So you want to be a taxi driver?
Aberdeen Taxi Centre can get your started. Our services cover everything for the taxi driver including business advice for both start ups as well as experienced taxi drivers and owners.
Aberdeen Taxi Centre runs a taxi driver training school where we guide all our students through the different parts of 'the hackney test' plus the legal and practical requirements to get started as a self employed taxi driver.
There is also a lot that you can do on your own. Many of your customers will expect you to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the city and surrounding area and will seek your opinions and advice on a wide range of topics: where to stay, where to go, what's on in the area, and so on. It therefore pays to keep abreast of local news and events while gaining a little knowledge of local history.
Driving ability and local knowledge are key essentials for a taxi driver and a good personality is just as important. The taxi driver should be of smart appearance, be a good communicator, be diplomatic, courteous and polite at all times. If you posses all these qualities, you might wish to start a career as a taxi driver.
Role of the local authority
Taxi transport is a public service industry and as such comes under the control of the Local Authority Licensing Board. The Licensing Board has delegated the day to day administration, supervision and operation of taxis is delegated to the Taxi Inspector's Office, which is run by the police authority. If you want any more information about any aspect of the taxi business you should initially contact the Taxi Inspector’s Office.
Taxi Driver's Licence Test
This test is set by the Taxi Inspector's Office and is designed to prove your knowledge of the area and your driving competence. Whilst the test is stringent, it is undertaken in a relaxed and informal manner which will put all applicants at ease. The test is split into five sections:
- Street knowledge - this test consists of a list of 20 streets and you are required to name the streets at either end.
- Places of interest - you are given the names of 20 locations where, as a taxi driver, you may be asked to pick up or set down a customer (e.g. museums, parks, office buildings, hotels, clubs, etc). You must name their exact location.
- Routes - in this test, you are given a set of five pick-up points and destinations. You are asked to identify their location and correctly name all the streets required to give the most direct route between pick-up and destination.
- Highway Code - in this section of the test, you are given a printed card showing a selection of signs and road markings which you must correctly identify.
- Driving ability - A Taxi Inspector accompanies you in your car and gives you a destination. You are required to take the most direct route to the destination and display comfort and safety in your driving.
Parts 1 to 4 of the test are written papers and require a 75% pass mark in each section before moving to the next. The time for the test is normally one hour, but it's not necessary to take each part on the same day - different parts can be taken on different days and one hour can be taken for each part if required. In practice, applicants passing the difficult Street Knowledge part of the test will normally also complete parts 2, 3 and 4 within the hour.
Part 5 on driving ability is usually taken separately from the written tests. The Taxi Inspector is extremely helpful and will advise and assist you with the procedures before, during and after your test.
However, you should be aware that the first pasrt of the test is extremely difficult and requires an in depth knowledge of the streets and the city, which can normally be achieved only through a course of study.
Note: your application fee allows three attempts at the test. If you fail three times, you must wait one year before becoming eligible to submit a fresh application.