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PCO Vehicle Inspection: A Definitive Guide

For a PHV or PCO licence, your car must pass the PCO vehicle inspection. It is the way you get or renew your PHV and PCO licence to earn through ride-hailing apps. What it is, why it is essential, what are its requirements, and many more - we will discuss all the important factors in this article.

About PCO Vehicle Inspection

Car Inspection is a test that determines if your car is completely safe for driving. The inspection covers everything from safety level to pollution ratio. In the end, you get the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) showing your car’s eligibility for a driving career.

Key Takeaways

  • PCO car inspection is essential to ensure the complete safety of passengers.
  • It ensures your car does not produce too much pollution.
  • The inspection is crucial to get the PCO licence.
  • Taking care of your PCO car can help you pass the inspection without hurdles.

Why Is It Essential to Inspect a PCO Car?

As already discussed, car inspection is mandatory to ensure its good health. It is ultimately beneficial for passengers’ safety. Let’s explore more to understand the importance of vehicle inspection!

Compliance & Safety 

During PCO vehicle inspection, inspectors ensure everything is in its place and in good condition. The inspection covers all the components, including brakes, lights, tyres, and gas emissions.  

Aligns the TfL Rules 

Inspection ensures that your car meets TfL criteria for CO2 and other emissions. There are some fixed ratios that you must follow to keep your vehicle rolling on the road.    

Zero Penalties 

Ignoring inspection can push you to bear unexpected expenses when applying for a PCO or PHV licence. You can even lose your licence if you do not have a valid VIR. So, inspection keeps you away from many penalties.   

Easy Licence Renewal 

Whether applying for a new licence or simply renewing it, you require a PCO vehicle check report for both. Thus, the inspection also helps you to get a driving licence without hassle. 

What are the TfL Requirements for PCO Vehicle?

TfL requirements change from time-to-time. You must keep checking these requirements to keep your car moving on the road. TfL proposed a new requirement for car emissions, followed from 1 January 2023.  

  • The PCO car should be of the new model.
  • It should not be older than 10 years.
  • The car must be Zero Emission Capable (ZEC).
  • It must follow Euro 6 emission standards.

The other PCO vehicle requirements include:

  • The car should be neat and clean
  • Every part should be in good condition.
  • The vehicle should be perfect in shape.
  • All the parts should function properly.  

How to Apply for PCO Vehicle Inspection

Booking a car inspection does not take much time. You only need to book an inspection on the website of TfL. Also, you can call the TfL team at 0343 222 5555 to book a car inspection. Date, time, and location- all is your choice. You can also change these schedules even after booking an inspection.

Did You Know: Simple Self Drive takes care of car inspections, enabling you to focus on driving without getting puzzled by other matters.

Documents Required for PCO Car Inspection in London

Make sure you have the following documents when you reach the PCO inspection centre. All must be valid and ready to go.

  1. Existing PHV licence & discs (Disc is required for renewal only)
  2. V5c DVLA Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC)
  3. Hire & reward insurance papers
  4. MOT certificate (issued within the last 14 days)
  5. Car modification document (If any)
  6. Voluntary Individual Vehicle Approval (VIVA) (required for personal imports and left-handy drivers)
  7. Conformity certificate (If applicable)

Insider Info: All Simple Self Drive cars are PHV licenced. You only need to sign up to start your driving career.

When do I Need a PCO Car Inspection?

Every time you apply for your licence renewal, you will pass through a PCO inspection. If you are outside London, the local council of that country will answer this question.

How to Pass the PCO Inspection?

Getting ready for car inspection is essential to avoid any issues during the processing. You can see the TfL checklist for this purpose. Briefly, check the brakes, lights, tyres, seatbelt, and mirror. Also, ensure that you have all the documents in your file. Inspection from your side can help you pass the car health check test easily.

What If I Failed the PCO Car Inspection?

Firstly, you must give 100% to pass the inspection on the first attempt. Do not worry if you fail due to any reason. You can retake the inspection time within the next 21 days. A time extension is acceptable in case of car repair.

Hidden Fact: 85% of cars do not pass the inspection on the first attempt. It is only due to a driver’s incomplete homework.

Therefore, your focus should be on passing the test on the first attempt. It is crucial so you do not have to bear the inspection charges again.

How Much Does It Cost to Inspect a PCO Car? 

It is essential to renew the PCO licence after it expires (3 years validity). Every time of licence renewal, you need a car inspection, which costs around £140. If you use your car for passenger transport, you will renew your licence annually, bearing the inspection cost yearly. 

Simple Self Drive- London’s Leading PCO Car Rental 

Need a fully inspected and road-ready PCO-licenced car to drive with a ride-hailing platform in London? Go with Simple Self Drive where you can enhance your driving efficiency with simple processing. We aim to make the PCO hiring process hassle-free for our customers. Our dedicated customer support with 20+ years of experience ensures you get 24/7 roadside assistance, so you don’t feel alone when need someone’s support.

Uber-ready, fully insured, well-serviced newer cars, are available at flexible plans.  Share your requirements, collect the car, and drive off on the same day! 

Rent a Fully Insured PCO Car & Start Earning Right Away!  

Experience the hassle-free on-demand driving with Simple Self Drive! Rely on our expert team for 24/7 dedicated support, providing tailored solutions every step of the way! 


PCO car inspection is crucial to get a legal permit for driving. Inspection ensures that your car is completely safe and well-conditioned to get on the road and accompany passengers.     

Some benefits of PCO car inspection include:  

  • Compliance & Safety    
  • Aligns the TfL Rules      
  • Zero Penalties     
  • Easy Licence Renewal   

TfL accepts Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) vehicles. According to PHV ZEC standards,  

  • Your car must not emit more than 50g/km CO2  
  • It must not produce any exhaust emission within the initial 10 miles  

You have an alternative option too. Your car is good to drive if it emits < 75g/km CO2 without producing anything within a range of 20 miles.  

Note: In the case of an internal combustion engine, your car must fulfil the Euro 6 emission standards.

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