Wealden District Council

Knowledge Test

Guidance for Applicants

In order to offer a safe and efficient service to members of the public it is important that dual drivers have a good working knowledge of the area in which they work. Because of this all new applicants who are seen by a Licensing Officer for a Dual Driver's licence are required to pass a local knowledge test before their licence can be granted. The cost of the test is included in the application fee. However should you be unsuccessful on the first attempt an administration fee of £50 will be charged for the second test and £70 for subsequent tests.

You should read the information on this page carefully to help you pass the test. You must also read our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Handbook (pdf)

What the Test Involves

The knowledge test is computer based and comprises of 34 questions in 5 categories with multiple choice answers. Applicants must achieve the pass mark in each category to pass the test.

Questions will be asked on the following:

  • Local knowledge of Wealden District (10 questions with a 60% pass mark)
  • Traffic law as it applies to licensed drivers and vehicles (8 questions with a 75% pass mark)
  • Wealden District Council license conditions (8 questions with a 75% pass mark)
  • Traffic signs from the Highway Code (2 questions with a 50% pass mark)
  •  Vehicle maintenance and best practice (6 questions with a 66.6% pass mark)

When taking the test you will be required to demonstrate a good level of local knowledge which will include being able to identify the locations of certain key buildings or premises in Wealden District such as pubs, bars, schools, train stations, golf clubs, village halls, supermarkets and business parks etc. In addition, you may also be asked to answer questions on a few key locations outside of the district such as airports or amusement parks and famous buildings. Examples of the type of questions you could be asked are given later on this page.

You will be given the Wealden Knowledge Test Guidance (pdf) for new applicants and a guide to Wealden District Council's standard conditions and attached appendices under which driver and vehicle licences are issued, and some information on the law relating to private hire and hackney carriage licensing. You should study this information carefully before your test.

Frequently asked questions

I want to drive a private hire vehicle not a taxi. Why do I need to have local knowledge of Wealden District?

Practically because as the Council only issues dual driver licences this allows licence holders to drive Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles.

It could be argued that Private Hire jobs are booked in advance so routes can be studied on a map by the driver or simply given to him by the operator before the customer is collected.

The Local Authority recognises that Private Hire drivers do not need to have as much in-depth knowledge of the area as taxi drivers. But, as a driver, you are required to collect passengers on time (unless of course you may be delayed because of a road accident or major traffic congestion etc.)

On a busy night, you will not be on time for all your pick ups if you have to keep stopping in between jobs to look at a map.

It is far quicker and less stressful for both you and your Operator if you obtain some local knowledge of the area before you start work. In theory, jobs booked in advance with specified locations should be easy enough to carry out but in reality this is not always the case. Passengers often change their minds about routes or ask for extra drop offs.

Sometimes these passengers are not in a position to describe to you the exact route to take to that additional drop off point. Again, you would have to study your map causing even more delay, all in addition to the extra time it will take you to make the already extended journey.

Why do I need to answer questions on the Highway Code when I have already done this to obtain my DVLA driving licence?

Whilst the Local Authority does not believe there is a need for you to be tested to a great depth on matters relating to the Highway Code, it does recognise that over time it is easy to forget some of the rules of the road. The Authority's overriding concern is for the safety of the public. Because of this there will be questions regarding the Highway Code contained in the knowledge test to serve as a refresher for applicants. We advise that you therefore re-familiarise the Highway Code before sitting the knowledge test.

What types of questions are asked in the test?

As shown above there are five categories of questions and within each category questions are chosen at random by the computer.

Here are some examples of questions in each category:

Local knowledge of the Wealden area

This would include locations of premises and key buildings etc. either within, or just outside Wealden District and an example of the type of question you could be asked is:

Q. Where in Wealden is Knockhatch?

A. a)Crowborough, b)Hailsham, c)Heathfield, d)Horam

Traffic law

This would include the law as it relates to road users in general and licensed drivers specifically and an example of the type of question you could be asked is:

Q. Which of these, if any, can park on a taxi rank?

A. a) any licensed taxi, b) any licensed taxi or private hire vehicle, c) Only a taxi licensed by the local licensing authority, d) No vehicles

Wealden District Council licence conditions

This would include the licence conditions applied to licensed drivers, vehicles and operators and an example of the type of question you could be asked is:

Q. What colour is the licence plate fitted to the rear of a Wealden District Council licensed Hackney Carriage Vehicle?

A. a) white, b) yellow, c) red, d) any colour

A full list of Wealden's licence conditions can be found in the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Handbook (pdf)

Traffic signs

You will be shown a traffic sign from the Highway Code and asked to identify it from four possible answers, one of which will be correct.

Vehicle maintenance and best practice

This would include general questions from the Highway Code and DVLA practical test.

Q. What is the primary function of the anti-lock braking system (ABS)?

A. a) Prevents the wheels from locking up to retain steering control, b) Prevents the wheels from locking up so that you can stop more quickly, c) Prevents the wheels from locking up to allow controlled skidding, D) Prevents the wheels from locking to ease wear and tear on your tyres.

General questions on hackney carriage or private hire

This would include more general questions on being a driver and an example of the type of question you could be asked is:

Q. A taxi driver can refuse to take a fare if:

A. a) The journey would take too long, b) The journey is too short, c) the journey would take him/her outside the licensing area, d) the customer has an assistance dog.

Study Tips

We advise that you obtain a good working knowledge of the local area (including key locations inside and outside Wealden District before attempting the knowledge test).

In order to help you study for your test you should consider the following:

Please note we ask that where possible you avoid telephoning local premises in order to obtain their locations.

What do I need to know about taking the Test?

If you have a disability which you think would exclude you from taking the test please contact a Licensing Officer to discuss.

You should bring some form of photographic I.D. with you to the test such as a driving licence or passport.

All the knowledge test questions have multiple choice answers.

During the test you will not be permitted to use any of the following:

  • Mobile phones
  • Study notes
  • Text book
  • Hand held computers
  • Satellite navigation devices
  • Any other devices or notes as deemed unacceptable by the invigilator

Evidence of the use of any of the above will result in your test being cancelled. Ordinarily you will not be permitted to leave the room during the test so please ensure that you have taken any comfort breaks before the test begins.

The Council's decision as to whether you have passed is final.

You will be notified at the end of the test if you have passed or failed. If you fail you can sit the test again.

We recommend a period of at least two weeks must elapse between tests to give you time to study the relevant information again.

You must make your application for a dual drivers licence within one year of passing the knowledge test.

Booking and Arriving for Your Test

To book your test you must telephone 01424 787550. Tests cannot be booked online. Tests will ordinarily be conducted at Council Offices, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, BN27 2AX but you may have to travel to the Town Hall, Bexhill on Sea - please double check the location of your test. You must bring photographic identification with you. If you have any queries regarding the knowledge test please telephone the Licensing Officer.

The cost of the test is included in the application fee. However should you be unsuccessful on the first attempt an administration fee of £50 will be charged for the second test and £70 for subsequent tests.

Further Guidance

You can also find more advice on the Knowledge Test in our Guidance Notes. Download the Wealden Knowledge Test Guidance (pdf)

Contact Details