Private Hire Driver

To become a private hire driver you need to read and complete the information contained within the application pack. This can be obtained from the Civic Centre in Ashford or the Town Hall in Tenterden. You can also request to have it sent by post.

As part of the process you will need to do 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 the licensing team prior to booking to check that the test will be accepted by us
  • 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 will be arranged once your application has been submitted
  • Pay the appropriate fee.

Contact us for further information

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

Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

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

Email the licensing team requesting a pack to be posted to you; or pick up a pack from the Civic Centre in Ashford or the Town Hall in 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 three 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 in Ashford or the Town Hall in 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 (45 minutes long) 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 affect my application?+

It might, please email the licensing team to request a call back from a licensing officer before applying.

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

If you have more than six points on your licence please email the licensing team 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.

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 the licensing team to arrange an appointment for a knowledge test. The test takes approximately two hours.

Medicals

I have recently had a medical, will you accept it?+

If it is dated within three 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. 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 (03337 000157), or an alternative suppliers who meets our minimum specifications. Should you wish to use an alternative supplier please email the licensing team in order to check that the test will be accepted prior to booking.
Arrange a taxi driving assessment online (The Blue Lamp Trust website).

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

No, it can be taken 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.