For those wishing to become taxi drivers, a driving assessment is a requirement of most local authorities. The Blue Lamp Trusts’s assessors are DVSA Fleet approved and operate nationwide. Our lead times are short and prices competitive, and the profits generated from this commercial operation are used to support the Bobby Scheme, the Blue Lamp Trust’s charitable arm.
Who is the Blue Lamp Trust?
We are a charitable organisation based in Hampshire. We offer driver training to generate an income for our Bobby Scheme, which visits vulnerable and elderly people to help secure their homes free of charge.
ABOUT THE ASSESSMENT
Is there a difference between an Assessment for a Hackney Licence and Private Hire Licence?
No, the Assessment is the same whether you are applying for a Hackney or Private Hire Licence.
(Please note there is a difference if applying to Peterborough City Council – please refer to Peterborough City Council for further details)
How long is the Assessment valid for?
There is no expiry on the certificate. Its validity is at the discretion of the Local Authority that you are applying to.
Will I be asked High Way Code questions?
No, however you will be asked at least 2 ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ questions. Use this link for more information
If I move area will my Assessment still be valid?
This is at the discretion of the Local Authority. You will need to contact them to confirm.
Do I need a UK driving licence
No, your licence must be valid but does not need to be a UK issued licence.
What happens if there is a fault with my vehicle on the day?
The car needs to be roadworthy. If not, the Assessment will not take place and you will need to re-book for another date. Re-booking will incur the full fee.
What do I need to bring with me for my Assessment?
You will need to bring your driving licence, a photo ID if your licence does not include a photo, glasses or contact lenses if required and a suitable vehicle.
What vehicle can I take my test in?
Your vehicle must be: right-hand drive, with less than 9 passenger seats, weigh no more than 3.5t, have 4 wheels, have head restraints in all seats and have an unobstructed rear window. A van or a convertible car is not classed as a suitable vehicle for a Taxi Assessment.
Your vehicle must be in a roadworthy condition i.e. it must be able to pass an MOT test.
Your vehicle must be insured for the purposes of the Assessment. You should consult your insurance company to confirm this.
Can I use my Private Hire or Hackney plated vehicle for the assessment?
Candidates are NOT PERMITTED to take the driving assessment in a Private Hire or Hackney plated vehicle except under the following 2 circumstances:
- The vehicle is registered/plated to you, the candidate, and you have been referred to take the assessment by your Local Authority.
- The vehicle is registered/plated to you and you want to change/be licensed to another Authority.
Why can I not use a convertible car for my assessment?
Due to the limited visibility for the Assessor it is not safe for assessments to be carried out in a convertible car. Conducting the assessment with the roof down my cause communication issues at higher speeds.
Can I take my Assessment in an automatic vehicle?
Yes, but we suggest that you refer back to your Local Authority for guidance as they may only issue you with a licence to drive automatic Taxis.
Can I take my Assessment in a van?
No, you must be able to see out of the rear windows.
Can I have an interpreter with me for the Assessment?
The assessment can only be conducted in the English language.
Taxi candidates are therefore not permitted to use foreign language interpreters on their assessment.
An interpreter may accompany deaf and / or deaf without speech candidates but the interpreter must be at least 16 years of age and communicate in English.
Can I use my friend's vehicle if mine is off the road?
You can use any vehicle as long as you are insured to do so for the purpose of the Assessment, the vehicle is roadworthy and suitable for the purpose of the Assessment
You cannot use the following; a licensed taxi (private hire or hackney), a van, a vehicle with more than 9 seats or convertible car.
Can I use a company car on the assessment?
If you wish to do so then you will need to evidence to the assessor that;
• The vehicle is insured for the purpose of a driving assessment
• You have written permission from your employer to confirm that you are authorised to use their vehicle on the assessment
Failure to provide this information will result in the assessment not going ahead / loss of your fee.
Can I use a recording device during the assessment?
We do not allow recording of assessments. If you do have cameras fitted for insurance purposes these are acceptable as long as the audio is disabled and the cameras are outward facing
Can I take my assessment in a hire vehicle?
If you are hiring a vehicle you will need to declare to the hire company that it is being used for the purpose of a driving assessment.
You will need to evidence to the Assessor that the vehicle has the appropriate insurance cover in place.
Failure to do this will result in the assessment not going ahead.
ABOUT YOUR BOOKING
How do I book an Assessment?
Book on-line here
Can I book an Assessment over the phone?
No, all bookings should be made online. If you have any specific questions however you can call the office on 0333 700 0157, Monday to Friday 09:30 – 15:00
Is there a cost for the Assessment?
The cost of a Taxi Driver Assessment is £87.00.
Where do I need to pay for the Assessment?
Payment is required at the time of booking.
What methods of payment are accepted?
Payment can only be made using a Credit or Debit card.
Where are your Test Centres located?
The Blue Lamp Trust does not have Test Centres. We have approved assessors located nationally who conduct Assessments from locations convenient to them and the candidate.
After I have booked on-line who will contact me?
