TFL New Rules & Requirements For Private Hire Drivers (2024)

Written by Zego

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There are over 110,000 private hire drivers working in London. Uber alone has more than 45,000 on their platform.

All of these drivers and their cars are controlled by TFL (Transport For London). Their rules determine how, when, and where taxi drivers work, and drivers are expected to stay up-to-date on any changes.

So, to keep you safe and on the right side of the rules, here are the biggest TFL updates for 2023.

What are the new TFL rules on Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) vehicles?

Starting from 1st January 2023, all private hire vehicles (PHVs) licensed for the first time must be Zero Emission Capable (ZEC). This means that if you want to license a new vehicle for private hire purposes, it will need to meet the ZEC standards.

Vehicles that are not ZEC and have not had a previous private hire vehicle licence will no longer be able to become a licensed private hire vehicle in London.

Are there changes to speed limits in London?

Yes, Transport for London will be increasing the number of 20mph speed limit roads within the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Islington, Haringey, and Camden. This change was expected to begin from around February 2023, so keep an eye out when you're in these areas to avoid any penalties for speeding.

ULEZ expansion in 2023

From 29th August 2023, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion will begin, covering all the London Boroughs. Drivers with vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ requirements and drive in any London borough will need to pay the daily £12.50 charge.

Fuel price increase expected

In March 2022, the government cut the fuel duty by 5p per litre. However this was only a temporary reduction. Fuel prices have been fluctuating again since March 2023.

SERU assessment deadline approaching

From 1st April 2023, any new PHV driving licence applicants will need to complete the TfL SERU assessment, and the speaking and listening test, before they receive their private hire driver's licence.

English Language Requirement (ELR) for private hire drivers

TFL still has an English Language Requirement (ELR) for private hire drivers, but there has been a rule change. It's no longer possible to quality for the ELR by providing written evidence of a qualification, or by providing a certificate from one of TFL's appointed Secure English Language Test (SELT) providers.

To satisfy the ELR, drivers must now pass two separate assessments. These are a speaking and listening assessment, and the Safety, Equality and Regulatory Understanding (SERU) assessment, which is used to determine your reading and writing skills. Drivers only need to satisfy the ELR once to work in London.

Best private hire insurance for TFL

London taxi drivers can save more on their private hire insurance by switching to a Zego policy. You can choose from third party only or fully comprehensive cover for TFL, and get all-in-one cover for private hire work, food delivery and personal driving.

Even better, choose a Zego Sense policy – our smart app-based insurance for good drivers – and earn discounts on your renewal when you drive well. The safer you drive, the more you save.