English language skills assessment for taxi or private hire drivers

The government have introduced new standards for drivers which mean that you must now pass our Versant English language test, or hold an equivalent level qualification, to:

  • apply for a taxi or private hire driver licence
  • renew a taxi or private hire driver licence after 6 September 2022

Book an English language test

The cost of the English language test is £55+VAT. You can also take a practice test which costs £11+VAT. Tests are online so it is important that you are prepared.

You will need:

  • a good wifi connection
  • Microsoft Teams
  • access to a laptop or desktop computer
  • access to a smart phone or similar device
  • to allow an hour (the actual test is about 15 minutes)

If you've previously passed the Versant English language test in the Aylesbury Vale area, you do not have to take the test again.

Find out about our English test preparation workshops and courses.


For help booking a test, contact [email protected].

What qualifies as equivalent level qualifications

An equivalent level qualification is:

  • a Versant English language test pass from the Aylesbury Vale area of Buckinghamshire Council
  • UK GCSE/O level (or equivalent) certificate, grades A* to G
  • UK AS-level or A-level certificate
  • UK BA Hons, BSc Hons degree or higher (such as a master's or PhD)
  • UK HNC or HND qualification
  • ESOL qualification showing English language skills equivalent to level B1 (CEFR) or higher, such as ESOL International Speaking and Listening or ESOL Skills for Life (UK) (Entry Level 3, Level 1 or Level 2- Entry Level 1 and Entry Level 2 will not be accepted)
  • SELT, Secure English Language Test, grade 5 or higher
  • GESE, Graded Examinations in Spoken English, grade 5 or higher
  • ISE, Integrated Skills in English, ISE(1)(B1)
  • UK NVQ, BTEC or City & Guilds qualification equivalent to GCSE or above, such as:
    • Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving (Taxi and Private Hire)
    • City & Guilds, Level 2 Certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver

Further advice on acceptable qualifications is available from our licensing service.

The licensing service will need to be satisfied that any qualification has been taught in English.


For information and support with the licensing process, you can contact taxi licensing.