You will be contacted by one of our approved assessors working in your local area to arrange a mutually convenient date, time and location for your Assessment.
How long does it take for someone to contact me after I have booked on-line?
You will be contacted by an approved assessor within 2 working days.
How long does it take to schedule the Assessment after I have booked and paid?
We aim to complete Assessments within 15 working days of your booking.
I am not based in Southampton, so can I do an assessment local to me?
The Trust has approved assessors nationwide.
Will I have to travel to my Assessment location?
We aim to allocate an assessor as near to you as possible. However, you may be required to travel a short distance to meet the Assessor.
What days of the week can I do an Assessment?
Assessments are mainly conducted during working hours Monday to Friday. However some assessors may have evening and weekend availability.
Can I arrange a time and date to suit me?
The date and time will be agreed between yourself and the assessor when they contact you.
What happens if I am late for my Assessment?
If you are more than 5 minutes late for your Assessment it is likely that your Assessment will not take place. This decision is at the assessor’s discretion.
AFTER THE ASSESSMENT
Will I be notified on the day if I have been successful?
Yes, and you will receive a copy of your Assessment sheet and a certificate.
What happens if I do not pass the Assessment, can I re-take?
Yes, you can re-take the Assessment by making a re-booking. The re-booking should be made online.
How much is the cost of a re-booking?
All Assessments cost £87.00. There is no discount for a re-booking.
Is there a limit to the number of times I can re-take my Assessment?
Some Local Authorities restrict the number of attempts a driver can take at the Assessment. You should ask the Local Authority that you are applying to for clarification on this.
What do I do if I am not happy with my Assessment?
The Blue Lamp Trust has a complaints procedure which you must follow. All complaints should be made in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Blue Lamp Trust, c/o Police and Fire HQ, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, SO50 9SJ within 10 days of your Assessment.
Receipt of your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days.
If I need to cancel my Assessment will I still be charged?
The terms and conditions of booking state that you must give 5 clear working days’ notice to cancel or change a booking.
Your cancellation period cannot include weekends, the day of your assessment or the day you give us notice. For example, if you have a test booked for a Thursday you need to advise us by the previous Wednesday.
If you do not meet these conditions a refund will not be given.
Can I take my Assessment at the weekend or in the evening?
This is at your Assessors discretion. Some Assessors are happy to work evenings and weekends.
What if my Assessment is cancelled due to no fault of my own?
If there is inclement weather or the Assessor is unable to undertake your Assessment, it will be re-booked at the next available date. If this is not suitable a refund will be issued.
What if i misplace my Assessment Certificate?
You can request a replacement certificate at a cost of £20.00. Call 0333 700 0157 to request.
ABOUT A WHEELCHAIR ASSESSMENT
What is the cost of a Wheelchair Assessment?
The cost of a Wheelchair Assessment is £40.00.
The cost of a Combination Assessment (Taxi Assessment and Wheelchair Assessment) is £117.00
How much is the cost of a re-booking?
The cost is the same for a re-booking, there is no discount.
Can I take a Taxi Assessment & Wheelchair Assessment on the same day?
Yes. You can book a Combined Assessment taking both the a Wheelchair Assessment and Taxi Driver Assessment together at a discounted rate of £117.00
Can I take advantage of the Combined offer on separate days?
To benefit form the reduced combined offer of £117.00 your Taxi Driver Assessment and Wheelchair Assessment must be taken on the same day.
Do I have to provide a Wheelchair for the Assessment?
No. The Assessor will provide the Wheelchair
Do I need to provide a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle?
What equipment do I need to provide?
The Assessor will provide the Wheelchair but you will be required to provide the Straps/Clamps/Ramp/Lift.
What if I have symptoms of Coronavirus?
You must contact the office on 0333 700 0157 to rearrange your assessment, giving as much notice as possible.
Do I need to wear a face covering?
In line with current government guidelines you MUST provide and wear a face covering during your assessment. The Assessor will provide and wear a face covering of their own.
Government guidelines currently state that face masks must be worn on public transport and in enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.
You may be asked to remove your face covering briefly for the purposes of identification.
What is a face covering?
A face covering does not need to be a surgical mask. A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.
The face covering should not obstruct your vision.
When will Assessments recommence?
We anticipate recommencing Assessments from 6th July 2020, assuming Government guidelines allow.
What if my assessment is cancelled by the Blue Lamp Trust?
If your Assessor becomes unwell and is unable to carry out your assessment we will give you as much notice as is practicable and the assessment will be rearranged at no extra cost.
What do I need to bring to the assessment?
You MUST bring your own face covering to wear during the assessment. You are not required to bring anything specific due to COVID-19, only the items detailed in your terms and conditions for a Taxi Assessment.
What if I no longer wish to do my assessment due to COVID-19?
If a booking date has not been confirmed, or you can give 5 clear working days’ notice, a full refund will be given. Please advise the office on 0333 700 0157
How will you social distance during the assessment?
The Assessor will conduct the assessment in a manner that allows for social distancing where possible, avoiding physical contact.