Knowledge test

Pages in Knowledge test

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

1. Private Hire 

The private hire knowledge test is designed to show that you have knowledge of important aspects of being a private hire licensed driver. The test will be divided into four sections with five questions in each section. The test will cover:-

1. Ability to read a map and plan a route;
2. Basic maths dealing with money and fares;
3. That you have read and understood the Council’s  ‘Private Hire Policy and Conditions Document (PDF)’; and
4. The Highway Code.

The test is undertaken under usual exam conditions. The test is therefore undertaken in silence and mobile phones should be turned off. The test lasts 40 minutes, if you get stuck on trying to understand a question you will be able to put your hand up to ask a staff member for assistance. To pass the knowledge test, you must successfully pass all four sections: The pass mark is 100 per cent for section 1. The pass mark is 80 per cent for sections 2 to 4. You will be provided with a copy of the Surrey Street Atlas to use during the test.

Location and Time

The Knowledge test normally takes place twice a month on a Wednesday morning at our Council Offices at the Town Hall in Reigate. Spaces are limited to 20 people per test. To attend the test you must have booked and paid the fee in advance, already have provided us with your application form (to be received by licensing no later than 10am on the monday before you are due to sit the test) and attend on the date and time you have been allocated. Please note there is no parking available at the Town hall for those taking the test. To find a list of Council car parks in the nearby area please click here.

We advise applicants to arrive by 09:45am. 

The test starts promptly at 10am. Remember we must have had receipt of your fully completed application form no later than 10am on the monday before you are due to sit the test. If you do not turn up on the day or arrive too lateto sit the test you will miss the test and have to pay a missed appointment fee to rebook. You will need to bring proof of ID to the test.

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


We advice all our applicants to revise and practice for the test. To assist you in preparation for the test it will help to be familiar with the following documents:

• ‘The Street Atlas Surrey’ 
•  Private Hire Policy and Conditions (PDF)
• ‘The Official High Way Code’ - Department for Transport, Driving Standards Agency (Great Britain) 

Please note other than an electronic PDF copy of our Private Hire Policy and Conditions Document we do not supply any of the above resources. They can be purchased online or in a bookshop.

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)

If you have taken the test a few times now and not passed you may wish to think about if you may benefit from some additional help with practising to pass the knowledge test then Licensing offers a chargeable service that may be of interest to you. Further information about this service can be found on the licensing contact us and application advice service page.

Map Reading Guide

A key part of the knowledge test is map work. One of the main reasons for failing is down to route planning and map reading. To assist with your preparation we have produced a quick map reading guide, based on the Surrey Street Atlas. Here we explain and give worked examples of how to read and understand a map.

Example Map Reading Guide (PDF)


To book your knowledge test please call licensing on 01737 276672 with a method of payment to hand (e.g debit or credit card). Before calling please see our driver application page to ensure you are able to sit the knowledge test. Please note that our test slots get booked up quickly and demand is high so it may be several weeks until we have a knowledge test available that has spare spaces on.

If it isn't your first time sitting the knowledge test you can only rebook to sit the test when you have been given your result, therefore if you think you may have failed you will need to wait for your official result before we can rebook you.

Results and Feedback

The results of the knowledge test will be emailed to you 7 days of you sitting the test. Usually results are emailed out the week after the test was sat.  Please check your email box and junk email box for our email. We are unable to give the results out over the phone, please do not call to chase your results as all results are emailed out to everyone at the same time. In the email you will receive some feedback on the test also.  If you have not received your result and have waited at least 7 days then please do get in touch with us.

Feedback will comprise informing you of the section(s) that you failed on.  This is so you can focus your revision on these sections. We are unable to state the specific question(s) that you have gotten wrong. We are also unable to give out copies of the test paper.