Taxi Training by SRP Driver Training

Taxi Training for Private Hire and Hackney Carriage drivers from SRP Driver Training

SRP Driver Training is one of the best placed driver training companies in Sheffield to prepare you to take the Sheffield City Council taxi driving test. The Knowledge and Driving Test from SCC is a vital step towards starting your career as a hackney carriage or private hire driver and high quality taxi training is key to passing.

Qualifying as a Sheffield City Council Licensed Taxi Driver

The process of becoming a Sheffield City Council licensed private hire driver is relatively long with a few hoops to jump through en-route. This is understandable, a professional private hire driver has a responsibility and duty to look after the passengers in their care. This can include the elderly, the disabled and minor children.

The process starts with a vocationally recognised qualification, known as a Btec. It’s a 9 module course which covers the roles and responsibilities of the driver, safeguarding and disability awareness.

There are also modules which ensure the driver’s level of spoken English is sufficient to do the job.

Along the way the council need to verify your criminal record makes you a fit and proper person to hold a private hire licence. This is done by way of an Enhanced DBS check, (Disclosure and Barring Service). While convictions are not necessarily a barr to holding a licence it’s a good idea to check with the council first.

It’s a lot better if you volunteer information on your past rather than letting the council find out from the DBS check.

Passing the Knowledge

Then comes the Sheffield City Council administered tests. The Knowledge test will assess your ability to navigate the city and it’s key landmarks. It’s a very good idea to spend some time learning your way around the city, remembering that licensed vehicles can use bus lanes, but while you are training and unlicensed, you cannot.

Next up is the driving test, it’s approximately 40 minutes long and will include 10 minutes of independent driving by either satnav or road signs. The examiner will give you directions for the rest of the test. There will be tests of your ability to carry out manoeuvres, particularly focused on turning the vehicle around.

You can get up to 9 driving faults on this test and still pass. A driving fault is one where you didn’t do it right, but safety wasn’t compromised or potentially compromised. Any breach in law is automatically a serious fault and a dangerous fault is one where there was an actual imminent risk of damage or injury.

Once you have passed both the Knowledge and the Driving test, you can apply for your personal Taxi Driver licence.

Remember that unless you plan on driving in an employed capacity, you will also need a vehicle which meets Sheffield City Council’s policies on Private Hire vehicles and that will need to be separately licensed.

Vocationally Recognised Qualification (Btec)

Taxi Training stage 2

Enhanced DBS Check

Taxi Training stage 3

Taxi Drivers Medical

Knowledge Test

Taxi training stage 5

Driving Test

Submit Application –
Pay Fee

Taxi training stage 7

Licence your vehicle

Contact SRP Driver Training for Taxi Training services in Sheffield

What is Cabology?

Cabology is the term used to identify the taxi specific tell me questions used during a taxi driver test. The Cabology questions include:

Q: As a licensed taxi driver what must you carry at all times?

A: Your taxi driver’s identification badge must be displayed conspicuously at all times.

Q: If you found an item of lost property in your taxicab, what should you do with it?

A: Hand it in at a police station within 24 hours.

Q: What is the legal minimum tyre tread depth?

A: 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the face of the tyre and all the way around.

Q: The tyre pressures of the vehicle you are driving are 35psi at the front and 40psi at the rear. What would you consider the correct pressure for the spare tyre to be?

A: 40psi as it’s easier to let air out of a tyre at the road side than it is to pump one up.

Q: As a private hire driver what is your main responsibility?

A: The safety and comfort of passengers.

Q: How would you show consideration for passengers alighting from your vehicle?

A: Stop the vehicle close to the kerb and avoid stopping near to obstructions like trees, bins and railings.

Additional Taxi Training Questions:

You will be asked six road signs questions, so revising your road signs using Know Your Traffic Signs. It’s also a really good idea to update yourself on the Highway Code as you will also be asked 3 highway code questions during the test.

The highway code in particular keeps changing so make sure your version is the latest version. In 2022, 83 rules changed in the highway code. That is 27% of the all the rules in the book. Partnering the Highway Code, (we recommend the app or the website as these are continuously updated) is Driving, The Essential Skills. Known as DES, this book translates the rules of the Highway Code into simple language so that anyone can understand them.

As a Taxi Training provider, SRP Driver Training offers support through all stages of preparing for the Knowledge and the Driving Test.

The Knowledge Test

Ask almost anyone and they will have heard of ‘The Knowledge’. It’s the feared test that all London black cab drivers have to take before being licensed by TfL to operate in the capitol city. What many people don’t know is that many other cities also have a Knowledge test which their aspiring taxi drivers have to complete as part of their taxi training.

Sheffield is one of those cities.

The Sheffield Knowledge test combines driving theory with route planning and customer service. Some examples of questions you might face are:

  • You have picked up a fare from Sheffield Train Station who wishes to be taken to The Prince of Wales pub on Eccesall Road South. Describe the route you would take?
  • You have picked up a fare from the Northern General Hospital who has just had an operation. How will you vary your driving to ensure they remain comfortable during the journey?
  • Your vehicle is displaying the engine management light. What should you do before reporting for duty and carrying passengers?

The test lasts for approximately 2 hours and is administered by computer at the SCC licensing department’s offices.

