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Cost of living - help and support

Find out more about the help and support that is available to local residents to help with the rising cost of living.

Taxis - Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the test?


Can I get a badge then do the test?

New applicants must pass the Knowlege Test prior to a licence being issued.

Do existing drivers have to do the test?

Yes, existing drivers will have until October 31, 2019 to complete the test.

Will it be a paper test?

No, we have arranged for an electronic test to be taken on an electronice device.

What if I struggle to use electronic devices?

An assisted test can be arranged in this case. You will need to contact the licensing department to discuss and arrange this.

How many times can I take the test?

There is no limit on the amount of times you can attempt the test. You will have to pay each time you attempt it.

Is the test multiple choice?

There will be a mix of multiple choice questions, true/false and free text answers.

Can I have an assisted test?

If you have any special requirements (can't use an electronic device, dyslexia etc.) or feel that you will need an assisted test then contact the licensing department and an officer will discuss the options with you. Medical information may be required.

What will the test cover?

Safeguarding, the Highway Code, Allerdale local area knowledge, landmarks within the borough of Allerdale and its surrounding area, basic numeracy, disability discrimination, equality, diversity, legislation affecting drivers, an understanding of driver responsibilities, licence conditions and byelaws.

Will it be a proper exam?

Yes, it will be conducted under exam conditions.

How long is the exam?

The exam is 50 minutes long.

What happens if I'm an existing driver and I don't pass the test before October 31, 2019?

Passing the test is a condition of licence and failure to do this before the deadline will result in the suspension of your licence.

When will I get my results?

The results of your test will be forwarded to you via email the next working day or via the telephone.

Will I get a certificate?

You will receive an email with your results which will include the percentages you achieved in each category. You will not get a certificate.

What is the pass mark?

The overall pass mark is 80 per cent. However, you must get 70 per cent in each of the six categories in order to pass. The categories are: local area knowledge, disability awareness, Highway Code, numeracy, safeguarding equality and diversity and either hackney carriage or private hire policies. If you receive an overall mark of 80 per cent or higher but have still failed then it is because you have achieved less than 70 per cent in one or more of the categories.

How can I revise for the test?

You may find these links useful:

Highway code road safety

Rights of disabled passengers on transport

Equality act 2010

Do I need to bring anything with me?

You will need your driver's licence and some kind of identification (eg your passport).

How do I tell the difference between a Hackney Carriage vehicle and a Private Hire vehicle?

Hackney carriages work from approved ranks. They must display a white licence plate at the front and back of the vehicle. They will also have black and white chequered stripes down each side of the vehicle and a roof sign that says the word 'taxi'. They will have a taxi meter which must be switched on at the start of each journey.

Private hire vehicles work from a base and are only used for pre-booked journeys. They must display a yellow plate at the front and back of the vehicle. They will not have black and white chequered stripes along the side or a roof sign. Some private hire vehicles are exempt from displaying plates in certain circumstances, ie funeral and executive hire work. The council has a record of everyone with an exemption.

All drivers are issued with a badge which they must wear. It will show their name, photo and the date the licence expires.

Knowing a hackney carriage from a private hire
Hackney CarriagePrivate Hire
Work from approved rankMust be pre-booked
Black and white chequered stripesNo stripes
Roof signNo roof sign
Taxi meter must be used for each journeyAgree a price when booking the vehicle

How much will my journey cost?

Hackney carriages must use a meter to calculate the cost of the journey if it starts and finishes in the Allerdale area. If the journey finishes outside of the Allerdale area then the meter will apply unless the fare has been agreed before the journey starts.

We approve a table of fares each year which tells the driver what they can charge.

If you think you have been overcharged, contact us to raise a complaint.

Private hire vehicles can charge outside of the table of fares. You should agree the price with the company when you book the journey.

Make a Complaint

Wheelchair accessible vehicles?

We keep records of vehicles that can carry wheelchairs.

How do I make a complaint about a taxi driver/company?

If you think you have been overcharged for a journey, look at our table of fares. If you still think that the charge was more than it should have been, contact us to raise a complaint.

Drivers are issued with a badge that they must wear. It will show their name and a photo.

If you have a complaint regarding a driver or a vehicle, do not hesitate to contact us.

Lost property?

If you have left something in a vehicle then you should contact the company direct. If you do not know the name of the company but have the vehicle or driver details then we can confirm the company name. The driver is required to check the vehicle at the end of each journey and report any lost property to the police. You can call them on 101.

What checks are carried out on drivers before they are licensed?

Before we licence a driver we have to be sure that they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence. We do this by checking their medical history, criminal record and their ability to drive a vehicle. Unlicensed drivers will not have had these checks so never get into an unlicensed vehicle. If you think a vehicle is unlicensed and working in the area, contact us with the details.

Contact Us