Knowledge test

Pages in Knowledge test

  1. 1. You are here: Private Hire 
  1. 2. Hackney Carriage 

1. Private Hire 

This page provides information and guidance on our knowledge test and the processes surrounding it. The information is intended for both those private hire drivers who have just booked a knowledge test and for those interested in applying to be a driver with us. We have 11 test places for first attempt applicants and 11 test places for applicants who are retaking the test. 

Location and Time on The Day of the Test

Tests take place at the Town Hall in Reigate at 10.00am –though you must arrive at 9.45am. Those taking the test are NOT allowed to park at the Town hall. To find a list of Council car parks in the nearby area please click here. If you arrive late you will not be allowed to sit the test and will have to book and pay for another test.

If you do not turn up or arrive too late you will not be allowed to sit the test and will have to rebook a new knowledge test online. 

If it is your first knowledge test you will be required to bring the relevant proof of ID to sit the test as well as originals of:

  • Valid Passport
  • Evidence of  Right Work
  • Driving Licence

The test is carried out under usual exam conditions. The test is therefore undertaken in silence and mobile phones MUST be turned off. Remember to bring your glasses if you need them for reading. We will  provide a copy of the Surrey Street Atlas for you to use during the test. You can practice on any street atlas should you wish as the same map reading principals can be  transferred to any atlas.

General Information

To be able to take the test you must have already applied to be a private hire driver with Reigate & Banstead BC.

The test lasts 40 minutes. There are four sections, listed below, with five questions in each section:

1. Ability to read a map and plan a route;

 2. Basic maths - dealing with money and fares;

 3. The Council’s ‘Private Hire Policy and Conditions Document' (PDF); and

 4. The Official Highway Code’ - Department for Transport, Driving Standards Agency (Great Britain). (We do not provide this)

The pass mark is 100 per cent for section 1 and 80 per cent for sections 2 to 4. You must pass all four sections at the same time.

We strongly advise that you do not sit the test unless you know how to use a street atlas (see Map Reading Guide below) and have studied and practiced the 4 sections mentioned above

We offer a chargeable service for anyone wanting help to pass the test. See the licensing contact us and application advice service page for information on this service.

Example Questions

Below is a PDF link to a sample exam paper. We recommend that you download the sample paper so you are familiar with the type of questions we ask.

Private Hire Sample Knowledge Test Exam Paper (PDF)

Map Reading Guide

A key part of the knowledge test is map work. We have produced a quick map reading guide, based on the Surrey Street Atlas giving worked examples of how to read and understand a map.

Example Map Reading Guide (PDF)

Booking Your Test

As of 9th April 2018, you can only book online for the knowledge test, we are unable to book and pay over the phone anymore due to a change in software system. If you want to book for the first time you must apply to be a driver with us first.

We have 11 test places for first attempt applicants and 11 test places for applicants who are retaking the test. You must book only the applicable slot that describes your situation e.g a Private Hire Driver must only book a private hire slot. If you have already sat the test and booked on as a new driver you will not be able to sit the test on the day and have to rebook and pay for the correct test in the future and visa versa. Bookings for a knowledge test will close 24 hours before the start of the test, this is to enable us to prepare for the test.

You must only book one test at a time and you must wait for the result of your test before booking another test.   If anyone books multiple tests, we will cancel the extra booking(s), leaving the earliest test,  and you will NOT be given a refund or be able to use the payment/credit for another knowledge test.

To assist with using our online booking form please see our 'Knowledge Test Booking Document Guidance Document' that contains a screen by screen walkthrough of the booking process.

By booking a knowledge test via the green button below you agree that you have read and understood the points above.

Book a Knowledge Test 

Booking Cancellations/Amendments

Once a booking has been made it can not be cancelled by yourself. It can however be moved to a new date though, please call licensing and we can make the amendments for you. A minimum of 48 hours’ notice to amend your booking is required. Bookings trying to be amended with less than 48 hours’ notice wont be allowed by the booking system.  Further information on how to do this is given in this 'Knowledge Test Booking Document Guidance Document'.  

If you have any specific questions or queries regarding the above please contact the licensing department and we can explain the options available to you. If you have been able to cancel your test please forward a copy of your cancelation email to licensing and ask for a refund. 

Results and Feedback

We will email the results of your test within 7 days of you sitting the test. Do not contact us for the result unless you have not received it by the end of the Wednesday after your test (check your junk email first). If you fail the test we will tell you which sections you failed on; we will not tell you which specific question(s) you got wrong. We do not give out copies of the test paper.