passengers in a taxi

Habib talks about his job, and how he became a self-employed taxi driver. Practise your listening skills and learn some useful English words and phrases.


Task 1 - listening

Task 2 - making questions

Task 3 - legal requirements for taxi drivers

According to Habib, you must have:

  • a clean driving licence
  • three years’ driving experience
  • a taxi with 4 or 5 doors
  • a car that is less than 5 years old

What other requirements do you think there are for taxi drivers?

In the activity below, other possible requirements have been added. Decide which are requirements and which are not.

After the activity, click here to check the current requirements on a UK government website, Directgov.

Task 4 - collocations

Let’s practise some of the vocabulary we have come across in this section. Try the activity below, which focuses on words that often go together (collocations).


Trudie: In Afghanistan you didn’t do the same job, you had a spare parts shop, yeah. Did they have many taxi drivers in Afghanistan?

Habib: Yes, there is a lot.

Trudie: So the same kind of thing in Afghanistan?

Habib: Well it’s not, it’s different. Afghanistan has taxi driving in the family.

Trudie: OK, yeah. How long have you been a self-employed taxi driver in the UK?

Habib: In the UK it’s almost, eh, 6 years now.

Trudie: And what made you want to become a self-employed taxi driver?

Habib: Just because of my children and family, you know.

Trudie: Ah, a lot of self-employed people say this. You can work around your…

Habib: Exactly, so all hours, you know, when you want to go, when you come back home as well. You’ve got enough time for your kids as well.

Trudie: Because it’s very important, isn’t it?

Habib: Yeah.

Trudie: Now, did you receive any advice or help before becoming a self-employed taxi driver in the UK?

Habib: To be honest, no.

Trudie: So you just found out yourself?

Habib: Yes.

Trudie: OK, so what do you need to become a self-employed taxi driver?

Habib: Well you need a clean licence, I mean driving licence. Licence is at least 3 years old.

Trudie: Ah, so it has to be 3 years old, 3 years’ experience?

Habib: Yeah.

Trudie: And do you have to have a licence that was taken in the UK?

Habib: That’s right, yeah.

Trudie: Did you have a licence in Afghanistan as well?

Habib: I have a licence in Afghanistan, yeah.

Trudie: Ah, so you have to do it again here?

Habib: I have to do it again in London as well.

Trudie: Did you pass first time?

Habib: Yes, first time I passed,

Trudie: So you have to have a clean driving licence, it has to be 3 years old. Do you have your own car?

Habib: Yeah, I do.

Trudie: Does it have to be a special car? Can any car be OK?

Habib: Well, till now it was OK, but (after) this year they’re going to change it, the car must be not old more than 5 years and it must be 5 doors.

Trudie: 5 doors? So that’s 2 at the front, 2 at the back

Habib: It must be 4 or 5 doors or 7-seater. I mean, not to be 2 doors.

Trudie: Yeah, I’m with you. I suppose that’s for safety, isn’t it?

Habib: That’s the thing.


For more information about the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) assessment for taxis, look at the Government’s Business Link website.

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