Taxi sign close up

04 February 2020

Preston City Council has teamed up with award winning training provider Antrec Limited to provide assistance and training for applicants wanting to become a taxi or private hire driver in Preston.

Unlike most councils, Preston requires applicants to attain a BTEC Level 2 VRQ - Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi & Private Hire Driver - which requires applicants to attend a five day course. This is in addition to checks on medical, driving and criminal records and the passing of a local knowledge test.

This partnership working has allowed the council to access funding for applicants that could reduce the application costs by between £300 and £450 per person.

In order to assist new applicants and the trades and to achieve administrative efficiencies within its Licensing Services team, the council is now assisted by Antrec Limited to deliver regular induction sessions at the Town Hall and the VRQ training course for anyone interested in becoming a licensed driver.

The first of these new induction sessions was held on 23 January 2020 when 19 persons attended to receive information about becoming a professional driver, funding opportunities and the application procedure along with undertaking English and Math assessments.

Applicant Paul Heron enjoyed the two hour induction course at the Town Hall and said,

"The training provider has been really helpful. I wasn't aware of the funding so that was a big bonus."

Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for planning and regulation praised the new driver application process saying,

"The new process has provided an efficiency saving for the council and by working in partnership with Antrec Limited it has allowed us access to relevant funding streams. I hope this will encourage more people to consider being a professional driver and it should assist the trades in attracting new drivers.

"We have very high standards for taxi and private hire drivers in Preston and I am confident that these new arrangements will enable those new to the role to reach and maintain these standards in delivering an excellent service to citizens and visitors to Preston."

Frank West, Operations and Business Partnership Manager at Antrec Limited added,

"We are delighted to have been chosen to work in partnership with Preston City Council.

"The qualification and taxi licence application process puts public safety and customer service at the forefront, both things we know the council are keen to champion. We look forward to continuing our inductions for new applicants and to help maintain the high standards expected of taxi and private hire drivers across Preston."

Background information

  • Preston has approximately 960 licensed taxi and private hire drivers
  • Licences are issued for a period of 3 years
  • The application fee is £120
  • Knowledge test costs £33
  • DBS application fee is £44
  • VRQ training and exam is approximately £300 (but funding is now available)
  • Interested in becoming a taxi driver? Please ring 0333 023 7450 to book a place on a future induction course
  • Next courses to be held at the Town Hall are:
    • Tuesday 18 February
    • Monday 16 March
  • Preston City Council actively applies and prioritises the principles of Community Wealth Building wherever applicable and appropriate. Community Wealth Building is an approach which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone. For more information please see Preston Community Wealth.