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Private hire driver: Ashford Borough Council

Private hire driver

To become a private hire driver you need to read and complete the information contained within the application pack, which can be obtained from the Civic Centre, Ashford, or the Town Hall, Tenterden, or sent to you by post.

As part of the process you will be required to comply with the following:

  • pass a practical Taxi Driving Test accepted by Ashford Borough Council. This can be done through agencies such as The Blue Lamp Trust, or alternative supplier who meets our minimum specifications. Should you wish to use an alternative supplier please email licensing@ashford.gov.uk in order to check that the test will be accepted prior to booking
  • have an enhanced disclosure and barring service (DBS) check
  • pass a group 2 standard medical
  • have held a full driving licence for at least 12 months
  • undertake a private hire driver’s test which will test your knowledge from the information provided in the pack, topographical knowledge, highway code and numeracy, this is arranged once your application has been submitted.
  • pay the Taxi Licensing Fees 2017-18 [pdf] 48KB

Further information

For further information or to obtain a pack, please email the Licensing team.

Private Hire - FAQs

General questions
I want to apply to be a private hire driver (PHD), what do I do?

Email licensing@ashford.gov.uk requesting a pack to be posted to you, or pick up a pack from the Civic Centre, Ashford, or the Town Hall, Tenterden.

What do I need to do to become a licensed driver?

Complete the application form, the mandate to check your driving licence and the DBS form. Submit those along with the required identification and the fee in person.

You then have 3 months to submit your medical, pass the practical DVSA driving test and pass your PHD verbal test.

How do I submit my application?

In person by appointment at the Civic Centre, Ashford, or Town Hall, Tenterden. To make an appointment email appointments@ashford.gov.uk or call 01233 331111

How do I arrange the PHD test?

Once your application has been processed you will be contacted with a date and time to attend the Civic Centre.

What does the PHD test involve?

It is a verbal test (30 mins) with a licensing officer to check highway code, your understanding of the information in the pack, and some very basic knowledge of the area.

I’ve got convictions will this effect my application?

It might, please get in touch with licensing@ashford.gov.uk to request a call back from a licensing officer before applying.

I have points on my driving licence, will this effect my application?

If you have more than six (6) points please contact licensing@ashford.gov.uk before applying.

I am licensed in another borough can I drive a vehicle licensed by Ashford?

No, you need a licence with Ashford to drive a vehicle licensed by us.

How long do I need to have held a driving licence for, before I can apply?

A minimum of 12 months.

Can I apply to be a hackney driver straight away?

You are usually required to be a private hire driver for 6 months.

I have been a private hire driver for over 6 months, how can I apply for my hackney (joint) licence?

Email licensing@ashford.gov.uk to arrange an appointment for a knowlege test. The test takes approximately two hours.
Medicals

I have recently had a medical will you accept it?

If it is dated within 3 months, is to Group 2 standards and meets our requirements we may be able to accept it.

Where can I get my medical done? At your own GP or at a clinic. The majority of our drivers use Wells Clinic in Ashford (01233 661662) but you can use any clinic that completes G2 medicals. Please make sure they use our form.
Practical Driving Test

What does a private hire driving test involve

It is a practical driving test similar to a driving test. It is used to ensure that new taxi drivers are capable of driving to a minimum professional standard.

How do I book a taxi driving test?

This can be done through agencies such as The Blue Lamp Trust (Tel: 03337 00157), or alternative supplier who meets our minimum specifications. Should you wish to use an alternative supplier please contact licensing@ashford.gov.uk in order to check that the test will be accepted prior to booking.

Arrange a taxi driving assessment online

Do I have to take the practical driving test in Ashford?

No, it can be take anywhere in the country.

I have already passed the DVSA private hire driving test do I need to take it again?

No, as long as you still have your certificate to prove that you have passed the test.
DBS Checks

I already have a DBS certificate will you accept it?

Only if it is dated within a calendar month.

I am in the DBS update service do I still have to apply for a new DBS?

If you can provide us with your current certificate and proof that you are in the update service we can check this online and you will therefore not be required to submit a new form.

 

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