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Sadiq Stands Firm On English Language Requirement for Private Hire Drivers

Last week the London Assembly agreed a motion which called upon the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to replace the requirement for Private Hire drivers to pass a written English test with verbal test costing £25.

Click the link below to read the London Assembly press release…

English speaking not writing should be private hire test

This motion passed by the Assembly has caused much confusion, with many believing and reporting that the full English language requirement had been dropped.

On Monday TfLTPH issued the following notice. Which restates the requirement for applicants to undertake a full English language test to be licensed as a private hire driver in London.

The notice also covers private hire vehicles insurance requirements and operators’ telephone line.

TfLTPH Notice 06/17 – 13 March 2017

Private Hire Regulations Update: English Language, Insurance and Telephone Requirements

In 2016, Transport for London (TfL) made a number of regulatory changes to raise standards in London’s private hire industry and improve safety and convenience for customers. Some of these regulatory changes have been subject to a legal challenge. This Notice provides an update on current arrangements in light of the litigation

English Language Requirement

The Court upheld the English Language Requirement, which requires applicants for either a new or renewal private hire vehicle (PHV) driver’s licence to demonstrate that they can communicate in English at the appropriate level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Anyone whose application for a new or renewal PHV driver’s licence was received on or after 14 October 2016 has until 30 September 2017 to provide evidence of their ability to comply with the requirement to TfL (see Notice 05/17).

Current licence holders whose application for their PHV driver’s licence was received before 14 October 2016 will need to satisfy the English Language Requirement when they apply to renew their licence.

The Court’s judgment on the English Language Requirement may be the subject of an appeal and we will provide a further update in the event of any changes.

Insurance Requirement

The requirement for private hire vehicles to be insured to carry passengers for hire or reward at all times for the duration of the licence, introduced in June 2016, no longer applies.

However, private hire vehicles must still be covered by hire or reward insurance at the point of licensing and when in use as a private hire vehicle.

We are reviewing the position on hire or reward insurance for the private hire sector and will provide an update on this in due course.

Telephone Requirement

The requirement for private hire vehicle operators to make someone available for passengers to speak to during operating hours if they want to make a complaint or discuss other matters relating to their booking, which was introduced in June 2016, no longer applies.

We are reviewing the position and will provide an update on this in due course.

If you need advice about your private hire licence or licence application in light of  the changes listed above, please email us at or call our Licensing Team on 0343 222 4444 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

Helen Chapman
General Manager
London Taxi and Private Hire

For previous Notices visit


Posted by Peter Rose @peterjrose1


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