Taxi and private hire assessment in Watford, Hemel Hempstead and across Hertfordshire

Taxi and private hire assessment
To become a taxi driver a driving assessment is a requirement by Watford Borough Council and most local authorities. Vision Driver Training Assessors are DVSA fleet approved/QCF.

A certificate will be provided on successful completion of the driving test which will provide the local authority with the confirmation needed to meet their current requirements.

Taxi and Private Hire Assessments
Assessment Type Prices
Standard Assessment Mon-Fri £84
Sat/Sun/weekday after 5pm £90
Enhanced Assessment includes Wheelchair Exercise Mon-Fri £110
Sat/Sun/weekday after 5pm £120
Wheelchair Assessment Upgrade Mon-Fri £30
Sat/Sun/weekday after 5pm £40
Driver Training Optional – Registered list of totally independent trainers £40 per hour
Sat/Sun/Weekdays after 5pm £45 per hour

Three types of Assessment Tests

  • Standard Taxi/ Private Hire Assessment
  • Enhanced Assessment (Including Wheelchair Exercise)
  • Wheelchair Upgrade Assessment

Enhanced Assessment Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

The duration for the Enhanced Test is 60 minutes

Including the Wheelchair Upgrade Test is 15 minutes

Overview of the Wheelchair Assessment

You should demonstrate your ability to:

  • Securely erect the wheelchair ramps (whatever style of ramp is fitted to your vehicle)
  • Safely install the wheelchair in your vehicle, backing the chair to the fold down seats, then securing both wheelchair brakes
  • Secure seat belts/safety harness and secure wheel belts/clamps if fitted to your vehicle
  • Satisfy yourself that the wheelchair is secure, as if to start a journey. Then reverse the entire procedure. It is important that you can demonstrate all the principles of safety and security. You will need to bring the wheelchair. If seat belts, wheel belts or wheel clamps etc. are fitted then they should be in good working order and applied,whatever style of wheelchair accessible vehicle you bring on assessment.

Standard Assessment Practical

The duration is 45 minutes for the Standard Test

The test will require you to show a high level of driving skill and ability associated with that of an experienced driver. The standard needed to pass the test will be higher than that of a learner driver. The main focus of the test will be on road safety and the safe conveyance of passengers. Your passengers must feel safe at all times.

The driving test will last for around forty-five minutes on a wide variety of roads, and this may include motorways and dual carriageways.

You may be asked two questions on the following:

Highway Code Questions

Cabology Questions

It is important that you read The Highway Code and be familiar with your vehicle to ensure it meets the law and safety obligations. It is strongly advisable to consider taking professional training prior to taking the assessment.


The test will require you to carry out 2 reversing manoeuvres from the following chosen by the assessor:

  • A turn in the road
  • A left or right reverse from major to minor road
  • Reversing into a car parking space (Bay Parking)
  • Reversing into a space at the side of the road (Parallel Parking)
  • Manoeuvres must be made safely, under control and in accordance with the Highway Code

Stopping the Vehicle

As this is common practice when driving a taxi, the examiner will require you to perform two or three stops.
You should pull up at a reasonable distance from the kerb where it is safe, legal and convenient.

  • Apply the handbrake
  • Select neutral gear
  • Ensure there are no obstructions, such as a streetlight, that would stop a passenger opening the door

You may be asked to complete an emergency stop exercise at a place chosen by the examiner, (demonstrate that you can stop the vehicle as in an emergency, promptly and under control avoid skidding).

The Independent Drive

The test will require you to carry out 2 reversing manoeuvres from the following chosen by the assessor:

  • Independent driving forms part of the practical driving test.
  • It requires the test candidate to drive without being given directions by the assessor by either following a series of street directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both, for about ten minutes.
  • When taking the independent driving element if you need to ask the examiner for a reminder of the directions then do so.
  • Once asked the examiner will confirm the route.
  • If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give directions until the next visible traffic sign.
  • A detailed knowledge of the test route is not necessary.

Driving Assessment Marking

Remember – this is an assessment and involves no element of training or guidance. The assessor is only there to observe your drive and mark accordingly.

  • The assessor is independent, accredited by the DVSA and will simply mark your driving against structured assessment criteria
  • If you commit more than 9 driving faults you will fail.
  • You will also fail if you score one or more dangerous or serious faults

Driving Fault – this is not potentially dangerous but if you keep committing the same fault, it could become a serious fault.

Serious Fault – something potentially dangerous or illegal or where the examiner needs to intervene in any way.

Dangerous Fault – this involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property.

The Assessor can only mark what is seen. No matter how many years you have been driving or your previous driving experiences, the assessor will simply mark what you do on your assessment, so if you make mistakes these will be marked.

The Assessment Results

  • Remember the standard of driving expected will be higher than that of a learner driver.
  • If you demonstrate a safe smooth drive without any serious or dangerous faults and 9 or less driving faults you will pass your assessment.
  • In accordance with DVSA practices the assessor’s decision is final.
  • The assessor will give you your result at the end of the assessment. You will also be given a copy of your assessment sheet at this time.
  • The assessor will also issue a certificate to successful candidates.