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We are not currently taking bookings for Knowledge tests. Anyone who is booked on to a Knowledge test will be unable to take their test until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Knowledge test guidance

Before being licensed as either a hackney carriage or private hire driver, you will have to pass the relevant Knowledge test.

Booking a test

  • Tests are held on the morning of the second Thursday of every month.
  • To book your place, you must pay before 12pm (midday) on the Friday before the test date.
  • Bookings made after this time will be placed on the list for the following month's test.
  • Tests must be paid for when you book. Credit or debit card payments only.

Taking the test

  • You must bring photo ID on the day of your test (driving licence or current passport). Failure to bring ID will prevent you taking the test, and your fee cannot be refunded.
  • The tests take place in the Council Chamber at the council offices, Millmead, Guildford GU2 4BB.
  • A maximum of 20 candidates can sit the test at any one time. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
  • Private hire drivers will take a one hour test (see more detail on Private hire tests).
  • Hackney carriage drivers take two test papers, each lasts one hour (see more detail on Hackney carriage tests).
  • There is no parking for candidates at the council offices. Please use one of the pay and display car parks in the area.
  • Arrive at least 10 minutes before your test is due to start. If you arrive after the test has begun, you will not get extra time.

If you need to cancel

  • If you cannot attend the test, contact the licensing team as soon as possible by phoning 01483 444371.
  • If you cancel after midday on the Friday before the test, your test fee will not be refunded.


Test results are sent out as soon as the tests are marked. No results are given over the telephone.

    Preparing for the test

    We recommend practising for the test. We do not limit the number of times you can take the test, but you will have to pay the full fee for each test.

    What you need to know

    The hackney carriage driver's test and the private hire vehicle driver's test both cover these topics:

    • carriage of disabled persons
    • Highway Code
    • the law, byelaws and licence conditions (see our icon Licensing policy [406.72KB]  and our page on Information for current licence holders)
    • The Town and Police Clauses Act 1847 and hackney carriage byelaws are only for hackney carriage driver applicants, but these applicants are expected to know the private hire driver conditions
    • basic maths
    • writing receipts (receipts should have the date, amount, journey details and driver number and vehicle plate number as stated in the policy).
    • knowledge of Guildford Borough area, not just Guildford itself. Check you know what area the Borough covers.

    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, no mark will be given.

      Useful links for test

      Please see the links section on this page for websites that may be helpful when you're practising for the Knowledge test. They may not cover all the topics you'll be tested on.

      Private hire driver's test

      • The private hire driver's Knowledge test is one hour.
      • Tests start at 10am or 11.15am.
      • The pass mark is 70%.
      • The test has a small number of location questions on the same topics as covered by the hackney carriage driver's test listed below.

      Hackney carriage driver's test

      • The hackney carriage driver's Knowledge test has two papers and each lasts one hour.
      • Tests start at 10am and 11.15am. There will be a 15 minute break between the two papers. 
      • The pass mark is 70%.
      • The test covers locations and routes. Locations cover the topics listed below:
        • places of worship
        • conference centres
        • hotels, bed and breakfasts, and guest houses
        • places of interest
        • pubs, clubs and licensed premises
        • railway stations
        • restaurants, cafes and takeaway premises
        • doctors' surgeries and health centres
        • schools
        • golf clubs
      • For route questions, you will have to write down the route from a starting point in Guildford town centre to a named road anywhere in the borough. You are 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 five marks each: three marks for getting to the destination and two marks for taking a direct route.