What is the PCO Licence?
The PCO Licence, also known as the Private Hire Driver Licence, allows you to work as a minicab driver or chauffer. The PCO licence is valid for 3 years and is issued by the PCO (Public Carriage Office), who are part of Transport for London (TfL). With the PCO Licence, you are able to work for private operators as a driver.
Can I work as an Uber Driver with a PCO licence?
Yes. With the PCO Licence, you are able to work for private operators as a driver, this includes as a driver for Uber.
To be eligible for a PCO Licence, you need to be at least 21 years old, have held a full clean and valid driving UK driving licence for 3 years and have a valid Criminal Record Check (DBS) check. Moreover, you will also need to successfully complete a medical examination, the Topographical Skills Assessment and an English Language test.
EEA Driving Licence Exception
You can also apply using a full clean and valid EEA driving licence that 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:
Complete Criminal (DBS) Check
As part of the application process, you need to prove that you are someone of "good character". To do this, you will need to complete an enhanced DBS 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 includes reaction 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 ensures you 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 from an accredited test centre.
Topographical Skills Assessment are conducted under exam conditions by TfL assessors.
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.
The cost to take your topographical at the Uber Ignition Centre will cost £50 per applicant. This cost will include a retake of your test if you fail at the first attempt.
Find out more about the Uber topographical skills assessment and how to book a topographical skills assessment at the Uber Ignition Centre on the Uber Website
Pass English Language Test
The standard of English required is not advanced and equivalent to early secondary school. You will need to take a test with one of TfL’s approved language test providers. However, in many cases, your academic qualifications (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 the application form on the TfL Website
Visit the official TfL website and begin the application process for your PCO Licence. You can also sign up online and request a paper 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.
Costs may vary.
Cost of the PCO Licence
There are several different costs associated with the PCO Livcence. For instance, there is a cost for starting an application and another for taking the required medical test. The total cost is an estimated £700.
Costs can vary depending on your choice of provider. E.g. some medical tests can cost more than others.
PCO Licence Renewal
Your PCO Licence is valid for 3 years. To assist you, the Public Carriage Office (PCO) will send you your renewal forms a few weeks before the expiration 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 a new 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
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.
With a PCO Licence you will be able to register in becoming an Uber driver.
To find out more about becoming an Uber Driver, please visit Official Uber Website.
The minimum requirements of becoming an Uber Driver
There are certain requirements that 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
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 (this can be sorted through the Uber website)
- Private Hire Paper licence (the original document, as well as supporting documentation if needed)
- Original UK Plastic Driving Licence
- Private Hire Insurance Certificate
- MOT that has been issued within the past 6 months
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)
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.
This figure is after Uber have taken their 25% service fee from your fare.
Uber drivers get paid on a weekly basis. The money goes directly into your bank account along with an invoice detailing all the trips.
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.