The Driving Test

As professional drivers we are expected to demonstrate a high standard of driving whilst on duty. This is also true while you are driving for personal reasons in a licensed vehicle. It’s important to note that Sheffield City Council, along with all other licensing bodies, take complaints about the driving conduct of licensed private hire and Hackney Carriage drivers very seriously and that failing to meet the standard could result in your licence being suspended or revoked.

This would mean that you cannot work.

The driving test is administered by examiners employed specifically for the task by Sheffield City Council. It is designed to assess your level of driving and ensure that you meet the minimum standards required. You should be aiming to exceed the standards at all times; the test is based on safety and safe driving is efficient driving.

Careful adherence to the skills and practices in the test will result in reduced fuel consumption and less equipment failure while working. All of this works to increase your eventual profit margin.

The test itself is 1 hour long and will take in a range of road conditions from the city centre to the motorway. You should demonstrate a brisk and business-like driving style whilst ensuring the examiner is comfortable at all times. A focus on safety is key and you should at all times work using the DVSA’s preferred MSPSGL routine:


M: Mirrors – Check before changing direction or speed.

S: Signal – Make sure that both your indicators and your position are signalling to other road users what you plan to do.

P: Position – Adopt your positions early and safely. Place your vehicle to protect your route through and out of any junctions or roundabouts. Take particular care around vulnerable road users like cyclists and motorcyclists which share the road space with us.

S: Speed – Get your speed controlled and set in plenty of time. Carrying too much speed into junctions can increase risk, while also making passengers feel uncomfortable.

G: Gears – If you are testing in a manual vehicle, select the appropriate gear as you approach a junction to enable you to make reasonable progress when you get to the junction. Do not coast, e.g. traveling with the clutch down for extended periods.

L: Look – Before committing, check to make sure you route through the junction is clear before you proceed.

The Costs of Licensing

There are two costs of licensing for Private Hire and Hackney Carriage drivers in Sheffield. You need to be individually licensed to drive a private hire vehicle, which is why you undertake taxi training, and your vehicle also needs to be licensed for either private hire or hackney work.

Your Licence

  • 1 year first licence – £169.00
  • 2 year first licence – £229.00
  • 3 year first licence – £289.00
  • 1 year renewal – £97.00
  • 2 year renewal – £157.00
  • 3 year renewal – £217.00

Your Vehicle License

  • Vehicle licence – £218.00
  • Compliance Test – £???
  • Licence Renewal – £163.00

The above prices are correct at the time of writing but may change.

Vehicle requirements:

The Sheffield City Council policy on Private Hire vehicles is available from the SCC website here.

Additionally, you will want to consider the following:

  • The Sheffield Clean Air Zone – Any vehicle you licence needs to be Euro 6 Diesel or Euro 5 Petrol or higher. Otherwise it attracts a £10 per day charge to use the inner ring road or enter the city.
  • Sheffield City Council encourage all private hire drivers to consider hybrid or electric vehicles. Going electric early on will mean that you don’t have to change the way you operate in 2030 and beyond when you cannot replace your vehicle with a pure diesel or petrol vehicle.
  • You will be spending a lot of time in your taxi. Make sure that you are very comfortable in the drivers seat for extended periods of time. Also ensure that with your seat in the driving position, you can fit passengers in the back behind you. There is no point in you having a taxi that passengers can’t ride.

How SRP Driver Training Can Help

It’s highly recommended that you get professional taxi training and support before attempting your SCC Licensing Knowledge and Driving Tests. You have a limited number of attempts at the test in each 12 month period and an unsuccessful result means that your plans to become a taxi driver are on hold for a year.

Any professional driving tuition, that is tuition for which you are paying in either money or money’s worth, requires a DVSA licensed instructor. That can be either a Potential Driving Instructor or an Approved Driving Instructor. You can tell if the trainer is licensed because just as with a taxi driver, they are required to display their certificate in the window of the vehicle used for tuition.

This is true even if you are taking lessons in your own car. No badge in the window means they cannot charge you for the lesson.

Any ADI or PDI can teach you to drive in a way which will help you to pass the SCC Driving Test; there are many instructors out there who specialise in taxi training. However very few of them are actually licensed private hire drivers in their own right and this is where the SRP difference lies.

The SRP Taxi Training Difference

Seyed Reza Pourezza is a current licence holder with Sheffield City Council. He continues to work as a private hire driver alongside his driving school practice. This is invaluable as he doesn’t just know from the paperwork what the SCC examiners are looking for: HE HAS ACTUALLY DONE THE TEST AND PASSED IT.

Seyed also brings other skills to the car with him. As a former university lecturer he is an expert in teaching methods. Seyed is a licensed Approved Driving Instructor he has a demonstrated ability as a coach, he will develop your understanding of the tasks required. As a qualified interpreter, he can offer training in English, Arabic, Dari, Farsi and Tajik along with conversational levels of understanding of a wide range of other Middle Eastern and Eastern European languages.

Additionally, as a qualified translator, he can also assist in the filling out of the necessary forms. He can coach you on developing your English language skills where necessary to satisfy Sheffield City Council requirements.

Costs of Taxi Training

As with anything, you only get out what you put in. Quality taxi training comes at a price but SRP will work with you to keep the costs to a minimum. After all, starting a new business is expensive.

Lessons start with a 2 hour session. In the first hour we assess your driving to see what needs to be worked on. From then on, Seyed will agree with you areas for improvement and tailor a programme to develop your driving skills in the fastest and safest way possible.


Ready for your new career? Contact SRP Driver Training now.