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Knowledge test guidance

Before being licensed as either a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver, you will have to take and pass the relevant knowledge test.

The tests will be held on the morning of the second Thursday of every month in the Council Chamber at the council offices. Please note there is no parking for candidates at the council offices. You will have to use one of the pay and display car parks in the area.

Please ensure you arrive at least 10 minutes before your test is due to start. If you arrive after the test has begun you will not be given extra time. A maximum of 20 candidates can sit the test at any one time. These places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

To book your place on the knowledge test, you must book and pay for your place before 12pm (midday) on the Friday immediately before the test date. Any bookings made after this time will be placed on the list for the following month's test. The knowledge test must be paid for at the time of the applicant booking the test. Payment is only accepted by way of credit or debit card.

If you cannot attend the test for any reason you should contact the licensing team as soon as possible. If you cancel after midday on the Friday before the test your test fee will not be refunded.

If you are awaiting the result of your last test, you will not be able to book onto the next test, as the result you achieve affects when you can next sit the test (see below). Test results are sent out as soon as all the tests are marked. No results are given out over the telephone.

On the day of your knowledge test you are required to bring photo ID. (Photo card from driving licence or current passport.) Failure to bring ID will result in you not being permitted to take the test.

If you fail to attend the test or bring photo ID to the test you will not be given a refund for the test fee unless there are exceptional circumstances.

You are strongly advised to spend time learning for the test. The mark you achieve will affect when you can next take the test as detailed below. We do not limit the number of times you take the test, but you will have to pay the full fee for each test.

We do not supply a list of questions for you to learn off by heart. Each test is randomly generated from a bank of questions.

If the examiner cannot read an answer it will not receive any mark.

You will be tested on the whole of the Guildford borough area, not just Guildford itself, so make sure you know what area the borough covers.

Both tests cover the following topics.

  1. Carriage of disabled persons
  2. The Highway Code
  3. The law, byelaws and licence conditions (the conditions were updated in the policy adopted October 2010)
    (Please note that the Town and Police Clauses Act 1847 and Hackney Carriage Byelaws are only for Hackney Carriage Driver Applicants, but Hackney Carriage Driver Applicants are expected to know the Private Hire Driver Conditions)
  4. Basic maths and writing receipts (please note, a receipt should have the date, amount, journey details and driver number and vehicle plate number as stated in the policy)

Some links to useful websites are provided to assist applicants by supplying a starting point. They do not necessarily cover all the material. This is done to provide examples of the type of questions you may be asked in the test. It is possible that, in some instances, they will name premises not in Guildford borough. If you have the post code, then you can use the DirectGov website to confirm which local authority the premises is in.

Private Hire candidates

You have 1 hour to complete the Private Hire Knowledge Test. Tests begin at 10am or 11.15am. The pass mark for the Private Hire driver Knowledge Test is 80%.

There will also be a small selection of location questions on the same topics as covered by the Hackney Carriage Test listed below.

  • Any candidate who scores less than 60% will not be permitted to sit the next test.
  • Any candidate who fails three tests in a row will not be permitted to sit the next test.

If either of the above applies and the candidate still wishes to sit the next test, they can call the office between 2pm and 3pm on the Friday immediately before the test. If there are spaces, then the candidate can book a place on a first come, first served basis. Any candidate who calls outside of the above times will not be allowed to book on the test.

Hackney Carriage candidates

You will sit two separate papers, and you will have 1 hour to complete each paper. There will be a 15 minute break between the two papers. Tests begin at 10am and 11.15am. The pass mark for the Hackney Carriage driver Knowledge Test is 90% and you have to obtain a minimum of 85% on each paper.

The Hackney Carriage Knowledge Test covers locations and routes. Locations cover the topics listed below:

  1. Places of worship
  2. Conference centres
  3. Hotels, bed and breakfasts, and guest houses
  4. Places of interest
  5. Pubs, clubs and licensed premises
  6. Railway stations
  7. Restaurants, cafes and take-away premises
  8. Doctors' surgeries and health centres
  9. Schools
  10. Golf clubs

For route questions the candidate will have to write down the route from a starting point in Guildford town centre to a named road anywhere in the borough. The candidate is expected to write down the route naming all roads and turns along the way. These questions will be marked by following the route on a map. The route questions carry a total of 5 marks each: Three marks for getting to the destination and two marks for taking a direct route.

  • Any candidate who scores less than 70% will not be permitted to sit the next test.
  • Any candidate who fails three tests in a row will not be permitted to sit the next test.

If either of the above applies and the candidate still wishes to sit the next test, they can call the office between 2pm and 3pm on the Friday immediately before the test. If there are spaces, then the candidate can book a place on a first come, first served basis. Any candidate who calls outside of the above times will not be allowed to book on the test.

Contact us

Licensing Team
Guildford Borough Council
Millmead House
Millmead
Guildford
GU2 4BB
United Kingdom

Telephone: 44 01483 444371
Fax: 44 01483 444546
Email: licensing@guildford.gov.uk

Last updated: 9 January 2014 09:33 AM