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Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver Assessments

It is a requirement that all new applicants for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver’s Licence pass a driving assessment.

Oxford City Council's Driver Assessment for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles is available prior to new applicants submitting an application to the Council to become a licensed driver. The standard of the Hackney Carriage (taxi) or Private Hire vehicle assessment is set at a level suitable for a full driving licence holder. It is therefore higher than the learner driver test. Regarding tests for a vehicle, your vehicle must meet the same minimum requirements as that for a taxi/private hire vehicle. It cannot have L-plates fitted. You are allowed to use a hire car to take the test.

Why choose us?

Whether you are an individual with a taxi or a private car or a company operating with a large fleet, our services are ideal.

ODS operates comprehensive vehicle and meter compliance testing on Private Hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles operating in the city, on behalf of Oxford City Council, the local licensing authority.

We test hundreds of taxies a year, carrying out thorough inspections to the highest government-mandated standards. We have repair and maintenance facilities on site too, so should anything need to be fixed prior to testing, our technicians can take care of this for you without the hassle of having to find another mechanic or garage. Once the successful testing has been completed, a copy of the paperwork will be provided to the taxi operators, while another copy will be sent to the local  Licensing Office.

How much does it cost?

Our prices are highly competitive, and in fact are less than those charged by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency:

Assessments are by appointment only and available daily between 9am and 3pm.  Payment is taken when booking the assessment, and is non-refundable.

YearDriving AssessmentPrices
2016Oxford City Council£69.00 (£85 after 4pm)
2016Driver Standards Agency£79.66 (£96 after 4pm)

What you need to know about testing

There are some key things of which you should be aware prior to booking:
  • Assessments are at 10:00am, Monday to Friday. If you can't attend at 10:00am, the Business Support Team will discuss an alternative time with you when you book. 

  • The assessment lasts for about 40 minutes (you are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time).

  • Assessments take place at the Council's Marsh Road Depot, Cowley, Oxford. OX42HH.

  • You must bring your photo card driving licence. If you have an old-style paper licence without a photo card, you must take your signed paper driving licence and a valid passport.

  • You will need to produce a valid motor insurance certificate for the vehicle in which you are taking the assessment.

Please note that if you cannot present the above documents required the assessment cannot be completed and you will forfeit the full assessment fee.

Taking the test

At the start of the assessment, you will have to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres.  You must use glasses or contact lenses during the whole test if you need them to read the number plate. Please note that you cannot take the driving part of the assessment if you fail the eyesight test and the full fee is forfeited.

The practical assessment will include:

  • manoeuvre where you’ll be asked to turn your vehicle to face the opposite direction

  • approximately 10 minutes of driving without being given turn-by-turn directions by the examiner

  • stops at the side of the road as if a passenger is getting in or out

  • related questions, e.g. what to do if a passenger leaves property in your vehicle

  • you might also be asked to do an emergency stop.

Getting the results

You will pass the assessment if you make nine faults or fewer. You will fail if you make a serious or dangerous fault.

If you pass your taxi/private hire assessment, you will receive the following:

  • pass certificate

  • copy of your assessment

  • debrief from the examiner.

If you fail the assessment, you will receive a debrief, a copy of the assessment, and instructions for rebooking. Please note that you cannot retake the driving assessment on the same day that you previously failed.

Book now

To find out more about our taxi driver assessment and car maintenance and testing services, contact ODS now.