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Basics That You Need to Know About PCO Car Hire in London


You may have heard about the term PCO car hire once in a while, especially if you looking for a way to earn money with Uber. But what does exactly PCO car hire mean? PCO is an abbreviated form of the term Public Carriage Office.

It is an agency that licenses and regulates London’s taxi services and offers other transportation methods such as a private hire car. When you hire a PCO car, you become part of the agency and can work as a private driver.

In other words, the PCO car hire is the car service that a company like Uber offers to drivers to use as their PCO car. A PCO car itself is any four-door car or minivan in the TfL (Transport for London) list of accepted car categories that meet all TfL requirements for personal transport.

But that’s not the whole story; To fully understand PCO car hire, there is more information you should know. That’s why in the present article, we have tried our best to provide you with some basic information you need to know about PCO car hire in London.

It is hoped that by reading this article to the end, the readers can acquire good knowledge about the ABC of the topic and know-how to become a PCO car driver in London. So stay with us, please.

What is the difference between car hire and car rental?


First of all, it is necessary to make clear a quite common misunderstanding; many people assume that car hire and car rental are two different terms and therefore have different meanings. Well, this is just not true.

Both car hire and car rental have the same meaning in this industry. But why do we have two different terms to refer to the same thing? The answer is simple; because different English spoken countries speak English differently.

Therefore,it shouldn’t be surprising that some people use the term car hire and while others employ the term car rental to talk about the same thing.

How much can I earn by becoming a PCO driver in London?

The first question that comes to the minds of those who want to become a PCO car driver in London is that “how much money is in the job for me?”. Well, the answer to this question is different for everyone. In fact, the amount of money you can expect to earn from this job totally depends on how much time you want to spend to work as a private hire.

But to give you a general image of the income, it should be noted that according to estimates, if you work for say 8 hours a day and do it 6 days of the week, then you will be able to earn at least of £12 per hour, which means £576 per week. But as mentioned above, this amount is only the minimum rate and you can earn even more by working more hours.

How can I become a PCO car driver?

To become a PCO car driver, you must first get a PCO car driver’s license. It is an essential document that once you have it, you are allowed to drive for Uber or other driving apps in London.

A PCO license is a plastic card the same size of a regular credit card which has a serial number and expiry date on it, as well as your basic personal information and your photo. The license is valid for 3 years and is issued by the PCO (Public Carriage Office), which is part of Transport for London (TfL).

Anyone with a valid UK driver’s license and a minimum of three years of driving experience can have a PCO car driver’s license. You also need to have the right to live and work in the UK to be able to apply for the document.

But that’s not all.In addition, the vehicle must be under 10 years of age and should agree to severe emanation prerequisites to be allowed to work as a PCO car driver.

What are the requirements for getting a PCO car driver’s license?

To get a PCO car driver’s license, there are some other requirements that applicants need to fulfill before applying. First is the age limit requirement; Anyone who wishes to get a PCO car driver’s license must be at least 21 years old at the time of applying.

Applicants must also prove that they have a good character; this means anyone who wants to apply for the license is required to undertake an ‘enhanced’ criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The DBS is a non-departmental public body of the Home Office of the United Kingdom. It provides wide access to criminal record information of people through its disclosure service for England and Wales.

PCO car driver’s license applicants also need to prove that they are medically fit for the job. To do so, they are required to undergo a medical examination with an authorized doctor who has access to their full medical history.

To get the license, applicants must also undertake a topographical skills assessment at one of the UK’s driver assessment centers recognized by the TfL (Transport for London).

Applicants for this driver’s license also need to pass successfully a speaking and listening assessment and a Safety, Equality, and Regulatory Understanding (SERU) assessment which have been organized to determine your reading and writing skills in English.

To put it in a nutshell, in order to be eligible for a PCO car driver’s license you need to be at least 21 of age, have a UK driving license for 3 years, have a valid Criminal Record Check (DBS) check, complete a medical examination, complete the Topographical Skills Assessment, and take the English Language test.

Once you have the documents to prove you have met all the requirements listed above, you can submit your PCO License application to TfL.

How much does it cost to get a PCO car driver’s license?


Giving an exact number for all the costs associated with obtaining a PCO car driver’s license, is not an easy task. This is because it can vary depending on your choice of provider.For example, you need to pay more for some medical tests compared to others.

Also bear in mind that if you already have some of the necessary documents, then this amount is lower and you’ll obviously have less to pay for.

Besides, if you think you may need courses to prepare for your assessments or if you fail an exam, then the costs for getting the driver’s license will surely be higher for you.But in general, you should put aside an amount of money between £700 to £750 in total. You are supposed to spend this amount of money on several things.

For instance, you need to pay about £124 for the License application fee, which is non-refundable, £186 for Grant of the license fee, nearly £80 for Medical examinations, £56.85 for the DBS check, about £40 for topographical assessment, £180 to £200 for English language assessment, £43 for foreign license conversion, and £7 for post office ‘Check and Send’ transfers.

The process of issuing the PCO car driver’s license usually takes a few weeks (between 12 to 16 weeks).

You should also keep in mind that if more than 3 months is passed after your PCO license is expired and you don’t apply for extending it, then you will no longer be eligible for a renewal and you will have to go through all the above-mentioned processes just like a new applicant.

Concluding remarks

To hire a PCO car and work to earn some extra money is nowadays considered a very demanding second job for many people in the UK.

It is popular mostly because as a PCO car driver, it is all up to you when and where you want to work and you do not have to be under someone else’s rules. This means that you are the one who sets up the working schedule, not the company or the employer.

Therefore, you can choose to work all the days of the week at any time during the day or night. In addition, you can also use your PCO car for personal use 24/7 and it’s totally your choice whether to spend all the time working or use the vehicle for personal purposes.

PCO vehicle rental organizations also cover your private hire insurance cost and vehicle service. Therefore, with all these benefits that becoming a PCO car driver can bring to you, there is no reason to say ‘no’ to this amazing job.

That’s why we highly recommend to you that if you like driving and you are also looking for a quite well-paid second job, then decide today, get a PCO car driver’s license, and join the large family of PCO care drivers in London.