, all fired up and ready to dive headfirst into the world of chauffeuring. And not just any old chauffeuring, no siree! You’ve got your sights set on the big smoke, London town. You want to rub shoulders with the best, and that means learning how to become a London chauffeur. So buckle up, because this isn’t just another job – it’s a lifestyle!

1. Introduction

If you are looking to become a licensed taxi or private hire driver in London, there are several requirements that you need to meet. The London Taxi and Private Hire (LTPH) lays out these requirements in their Taxi and Private Hire Driver Policy.

2. Application Process

If you meet all of the criteria, you can start your application by registering online. You will need to provide personal details and a photograph. For those who have lived abroad for a continuous period of three months or more, a ‘Living and working abroad’ form will be required. You can also request an application pack by sending an email to [email protected].

3. Character Requirements

Applicants must be of good character. This is determined by an enhanced criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Your original DBS certificate must meet TfL’s strict criteria to be accepted for a license application.

4. Medical Requirements

Applicants must meet the DVLA Group 2 medical standards, which usually involves undergoing a medical examination by someone with access to your full medical records.

5. HMRC Tax Check

As of 4 April 2022, new tax checks were introduced for all taxi and private hire drivers. You will need to complete a tax check with HMRC, using your GOV.UK Government Gateway ID and password, and then provide a unique 9-character tax check code as part of your license application.

6. Guidance for EU/EEA Nationals

EU/EEA nationals will need to demonstrate their right to work in the United Kingdom. Further guidance can be found in the document provided.

7. English Language Requirement and SERU Assessment

Applicants must demonstrate their ability to read, write, speak, and listen in English at an appropriate level. This is measured using the Safety, Equality and Regulatory Understanding (SERU) assessment and a speaking and listening assessment, both of which need to be passed.

8. Safeguarding Awareness

All applicants are expected to undertake the online Safeguarding Awareness training course. This course covers the important subject of protecting children and vulnerable adults from harm and abuse.

9. Cost of Application

The application process involves various fees including a DBS disclosure application, license application fee, grant of license fee, and potential assessment fees. The total cost is variable and largely depends on individual circumstances.

10. Equal Opportunities

The licensing process is open to all. However, for public safety reasons, there are some medical conditions that may prevent an individual from being licensed.

11. Exemptions

There are certain requirements from which drivers may be exempted. These include wearing a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) driver badge, carrying guide/assistance dogs, assisting wheelchair users, topographical skills assessment, medical conditions, and more.

12. Convictions and Exemptions

Certain convictions may render an application unsuccessful. These include convictions for violent offences, serious sexual offences, and convictions or penalties for touting. There are exemptions available for the DBS check and medical conditions under certain circumstances.


Steering your career towards being a chauffeur in London demands that you hold a Private Hire Driver’s License, which is colloquially known as a PCO license. This is a non-negotiable requirement and serves as a significant stepping stone in your journey to becoming a chauffeur. Let’s delve deeper into how you can get your hands on one of these.

The Essentials for a Private Hire Driver's Licence

To successfully acquire a Private Hire Driver’s Licence, there are certain requirements you must satisfy. Let’s delve into what these necessities are:

Firstly, you’ve got to have celebrated at least 21 birthdays by the time you submit your application. There’s no age cap – whether you’re a spring chicken or seasoned veteran isn’t our concern, as long as you fulfil the remaining requirements.

Your experience behind the wheel counts too. You should possess a full DVLA, Northern Ireland, or other EEA state driving licence that’s got a minimum of three years of road experience etched into it.

Next up, your residential status. You need to have the legal right to live and work in the UK. You can’t circumnavigate this one; it’s a firm prerequisite.

Your character is just as vital as your driving skills in this profession. Therefore, you’re expected to have an ‘enhanced’ criminal records check from the DBS, conducted by our service provider – GBGroup. This ensures you’re of good moral standing and capable of carrying out your duties responsibly.

It’s important that you’re in good nick physically too. This means meeting the DVLA Group 2 medical standards. In most scenarios, this implies that you’ll have to pass a medical examination conducted by someone who has access to your complete medical records.

Last but by no means least, your topographical abilities are put to the test. You’ll be expected to take and pass a topographical skills assessment from an accredited center. After all, navigation is an essential part of a chauffeur’s role, especially in a city as winding and sprawling as London.


Suppose you tick all the boxes in terms of the criteria, and you’re eager to kickstart your journey to becoming a licensed private hire driver. How do you proceed? Here’s the roadmap for your application:


The route to a private hire driver’s licence might seem long, but remember, every journey starts with a single step. Don’t hesitate to take yours today!


