ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Knowledge

Updated on January 19, 2017

The London Knowledge

So you want to become a taxi driver around the city of London and you want to drive one of those famous black mini cabs as you pick up passengers and take them to their destination. You know how to drive, you have a good sense of direction and there are things called tomtoms so it can't be that difficult can it?

Think again, it takes on average four years to obtain your licence and you will have to take an exam known as the London Knowledge. Some 50,000 applications are received each year to take The Taxi Knowledge and very few proceed past the fist few weeks when they realise what is involved.

You will need to go along to an interview style introduction before you even consider taking it any further and you will almost certainly require the help of a famous blue book, plenty of spare time and a medical check to prove you are fit and healthy.

The Introductory Talk

So you want to become a london black cab driver and you are contemplating if you should send off for an application form. You have heard that you need to attend an introductory talk but you are a little concerned as to what this involves.

The first stage requires you passing both a medical and a character check. Once a person applies to become a London black cab driver they will receive an invitation to attend a presentation conducted by an experienced London Knowledge Examiner. This presentation lasts around an hour. The purpose of this presentation is to provide those attending a broad understanding of what is expected if you proceed with your application to become an All London or Suburban licensed taxi driver.

You will probably be given with a booklet more commonly known as the blue book. This blue book should not be mistaken with the blue book runs that are downloadable or available for purchase online. This particular book suggests a course of measures which an individual should follow in order to learn and have an understanding of The London Knowledge.

You'll be advised on the variation between the All London Knowledge licence and the Suburban one. The examiner giving the talk will also make it clear that one should not only learn the shortest route between starting point A and destination point B, one should also learn and recognise all the points of interest that are along that particular route. A clear understanding of all open spaces, one way systems, side roads along the route, schools, museums, parks and tourist attractions must all be remembered, even prisons.

The Blue Book which be handed out at the meeting contains 320 runs or routes. The book doesn't tell you the best route for that run, it will simply state that you need to get from one destination to another. It is for you to work out which is the quickest route and this is why many people wishing to learn the knowledge turn to downloadable blue books which already contain details of the best route possible. you to work out yourself.

This is why most people turn to downloading a copy of the blue book with the actual best routes possible already detailed. As well as remembering the route, you will be advised how you should also learn the same route in reverse, much of London operates a one way system so the return journey may well be a different one to the journey that got you to your detsination in the first place.

The talker will then detail to you the timescale involved for you to become a London taxi driver. They will inform everyone that they have six 6 months to learn the initial eighty routes and then a further 18 months to learn the rest (240 routes 320 in total). As soon as you have perfected this stage of the examination you can then progress to the written stage. The written part of the examination will not cause a problem to those who have mastered and familiarised themselves with the routes and runs contained in the blue book.

Stages three to five of the exam are often referred to as the appearance stage, they are in effect an oral examination and once again, when you have mastered the blue book the oral part of the exam will not cause you any problems. Finally a few basic do's and don’ts will be explained to you, for example don't knock on a door or enter an office block to find out if you are at the correct place as it might create a complaint.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • kimbles profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The World

      Yes you have to just pick a lane and go with the flow. The worse place I have seen and I was a passenger and don't think I could drive their has to be Rome.

    • freecampingaussie profile image


      8 years ago from Southern Spain

      I have driven in London near Hyde park when I was a nanny there ! Scary !


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)