We provide training for potential taxi drivers who need to take a DSA Taxi driving test prior to obtaining your licence. Many Local Authorities are introducing the Taxi Test as a mandatory requirement before becoming a professional licenced taxi operator. As this may be new to you the information below may help. Both Bournemouth Borough Council and Poole Borough Council require that a DSA Taxi practical test is passed before progressing applications. This test is similar in some ways to the learner Practical Test, but is marked to a higher standard, with fewer faults permittted.


The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) first introduced a non-statutory practical driving test for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire in 1999 and now DSA conduct tests on behalf of many Licensing Authorities on a national basis.

DSA take the view that professional Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers have a special responsibility in the safe transportation of fare paying passengers. Every journey should be a safe one, taxi drivers make millions of safe and efficient journeys in Britain each year and the safe completion of each journey totally depends on the skill of the driver.

Some Licensing Authorities insist that before you are issued with a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire drivers licence you must pass a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire assessment. If your Licensing Authority requires you to take the test, it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the content of the test and that you take professional instruction prior to taking the test.

The standard of the taxi assessment test is set at a level suitable for the full driving licence holder, which is therefore higher than the learner driver test.

The eyesight test

At the start of your practical test you will be asked to read in good daylight (with the aid of glasses or contact lenses if worn) a registration mark fixed to a motor vehicle with letters and figures 79.4 millimetres high at a distance of 20.5 metres (20 metres for a new style number plate). If you fail the eyesight test, you will be unable to take the driving part but will still be able to continue with the wheelchair section.

The practical test

The practical test will last for about 35 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic. During the test you should drive in a natural way, and should not adjust your driving to what you may feel the examiner would expect to see. The examiner will give you clear instructions which you should follow throughout the test.

During the practical test, you will be examined on the following:

  • awareness and anticipation
  • effective planning of prevailing road and traffic conditions
  • correct use of speed
  • emergency stop (one in three tests)
  • a manoeuvre involving reversing
  • Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Car related exercise
  • passenger safety and comfort
  • wheelchair element (for Black Cab style only)

The wheelchair exercise

If you are taking the taxi test with the wheelchair exercise you should also be able to:

  • demonstrate your ability to securely erect the wheelchair ramps, floor ramp etc
  • safely install the wheelchair in your vehicle
  • secure seat belts/safety harness and also secure any wheel belts/clamps fitted to your vehicle
  • reverse the process by taking off the belts, harnesses and clamps, taking the wheelchair out of the vehicle and putting the ramps away

At the end of test

On passing the test you will receive:

  • a pass certificate
  • the offer of a debrief
  • an assessment copy

If you pass the driving element of the taxi test you will receive a TPH10 certificate. If you pass the wheelchair element you will receive a WTA10 certificate.

If you fail the test you will receive:

  • the offer of a debrief
  • an assessment copy
  • training advice

If you fail the taxi practical test you may retake the test again at a later date. You must, however, wait a minimum period of three clear working days between appointments. There is no limit to the number of times you can take the test.