The application process for a private hire driver’s licence comes with several costs. You can conveniently settle these fees through various modes of payment. These include all major credit or debit cards, with the necessary details to be filled in the appropriate section of the application form. An alternative method is through the Post Office®’s ‘Check and Send’ service.

Below is a typical breakdown of costs involved in your application. Please note that some fees may vary.

  • DBS Disclosure Application: This is the cost associated with the ‘enhanced’ criminal records check. The cost is £52 for an online application and £54 for a paper application.
  • Licence Application Fee: This cost is £124, which is necessary to process your licence application.
  • Grant of Licence Fee: This £186 fee is charged when your licence is granted.
  • Post Office® Check and Send: This service charge is £7.15.
  • Speaking and Listening Assessment (if applicable): If required, this assessment costs £36.
  • Topographical Assessment (if applicable): If required, this assessment also costs £36.
  • SERU Assessment: This assessment carries a fee of £36.
  • Medical: The fee for the medical examination is determined by the examining doctor (typically your GP).

As an example, excluding the cost of the medical examination, the total cost amounts to approximately £477. Keep in mind that the application fee is non-refundable.

Understanding the costs involved in the application process is crucial as it aids in your budgeting and ensures you are financially prepared to embark on your journey to becoming a licensed private hire driver.

Next Steps After Getting Your PCO Licence

Upon successfully obtaining your PCO driver’s licence, the path to becoming an active private hire driver unfolds. Your immediate next step would be to seek employment opportunities. You can achieve this by reaching out to various PCO licensed private hire operators who may have vacancies.

At this stage, you will need to decide on the vehicle you intend to use for your private hire service. You have two main options:

  1. Provide Your Own Vehicle: If you opt for this, your vehicle needs to be PCO registered. This choice is popular amongst many drivers because it offers a high degree of flexibility and potentially higher earnings. Owning your vehicle allows you to work according to your own schedule, control your operational costs, and potentially increase your profits.

  2. Use a Fleet Vehicle: The second option is to utilize a vehicle from the operator’s fleet. This might be a preferred choice for those who are hesitant about the initial financial commitment involved in purchasing and licensing their own car. Using a fleet vehicle allows you to get a feel of the job and understand the dynamics before investing in your own car.

The decision between using your own vehicle or a fleet car largely depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. It’s vital to weigh your options and make an informed choice that will best suit your career goals in the private hire industry.

How to become celebrity chauffeur London?

Becoming a celebrity chauffeur in London requires a combination of skills, qualifications, experience, and networking within the industry. Here are some steps to help you pursue a career as a celebrity chauffeur in London:

  1. Obtain a valid driver’s license: Ensure you have a clean driving record and the necessary driver’s license to operate vehicles legally in the UK.

  2. Gain professional driving experience: Build a solid foundation of driving experience by working as a professional driver, such as a taxi driver or private car hire driver. This will help you develop your driving skills and understand the nuances of navigating London’s streets.

  3. Get the required certifications: Consider obtaining certifications that enhance your credibility as a professional chauffeur, such as completing courses in defensive driving, first aid, customer service, and personal security.

  4. Familiarize yourself with luxury vehicles: Develop a strong knowledge of luxury vehicle brands and their features, as well as maintenance and upkeep requirements. This knowledge will be valuable when dealing with high-end vehicles commonly used in celebrity chauffeur services.

  5. Enhance your customer service skills: Celebrities expect a high level of professionalism and exceptional customer service. Improve your communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills to ensure a positive and personalized experience for your clients.

  6. Network within the industry: Build connections with industry professionals, such as limousine and chauffeur service companies, event planners, and personal assistants to celebrities. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and engage with online communities to expand your network.

  7. Maintain confidentiality and discretion: Celebrity chauffeurs are often privy to sensitive information. Demonstrate your ability to maintain strict confidentiality and discretion, as trust is crucial in this line of work.

  8. Polish your professional image: Maintain a neat and professional appearance at all times. Dress appropriately in a well-fitted suit or uniform, and pay attention to personal grooming.

  9. Consider additional training: Specialized training, such as advanced driving techniques, security driving, and defensive driving, can further enhance your skills and marketability as a celebrity chauffeur.

  10. Build a professional portfolio: Assemble a portfolio showcasing your experience, qualifications, and positive testimonials from clients. This will help demonstrate your expertise and professionalism when seeking employment opportunities.

  11. Apply to reputable chauffeur service companies: Research and apply to well-established chauffeur service companies in London that cater to celebrity clients. These companies often have stringent hiring processes and may require additional background checks and screening.

Remember, becoming a celebrity chauffeur is a competitive field, and success may require persistence, patience, and continuous professional development.


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