-Brief Business Travel Insights

    20 Oct 2023

    Do private drivers need to have a DBS check?

    Private drivers and chauffeurs are responsible for transporting a wide variety of different passengers, including children and vulnerable adults.

    This puts private hire drivers in a position of trust, making it more important than ever that they are properly vetted and found suitable for the role.

    To ensure public safety, strict regulations govern the licensing of private hire drivers. Among these protective measures is the requirement for all individuals applying to become a private hire driver to have an enhanced DBS check.

    In this article, we will learn more about DBS checks for private hire drivers, whether they’re mandatory, and their important role in the private hire sector.

    What is a DBS check?

    In the UK, it is common for employers to carry out background checks on individuals before employing them. One common type of background check is the DBS check.

    DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service. The DBS conducts DBS checks to check whether an individual has any convictions, cautions, reprimands, or warnings on their criminal record.

    Carrying out a DBS check is particularly important when employing a person to work in a role with children or vulnerable adults.

    There are three different levels of DBS check:

    Basic DBS check – Only returns details of any unspent convictions.

    Standard DBS check – Returns details of both spent and unspent convictions, warnings, cautions, and reprimands.

    Enhanced DBS check – Reveals the same details as the standard DBS check plus any relevant police notes stored on file. An enhanced DBS check can also check if the person appears on the list of people permanently barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

    A DBS check’s results can help employers make informed and safe recruitment decisions.

    In the UK, the Department for Transport’s statutory guidance states that all taxi and private hire drivers must have an enhanced DBS check.

    You cannot legally work as a private hire or taxi driver without obtaining the relevant licence from your local authority. These licensing authorities cannot issue a licence to individuals who do not have an enhanced DBS certificate.

    Why are DBS checks important for private drivers and chauffeurs?

    The primary reason why it is so important for private drivers and chauffeurs to complete an enhanced DBS check is public safety.

    Private hire drivers are responsible for safely transporting people from point A to B. They transport different passenger types, including potentially vulnerable individuals like children, older adults, and people with disabilities. The close and unsupervised nature of private driving and chauffeuring puts drivers in a position of trust. Passengers put their trust in the integrity and professionalism of these drivers, and the requirement for private drivers to undergo an enhanced DBS check ensures that the driver has no criminal convictions and helps to mitigate risk.

    A DBS for private hire driver also reassures customers and the general public that drivers have been vetted and deemed appropriate for the role. This helps to build trust and protect the private hire company’s reputation.

    How often do private drivers require a DBS check?

    Government guidance was recently updated to make it mandatory for private drivers and chauffeurs to sign up for the DBS Update Service. This online subscription service helps keep enhanced DBS certificates up-to-date and allows employers to check your certificate online, with your consent. Signing up for the DBS Update Service costs just £13 per year.

    Driven Worldwide DBs private hire driver

    Here at Driven Worldwide, all of our chauffeurs and DBS private hire drivers are meticulously vetted and DBS-checked to give you peace of mind that you are in the hands of a trusted professional.

    Whether you require a private driver for a roadshow, managed project, client services, conference or event, we’ve got you covered.

    Operating in over 1,500 locations globally, our private hire and chauffeur services are trusted by some of the largest companies in the world.

    Contact our team today to get a quote on a journey or book a car.

    -Brief Business Travel Insights

    05 Jul 2023

    Do chauffeurs need a licence in the UK?

    It’s important to regulate the private driver industry to protect the safety and welfare of passengers and the public.

    This article will answer the question, “Does a chauffeur need a licence in the UK?” and explore the benefits of the licencing system.

    Do chauffeurs need a licence in the UK?

    In the UK, chauffeurs are legally required to hold a private hire licence. However, the specific requirements vary from one local council to another. To obtain a chauffeur licence, individuals must meet certain criteria.

    For example, in London, Chauffeurs are required to hold a PCO chauffeur licence. PCO licences are issued by the Public Carriage Office, part of Transport for London (TfL).

    The criteria for a PCO chauffeur licence are as follows:

    • You must be at least 21 years old when you apply.
    • You must have the right to live and work in the UK.
    • You must have held a valid driving licence for at least three years.
    • You must be medically fit and pass a medical examination.
    • You must be of good character and pass an enhanced criminal record check and DBS.
    • You must pass a topographical skills assessment.
    • You must pass a speaking and listening assessment.
    • You must pass a Safety, Equality, and Regulatory Understanding (SERU) assessment.

    Individuals who wish to work as a chauffeur must check the specific requirements for obtaining a licence with the local council where they plan to operate. Non-compliance with local regulations can result in penalties and even legal action.

    Do private drivers need a licence?

    In the UK, chauffeurs are generally categorised under private hire or taxi services. Licencing requirements apply to all private hire vehicle services.

    What are the benefits of having a PCO licence?

    The private hire vehicle licencing system benefits drivers, passengers, and the wider public. Let’s find out how:

    Comply with laws and regulations – Holding a licence gives private hire drivers, including chauffeurs, the legal authorisation to perform their role. Without this licence, doing so could result in penalties.

    Professional credibility – Holding a chauffeur licence UK or equivalent demonstrates that the driver has successfully undergone thorough background checks and assessments.

    Work with reputable companies – All reputable companies hiring executive drivers require drivers to hold a PCO licence or equivalent. Obtaining a licence opens doors to exciting employment opportunities.

    Customer trust and safety – The licencing system provides peace of mind for customers, who are more likely to feel safe if they know the driver has undergone rigorous checks to obtain a private hire driver’s licence.

    Enhanced knowledge and skills – Many local councils require individuals to complete at least one training session to obtain a chauffeur licence UK. These sessions enhance the individual’s knowledge and skills in critical areas like local knowledge, safeguarding, and customer service.

    Access to insurance – To get private hire insurance, you will first need a private hire licence. This type of insurance provides comprehensive coverage for both the driver and passengers.

    Access to bus lanes – In some areas, licensed private hire vehicles are permitted to use bus lanes, reducing travel time and increasing efficiency.