New Taxi Driver Training
COVID-19 has turned the world upside down with unemployment at record highs. This is leading many people to recognise just how vulnerable their positions are with large national or international corporations, and how much family time they are sacrificing by commuting in and out of London. This is causing many consider alternative career choices and due to increasing demand Vokes has set up a driver training programme to encourage new drivers to enter the profession. Becoming a licensed driver provides a great deal of freedom, you work when you want to work and take time off whenever it suits, but it takes time and effort to become licensed. Here are the basics;
Becoming a taxi driver in Medway requires you to be licensed by Medway Council as either a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver;
- Hackney Carriage (“HC”)drivers are licensed to pick people up from the roadside, i.e. hailing a cab.
- Private hire (“PH”)vehicles are only permitted to pick up pre-arranged bookings and are not permitted to pick people up from the side of the road.
The training course will support you on your path to becoming licensed as either a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver. It will initially explain what it means to be a taxi driver, answering all your questions about how the trade operates. It will detail what your costs are likely to be through the qualification process, what your expenditure will be once you have qualified and what you can expect to earn once you have your license.
The course will lead you through the licensing process which includes consists of four sections as follows;
The Medway Council Knowledge Test
This is broken down into 6 sections, some of which are easy with others requiring study and guidance;
- Safeguarding; This section is designed to ensure that you understand the essential information about promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. In the test you’ll be required to watch a video and answer 13 multi-choice questions relating to promoting the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults. We’ll prepare you for the test by running similar online video and asking you to answer questions similar to those you should expect in the test. The pass mark for both HC and PH is 10 from the 13 questions.
- Highway code; You’ll be required to know the highway code in as much detail as was originally required to pass your theoretical driving test. We’ll set multiple practice test papers to ensure you’re ready for your test which consists of 10 multiple choice from which the pass mark is 8 for both HC and PH.
- Taxi Law and Policy; Medway Council has a 76-page licensing policy document which all licensed drivers are required to be familiar with. During the course we will set you regular test papers covering all areas so you can gauge your knowledge in advance of taking the test which consists of 10 multi-choice questions of which you will be required to answer 8 correctly for both HC and PH.
- Cash Handling; In the test you’ll be required to correctly answer 4 out of 5 multi-choice questions checking your ability to work out how much change should be returned to a customer paying a fare. To ensure you’re ready for the test we’ll create a number of practice questions throughout the course.
- Places of interest; Across the Medway Towns there are hundreds of places of interest that you will be required to recognise and know the address of. These include;
- Pubs and clubs
- Restaurants and take-aways
- Hotels and hostels
- Nursing homes
- Medical centres and dental surgeries
- Residential flats or apartments
- Schools and colleges
- Shops and businesses
- Community centres and halls
- Statues and memorials
- Recreation and sports venues/grounds
- Crematories and crematoriums
- Leisure centres
We will provide you with lists of the above and set regular tests to enable you to grade your progress in memorising the whereabouts of each. During the test you will be required to answer 50 multi-choice questions with the pass rate for HC set at 45 and for PH at 35.
- Routes; In this final part of the test you will be asked a number of questions on which routes you should or should not take out of a number of multi-choice options. This is the most challenging part of the test and will require you to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of all of thousands of roads across the Medway Towns. Over a period of 4-6 months we will help you prepare for the test by setting regular practice papers focussed upon building your knowledge of roads in specific zones, and of main roads connecting each zone. The test itself will consist of 15 multi-choice questions with the pass rate set at 13 correct answers for HC and 10 for PH. In advance of the test we will provide you with numerous test papers designed to enable you to properly test your readiness for the test
You will need to provide a medical report to the council certifying that you meet Group 2 standards of medical fitness. Costs vary significantly from GP to GP so we have entered an agreement with a local practice which offers a discounted rate for anyone embarking on our course.
DSA Driving Test
You will be required to pass a driving test specifically designed by the Driving Standards Agency for HC and PH drivers. We will provide you with details of the scope of the test and provide all of the contact details you’ll need.
Enhanced DBS Check
An enhanced DBS check involves a check of an applicant’s criminal record against the Police National Computer for any reprimands, warnings, cautions or convictions plus any information held locally by police forces that’s considered relevant. We’ll guide you to the application which must be made through Medway Council, which itself is registered to carry out the check.
The course itself is free, though we do require all applicants to pay a deposit of £200.00 which will be returned once the applicant secures a license and begins work on the Vokes, Windmill and Rainham circuit. Additional costs totalling c.£200.00 will be detailed at the initial Introductory Meeting;
Becoming a licensed taxi driver isn’t an easy process and will take several months to complete, but there is an increasing demand for taxi services in the Medway Towns and licensed drivers can look forward to a rewarding long-term career. If you’re interested in finding our more we’d like to invite you to come in and meet us. We’ll explain the basics of what you should expect as a licensed taxi driver and answer all of your questions about the industry. Call now to make an appointment with Graham Humphreys on 01634 843601 to learn more.