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Taxi driver

Pick up passengers and take them to their destination by the quickest and safest route.

Also known as: private hire vehicle driver, cabbie, cab driver

About skillsGetting in

About the job


Source: National Careers Service



Entry level





Entry level





Entry level




people are currently employed

High growth

300 more jobs in 5 years

These figures refer to this job and similar ones with comparable skills and qualifications. They only apply to Scotland. Source: Oxford Economics

What it's like

You would pick up passengers and take them to their destination by the quickest and safest route.

Taxis are an important part of any town or city's transport system. Taxis can be either a ‘black cab' or a licensed saloon car. Both types have a licence plate and roof sign that states they are a taxi.

The other type of passenger transport around town is a private hire vehicle that runs through an operator.

When working in a taxi or private hire vehicle, you would:

  • Take job details over the radio from the operator at the office or by an in-car computer

  • Help to load and unload passengers' luggage

  • Help passengers to get in and out of the vehicle if needed

  • Take payments

  • Keep the vehicle clean and roadworthy

  • Keep accounts and records, if self-employed

As a taxi driver you might be booked in advance, wait on an official taxi rank or pick up passengers while on the move, for example in a busy shopping area.

If you work as a private hire driver you would only collect passengers that have pre-booked through your operator. You cannot be flagged down in the street.

You could combine normal 'pick-up' jobs with contract work such as school runs. You might also make longer-distance trips such as taking people to airports, or to and from concerts in other towns.


This job allows you to choose your hours, but you will find more work in the evenings and at weekends. Friday and Saturday evenings would be your busiest times. You would work between 40 and 60 hours a week if full-time.


You would spend most of your time on the road, sometimes in heavy traffic.


You would be constantly on the move.

Explore more information about this job

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Top skills

Skills are things you're good at. Whether you know what yours are or not, everyone has them!

It's useful to learn which ones are important in a job so you know the areas you need to brush up on. It can also help you work out if you're suited to a career.

Here are some of the skills you'll need to do this job:

  • problem solving
  • resourceful
  • respecting
  • building relationships
  • verbal communication
  • recalling
  • developing a plan
  • time management

Your skills are important

Our unique skillsets are what make us stand out from the crowd. Learn about each skill in depth and discover what employers look for in your applications and interviews.

Discover skills

Getting in

Explore the sections shown for more information about getting into this career.

You might have qualifications which are not shown here but will allow you access to a course. You can compare your qualifications by looking at their SCQF Level. For more information about this, check out the SCQF website.

Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Colleges and universities will list subjects you'll need for entry to a course. Some useful subjects include:

    There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role, however a good general education may be useful.

    Many employers value additional driver training which could include the Advanced Driving Test offered by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

    Qualifications and experience that show helping customers, time management and local geographic knowledge will be of value. 

    Evidence of basic mechanical skills, such as Skills for Work Automotive Skills (SCQF level 4), would also be welcome.

    You will need a special licence to be a taxi driver or private car hire driver. You will apply to your local authority for this licence and each may have their own criteria which may include:

    • normally, to be 21 years old

    • to have a clean current driving licence

    • to have been driving for at least 12 months

    You may need to pass a test of knowledge about the local area.

    If you are using your own vehicle, it will also need a special licence. These licences need to be reviewed and the timescales of this depends on the local authority.

    You may need to pass a medical examination.

    You need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

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