As one of the biggest industries in the UK, there are plenty of driving jobs in London, from delivery drivers to public transport and taxi cabs. If you are looking for a new job in London and enjoy being on the road, have you ever thought about turning driving into a full time job?
Requirements For Driving Jobs
It is important to note that many drivers work long hours, even 12 hour shifts, so before you decide to take on a driving job, you need to ensure that you are comfortable driving long distances over long periods of time.
As well as this, some employers may specify that their employees be over the age of 25 for insurance purposes. Although this does not prevent you from obtaining a driving job once you have left college or university, it does limit your options somewhat.
Just like any other job, previous experience will always make you a more desirable candidate, so even if you don’t find your dream driving job straightaway, getting experience in a similar role could bring you one step closer to securing the driving job you really want.
Getting The Best Driving Jobs
Whilst there are many driving jobs in London to choose from, if you are looking for the very best driving jobs with the best pay, then you should consider PCO driving.
PCO stands for 'Public Carriage Office' and it is necessary to have a PCO licence if you wish to become a private hire driver in London. For example, if you wish to become a chauffeur driver in London, then you must obtain a PCO licence. The PCO are controlled by Transport for London (TfL).
Getting a PCO licence has plenty of benefits, as it allows drivers to go on to work for themselves as self-employed private hire drivers, which will allow you to choose your own working hours. Drivers holding a PCO licence also have more choice when it comes to the types of driving jobs they can get, and they regularly make more money than drivers without this type of licence.
What Is A PCO Licence?
A PCO licence proves that the driver has undergone a criminal record check (DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service check, previously known as CRB, or Criminal Records Bureau check.) As well as this, the PCO licence also proves that the driver has undergone medical tests to confirm fitness and capability. A higher level of medical fitness, called Group 2 Standards, is required for a PCO licence. It is similar to the requirements for drivers of large goods vehicles, buses and coaches.
PCO licence holders must also take a topographical test to prove that they know their way around London. Although this test is not as intense as the one that London taxi drivers need to take, you will need to have more than a basic knowledge of London in order to pass it. You will need to prove that you can read a map and identify and plan a route, showing an awareness of the general geography of London.
Once you have your PCO licence, you must prove that your car undergoes a regular six monthly MOT test. This must be done even if your car is new, if you intend to use it for chauffeuring purposes.
How To Apply For A PCO Licence
To apply for a PCO licence, you must be over 21 years of age (there is no upper age limit). You will need to contact the PCO office directly and pay an application fee. You must apply with your full driver’s licence (free of driving offences), and you must have held this driver’s licence for a minimum of three years.
As well as this, you need your birth certificate (or passport) and a marriage certificate if applicable.
The medical test you must take can be carried out by your own GP, and you must also contact the DBS to complete the DBS check yourself.
Working As A Chauffeur
A chauffeur company is only allowed to employ PCO licenced drivers, so if you are interested in a driving job in London that allows you to make the most money, then obtaining a PCO licence is in your best interests.
If you plan to use your PCO licence to work as a chauffeur in London, you may prefer to work with a company and use a company car before committing fully and buying your own car for chauffeuring purposes.
If you do decide to work for a chauffeuring company, you will need to dress the part (a smart suit is a must) and character references will generally be required. It is important to have a calm and professional attitude at all times (absolutely no road rage!) and many companies will also ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement so that you do not disclose anything you may have overheard while operating as chauffeur.
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