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A Guide To Your Tees Valley Taxi Assessment


Hartlepool Borough Council is approved to manage and deliver taxi assessments on behalf of Tees Valley local authorities for those drivers within the Tees Valley seeking to become a licensed taxi driver. The Council uses suitably qualified assessors to deliver local standard and wheelchair accessible assessments.

Assessment Cost

  • The fee for a standard assessment is £66.00
  • The fee for an accessible assessment is £81.00

Booking an Assessment

Please call Hartlepool Borough Council. The Road Safety Team on 01429 284076 Alternatively you can email the team on providing your:

  • Contact details
  • DVLA Licence Number
  • Assessment Location e.g Stockton
  • Vehicle Make, Model and Registration

Assessment Dates

Assessments are delivered typically on the following days at each Council area. Alternate dates can be arranged on request.

Local Authority

Assessment Day


Tuesday and Thursday


If you have an immediate requirement for an assessment please contact the office on 01429 284076. Alternative dates can be arranged only on request after contacting the office number.

Once you have booked your taxi assessment you will receive the following:

  • A letter confirming the date and time of the assessment including the name of your assessor and a meeting point map,
  • Payment confirmation,
  • A copy of our terms and conditions.
  • A copy of the Highway Code to be returned to your Assessor at the start of the assessment.

Please note that you will not be able to complete your assessment until you have paid the assessment fee in full. Please read your Terms and Conditions regarding cancellation fees.

Payment Options

Payment can be made using the following:

  • a valid credit/debit card over the phone,
  • by cheque payable to Hartlepool Borough Council General and sent with a booking form to our business address,
  • by Postal Order and sent with a booking form to our business address,
  • or by cash in person at the Civic Centre in Hartlepool (please phone to make an appointment prior to paying cash)


Taxi assessment

An assessor will be allocated for your assessment. Please arrive at your assessment venue at least 15 minutes before your allotted time and take into account any traffic delays. Your assessment will be cancelled if you are late. You will not be entitled to a refund.

Your assessment will comprise of the following:

  1. An identity check - you will be required to bring your driving licence with you. If you have a paper card licence please bring a passport or other photographic ID. If you are unable to produce photo identification the assessor will take your photograph to be verified later. If you refuse to have your photograph taken the assessment will not go ahead and you will not receive a refund. Please see your Terms and Conditions. You will also need to bring your appointment letter.
  2. Prior to commencing the assessment you will be required to undertake a standard roadside eyesight check. This will involve reading a number plate from a distance of approximately 20metres. If you are required to wear spectacles or contact lenses for driving then you should wear them.
  3. A signed declaration that the vehicle is insured, taxed and that you have a valid and current licence.
  4. A walk-round check of the vehicle to ensure it is safe and all legal requirements are met. Any recording equipment must face externally and have no audio function switched on.
  5. A 40 minute assessment, to include travel on various speed limits, road layouts, junctions, roundabouts, traffic lights and reversing manoeuvres.
  6. Highway Code and Traffic Signs questions.
  7. Completion of paperwork.

You will be assessed on your ability to safely drive with the comfort of passengers in mind, to drive to existing road conditions, conforming to all traffic signs and orders and to obey speed limits.

It is not a requirement, however, if you feel it may be of benefit to have a driving lesson from an approved driving instructor with knowledge of the taxi assessment, prior to your assessment day. This may assist you in successfully completing the assessment.

Standard Assessment - Information and Content

The assessor will score your drive based on the following standard assessment:



Driving Licence and eyesight check

The assessor will check your driving licence to ensure that it is current and you have the correct categories to drive a taxi. Your eyesight will be checked to confirm you can read a standard number plate from the legal

required distance.

Vehicle and safety checks

To ensure that the vehicle is safe and in a roadworthy condition and to confirm that the driver understands their legal responsibilities.

Use of mirrors

The safe and effective use of mirrors ensuring good all round observations and having an understanding of the road environment outside the vehicle


Effective and appropriate use of signals when required. Using signals

Traffic signs and road markings

Understanding and obeying traffic signs, road markings, traffic lights and other traffic control systems.

