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London taxi and people carrying insurance made through the public carriage office (PCO) covers metered cabs and taxis that have been licensed through the PCO, as well as gig economy private hire like Uber or Lyft. 

Most Uber and Lyft drivers will veer toward the standard private hire insurance (PHV), which is cheaper and available to young adults at 23. 

Interestingly, a key difference between the two types of transport, is that the PCO drivers can be flagged down without booking, while a PHV must be pre booked. This reflects in the increased cost of insurance for PCO vehicles. 

Private hire Insurance London pay Monthly

Private hire Insurance London insurance can be bought monthly, quarterly, or annually and per month will cost you a little more than annually. Starting at around the region of £100 per month, compared to £1,000 per year, the difference is only slight and offers more flexibility. 

Average Private hire Insurance London Cost

An average comprehensive Private hire Insurance London insurance policy for a standard vehicle will usually be between £1,500 and £3,000. 

To get a deal that’s less than the average, you’ll need to have lots of experience, a good no claims bonus, and no or few points on your licence. It’s also always worth checking out quotes from lots of different insurance companies to get the full picture and a fair price.

How Many Passengers Can Travel In My Taxi If I Have PCO Insurance?

The insurance on a PCO cab doesn't restrict the number, but the number may affect the resulting premium.

A standard max capacity of passengers for a black cab in London is 8 not including the driver. This is the case with any private hire vehicle. Vehicles with 9 or more passenger seats are classed as public service vehicles (PSV), which require a different licence to drive. 

However, it’s noted that it is not illegal for a PCV driver to take a PSV to carry more passengers, so long as the party making the booking is made aware of the situation, the difference between a PSV and PCV driver and gives consent that the PCV driver will be adequate in lieu of a PSV driver. 


All black cabs in London must ensure that their vehicles have wheelchair access. If caught failing to give wheelchair users a ride, the fine can be £1,000 as well as a possible revoking of licence. 

The same attitude is shown toward those with assistance dogs; they must not be discriminated against and should be allowed to ride with no exception.

How Much Does a PCO Car Application Cost?

Getting a PCO licence can cost different amounts depending on the way that you go about it. The base cost of the application itself is £250 to TFL, however there are other boxes you have to tick, which always cost more. That includes a medical test, DBS check, a topographical test and an English test. 

All of this combined can cost up to £700, however if you have a recent DBS and an English GCSE, you should be able to get it sorted for considerably less. 

PCO Car Age Requirements

The restrictions on what cars can be put forward to be PCO licensed are surprisingly strict. The cars must be within 5 years of manufacture to be put forward initially, and after 10 years from manufacture the vehicle will lose its licence. 

As well as this, a vehicle has to meet EU standards for carbon emissions to be eligible. The current standard is Euro 6, which only accepts electric or the most fuel efficient petrol and diesel hybrid cars. The PCO standards will only be getting greener from this point. 

PCO Driver Meaning

As well as getting your car licenced with the PCO, a prospective cab driver will also need to get themselves a PCO licence. This makes them a PCO driver. They’ll be trained to navigate the roads, and certified as a minicab or taxi driver. 

This licence also allows them to work for various zero hour private hire companies such as Uber, Lyft, or Bolt. The majority of people paying the extra for PCO licences will be aiming to work independently or for a taxi or chauffeur company. 

If you live outside of London, you may be interested in private hire insurance for Uber drivers or Monthly taxi insurance to spread the cost of taxi insurance.

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