So you’re thinking of becoming a taxi driver? Whether you’re hoping to drive a public or private hire vehicle, it’s a great job for the right person, putting you in the driving seat of your own career – quite literally. Read on for our top 10 plus points of cab driving.
This is a big win for many drivers: the chance to abandon the nine-to-five.
If you have kids to drop off at school or you need to keep yourself ticking over while taking a college course, then taxi driving could be for you.
It’s possible to work part-time or take on extra hours – whatever suits your lifestyle and aspirations.
However, it’s not totally flexible. Some hours are busier than others. If you only want to work weekday afternoons, say, you could be sitting idle for a long time. And if you’re self-employed, no passengers equals no money.
If you’re a night owl on the other hand, and you don’t mind working weekends, then minicab driving could be a very lucrative career choice indeed.
If you like the idea of being your own boss, you can set yourself up as a ‘sole trader’ taxi driver.
That means you are self-employed, working the hours you want and keeping your fares for yourself, with no manager breathing down your neck. It’s the way that most taxi drivers operate.
A word of caution: if you’re self-employed, you won’t get sick pay, holiday pay or employer’s pension contributions, so you’ll need to budget carefully.
And get yourself some excellent specialist taxi insurance. Your cab is your livelihood after all so you want it to be well protected.
According to the National Careers Service, an experienced taxi driver working around 40 hours a week might expect to make around £30,000 per year.
As a one-person business, it’s largely down to you. If you’re prepared to put in the hours and work at anti-social times, your profits could soar.
Of course, set-up costs are quite high if you’re self-employed as you’ll need to buy or lease your vehicle, and pay for licences, petrol, maintenance and taxi insurance.
Remember: you can claim many of these costs back against tax, giving you a nice boost to your profits.
Setting up as a taxi driver is one of the easiest routes to a £30,000+ a year job. Although there are nationally recognised qualifications, these aren’t essential.
Of course, there are a few boxes you need to tick before hitting the road.
You must have had a full driving licence for a year. Most firms expect you to provide your own vehicle, too.
Then you need to apply to your local authority for a driver’s licence, a vehicle licence, and, if you’re self-employed, an operator’s licence, too. Depending on your local authority and the type of cab you wish to drive – public or private hire – there may be tests and checks you need to pass.
But it won’t be long before you’re in gear and ready to go.
If you’re never happier than behind the wheel, then taxi driving could be the career that makes your heart sing.
Picture it: driving around your home city or beautiful countryside in your comfy cab, your favourite tunes playing, enjoying chats with your passengers.
It’s not always plain driving, though. No matter how safe a driver you are, it’s essential that you protect against prangs and accidents. Get yourself some great specialist taxi insurance before you set off.
You can use your cab for personal use, too – just make sure you’ve got the right cover.
Hate offices? Dread the idea of the same old, same old? For a taxi driver, no two days are ever the same.
While other careers would see you staring at the same screen each day, as a taxi driver you’re out and about meeting new people. The airport in the morning, the hospital in the afternoon, perhaps. Or taking night-time revellers home to all corners of the city.
Who knows what places and people you might discover!
Love a good chat? You’ll have all sorts of passengers in your cab, and most will be happy for conversation. It’s a great way to learn about other walks of life – and perhaps even meet a celebrity or two!
Of course, the opposite is true too. As a taxi driver, you’ll need to be adept at defusing tense situations and dealing with drunk or otherwise troublesome customers.
Best of all, you get to help people.
Whether you’re giving someone a lift home from the airport after a tiring journey, or helping someone who uses a wheelchair into your cab, most passengers will be grateful for your service.
Not only does that mean a warm glow inside, it might mean tips, too!
What about further down the road? Once you’re ready to put the brakes on your taxi-driving career, you’ll find other opportunities could open up for you.
Many taxi drivers go on to set up their own firms, running a fleet of cabs. Others move into cab office jobs, becoming dispatchers. Still others might build on their technical skills to become mechanics.
It’s a busy industry with lots of openings – there’s bound to be a space for you.
Your time in the driving seat will teach you transferable business and people skills. And that could put you on the road to success in business – or even showbusiness! Actor Danny Glover, playwright David Mamet and comedian Larry David have all done stints as cabbies. Who knows what your next move might be?
Whatever your reasons for becoming a taxi driver, you’ll need to make sure you’re covered in case anything goes wrong.
The Taxi Insurer finds taxi insurance quotes from different providers for you, whether you’re looking for individual or fleet cover.
We work with a panel of insurers who can provide policies which match your needs and budget. Just provide us with a few basic details, and we’ll do the searching for you.
Get in contact today for your quick quote.