Speed limits

Exercise proper care in the understanding of safe speed and staying within the speed limits. Drive at a legal and appropriate speed to reduce hesitancy


Turn   your vehicle around to drive in the opposite direction using good control and observations

Safety margins

Drive at an appropriate safe following distance to maintain safety margins.

Vehicle control

Make proper use of your accelerator, foot brake, clutch, gears, steering and parking brake

Roadside drill

Moving away safely and under control using good observations. A shoulder check is essential.

Junctions & Roundabouts

Act appropriately at road junctions and roundabouts.

Passing traffic

Effective and safe overtaking, meeting and crossing traffic.

Lane discipline

Looking at your road position and lane discipline.

Other Road Users

Taking safe and appropriate action at pedestrian crossings and have an awareness of other road users particularly the vulnerable.

Passenger safety

Safe positioning on the road for passengers to enter or exit your vehicle.

Awareness of other road users

Show awareness and planning with regard to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

Fuel Efficient Driving & vehicle Sympathy

Drive in a manner that promotes safe and fuel efficient driving.

Other controls

Make proper use of any ancillary controls.

Highway Code & Traffic Signs questions

There will be 4 questions on the Highway Code and you will be asked to explain 4 road traffic signs


Accessible Assessment - Information and Content 

This section applies only to wheelchair accessible vehicles.

In addition to the standard taxi assessment, any driver with a wheelchair accessible vehicle must be able to demonstrate the safe carriage of wheelchair users. It is important that you can demonstrate the basic principles of safety and security. Where a vehicle is fitted with additional seat belts, wheel belts/clamps etc they must be in good working order and used to safely secure a wheelchair.

This part of the accessible assessmentincludes the following:




There are different styles of ramps fitted to wheelchair accessible vehicles. You must be able to demonstrate the safe use of the wheelchair ramps fitted to your vehicle.


You must be able to safely install the wheelchair in your vehicle ensuring that the wheelchair is backed up to the fold down seats. The wheelchair brakes must then be

safely applied.

Belts, Straps and Harnesses

You must be able to demonstrate the safe securing of seat belts/safety harnesses and any wheel belts or clamps if fitted to your vehicle.

Pre-Start Checks

You must perform all of the necessary safety checks to satisfy yourself that the wheelchair is secure as if you are about to start the journey.

Wheelchair Exit of Vehicle

The reverse of the above must be performed in order to safety exit the wheelchair from the vehicle.


Assessment Criteria 

Assessors will look at your standard of driving and class any faults as being:

General Driving Faults- these are faults that do not warrant being classified as a serious or dangerous incident but are worthy of being noted as a recommendation by the assessor.

Serious Faults- they are a fault that has the potential to become dangerous and to warrant a fail on its own.

Dangerous Faults- they are classified as a fault that is noted in response to an incident that has causes danger or damage to other vehicles, road users or the assessor.

Cumulative faults- A driving fault is one, which in itself is not potentially serious. However, a candidate who habitually commits a driving fault in one aspect of driving throughout the test, demonstrating an inability to deal with certain situations, cannot be regarded as competent to pass the test, as that fault alone must be seen as potentially serious.

In order to complete the assessment to the satisfaction of the examiner the following criteria is applied:


Assessment successful or unsuccessful

0-9 General driving faults

Assessment successful

10 or more faults

Assessment unsuccessful

Cumulative faults of 4 or more in one area

Assessment unsuccessful

A serious or dangerous fault

Assessment unsuccessful


Once the assessment is completed you will be informed immediately of the outcome. The assessor will determine whether you have successfully or unsuccessfully completed the assessment.

If you successfully complete the assessment you will be immediately issued with a confirmation that you have completed. This will contain your unique reference number. Within 7 days you will be issued with a letter and certificate confirming successful completion of the assessment. Hartlepool Borough Council will notify the relevant licensing authority within 48 hours of completion of the assessment.

If you are unsuccessful in achieving the required standard you will be notified by the assessor who will also debrief you in respect of the areas requiring improvement. You can book a new assessment, at your cost by contacting the team on 01429 284076.

If, in the assessor's opinion, your driving style poses a significant risk to other road users, passengers or yourself then the assessor may refer you immediately to the licensing authority who will review the assessment and make a decision regarding what course of action is to be taken.