Deciding on what cars are most suited to building your taxi fleet is one of the biggest decisions you’re going to have to make as a business owner.

 

There are so many options on the market vying for your attention that you’re going to have to give the question some serious consideration. Depending on your location and type of service you want to provide,  there could be several strong contenders.

 

For example, if your target customers are the lucrative wedding or corporate market then you may want something flashier or roomier than if you’re looking to pick up late-night custom from pubs and clubs.

 

Apart from being the car best suited to your drivers’ and passengers’ needs, it also has a big impact on other outgoings such as vehicle tax, fuel costs and taxi fleet insurance.

 

In this guide to the best new cars to buy for your taxi fleet in 2021, we’ll cover everything you need to consider to narrow your search – from top recommendations for vehicles well suited to taxi work to where to find the right taxi fleet insurance cover.

 

 

What to look for in a new taxi in 2021

 

Whether it’s your first or your fiftieth addition to your taxi fleet, it’s always vital to consider again what you’re looking for in a new taxi. Customer demands change all the time and so do your business needs.

 

Your current vehicles might be ideal for inner city driving, but what if you envisage doing a lot more airport pickups in future? Luggage space might become far more important.

 

With environmental and public health issues at the forefront on people’s minds in 2021 who knows how the market could change?

 

So, what factors should you currently be taking into account? Read on to discover more.

 

A set of keys to a new car

Price

 

As your business expands and you add taxis to your fleet, you always need to keep an eye on the bottom line.

 

Prices for new vehicles appropriate for taxi driving can be high. Indeed, for one straight off the production line you could be looking at a price tag of tens of thousands of pounds. That’s a significant investment so you want to get it right.

 

There are many pros and cons to buying brand new or used vehicles that you’ll need to balance. Used cars will be far cheaper and not suffer anything like the depreciation in value of brand new cars.

 

While a new vehicle will let you choose the specifications you want and should have no issues with reliability. It’s also worth considering whether you plan to lease the car or buy it outright.

 

Financing options can help spread the cost, particularly useful when you’re just starting out and balancing other costs like taxi fleet insurance.

 

 

Reliability

 

A taxi that’s off the road due to maintenance issues is terrible for business – both in terms of repair costs but also missed trade.

 

When researching vehicles to use as a taxi, reliability has to be at the front of your mind. Taxis get far more miles on the clock than regular cars, so it’s important the vehicle can handle it.

 

If there are reviews highlighting issues of reliability on a certain model then look elsewhere.

 

 

Road tax

 

As an experienced driver you’ll be used to paying road tax, but it’s still worth considering when looking for a new taxi.

 

The crucial thing to remember is that road tax is made up of two components – a higher, more complex payment for the first year it’s on the road, and then a lower annual renewal payment.

 

Vehicle tax rates can be complicated and there are many factors taken into account when deciding how much you pay in road tax.

 

Usually, the more powerful your car and the more emissions it produces, the more expensive taxing it is likely to be. But there are key exemptions for electric vehicles and disabled drivers that may apply to some taxis and their drivers.

 

 

Emissions

 

Cutting emissions is a key part of government policy and an important way ride hailing apps and taxi firms are trying to differentiate themselves from the competition.

 

Not only will a lower emitting car cut your road tax bill but it might also get you more business from environmentally conscious passengers.

 

Indeed, if your car emission levels are too high, you might not even be able to operate in the London Low Emission Zone.

 

A twin exhaust tip on a car

Local conditions

 

You might already have a good idea of your local market, but you still need to ask the local authority if your taxi needs to meet any particular specifications.

 

For example, they might have restrictions on engine size or seat widths. These can vary hugely and always need checking beforehand. For example:

 

  • In London, if your taxi vehicle is less than 18 months old it must be zero emissions capable when it’s licensed for the first time.

 

  • In Bristol, owing to small seat measurements the Toyota Auris cannot be used as a taxi. While the Lexus IS300 and the Vauxhall Zafira can only carry up to three and four passengers respectively when used as a taxi.

 

  • In Manchester, all private hire vehicles licensed by the city council have to be either white or silver in colour.

 

If you want to avoid an expensive disappointment then it’s vital to stay aware of these local differences when purchasing any new taxi.

 

Particularly as these requirements can often change. For example, Bristol City Council is currently looking at changing rules on tinted rear windows. 

 

 

Fuel economy

 

The average taxi can drive anywhere between 20,000 to 30,000 miles every year, compared to a normal car which would drive approximately 10,000 miles.

 

In view of this, any taxi fleet business owner will have a significant interest in achieving the very best fuel economy.

 

Whether you’re at the executive end or the cheap and cheerful end of the market, less money spent on fuel means more money in your pocket.

 

In such a competitive market this could make a big difference to the success or failure of your taxi fleet business.

 

 

Comfort

 

A driver on a long taxi shift will come to truly appreciate a bit of comfort - indeed comfortable seating may even stop some common health problems of the job. However, the level of comfort you’re offering to both driver and passengers may also depend on the type of service you’re providing.

 

If you’re looking at the cheaper end of the market then executive-level comfort is probably unnecessary. However, you’ll still need to offer a comfortable ride as inadequate legroom is a sure-fire route to an unhappy customer.

 

 

Luggage space

 

Having a spacious boot to accommodate large luggage will mean you’re able to say yes to a greater selection of fares.

 

If you haven’t got the boot space you’ll be saying goodbye to those oh-so-lucrative airport pick-ups and drop-offs.

 

 

Insurance cost

 

Finding the right taxi fleet insurance at the best price can be tricky if you don’t know where to look.

 

There are 50 car insurance groups in total, with the highest groups usually attracting the highest insurance premiums.

 

Which group your new taxi falls into will be based on its safety features, cost of replacement parts and repairs, and how much it cost when it was new.

 

Speak to the experienced team at Taxi Insurer, we’ll be sure to find you a great deal for your requirements.

 

A model car placed on a pile of coins

Top new cars for taxi fleets in 2021

 

If you’re looking for some recommendations based on the above factors, then here’s a fine selection of vehicles best suited to UK taxi fleets in 2021. There’s a real variety of makes and models here so there should be something to suit any growing taxi service.

 

 

Nissan Leaf

 

The top-selling, fully electric Nissan Leaf is affordable for many budgets and offers low running and maintenance costs. And with a range of 168 miles and boot capacity of 435 litres it’s easy to see why so many are now appearing in taxi fleets. If you’re looking for something that will definitely meet any zero emission standards then look no further than this great car.

 

 

Kia Soul EV

 

Another electric vehicle that’s growing in popularity among taxi firms. If you can look past the high starting price for new vehicles, there’s a lot to recommend it. Excellent fuel economy, zero emissions and a 280-mile range all make this a good option for a new taxi. Although a boot space of 315 litres does let it down somewhat. But just as with the Nissan Leaf there’s no road tax to pay.

 

 

Skoda Octavia

 

The Skoda Octavia scores well with taxi drivers for its spacious seating, 600-litre boot, quiet and very comfortable ride, and relatively low running costs. All very positive points in favour of this family favourite.

 

The rear badge of a Skoda Octavia

 

Skoda Superb

 

Another quality offering from the Czech manufacturer, there's plenty of space here for both passengers and their luggage. It also scores well in terms of comfort, fuel economy and remarkably low emissions for such a large car. The guys over at Top Gear love the latest 2021 model, and you will, too.

 

 

Toyota Prius

 

While it might not be the most beautiful car on the list, the Toyota Prius hybrid took the taxi world by storm when it launched owing to its versatility and reliability. This makes the Prius fuel efficient, energy efficient, and able to hit those all-important low CO2 emission levels. One fault worth considering is that taller passengers may feel a bit cramped in the back.

 

 

Hyundai Ioniq

 

Stylishly designed for both performance and efficiency, the Hyundai Ioniq is a stunning hatchback that offers low running costs. Featuring a distinctive streamlined exterior, the Ioniq has been built to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency and showcase the latest in hybrid technology. It also offers a decent 443 litres of boot space.

 

 

Mercedes E-class

 

Any list of new taxis worth considering would have to include the luxurious Mercedes E-Class. This popular vehicle is rightfully beloved by taxi drivers the world over for its unbeatable levels of comfort. It’s also packed with high-tech features and offers good fuel economy, excellent reliability and plenty of space.

 

 

Audi A4

 

If you want customers to know they’ve chosen a quality taxi company then adding the Audi A4 to your fleet will certainly do that. And the impressive looks of the sleek and stylish executive-level exterior continues into the interior cabin. Your lucky passengers can look forward to travelling in sophisticated comfort with plenty of room. Remember, if you choose desirable makes like Mercedes or Audi, they may be targets for thieves. Protect yourself from the financial fallout of theft with taxi fleet insurance.

 

An Audi A4 key placed on its gear stick

Ford Galaxy

 

The Ford Galaxy is an incredibly versatile vehicle that’s able to meet a whole range of customer needs. While spacious enough to fit seven adults comfortably, if you need more space for luggage the seats can be brought down to create one of the largest boot spaces of any car. From school trips to sports events this is the ideal vehicle for multi-passenger transport. It also provides a quiet ride and good handling at any speed.

 

 

Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle

 

Another MPV model worth considering is the Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle. The Shuttle is all about moving large groups of people around in maximum comfort and style. So it seats up to nine adults with enough room in the back for luggage. It’s built to last while also offering some luxurious features such as a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration, easy loading and remote central locking as standard.

 

 

Get your fleet covered

 

Once you’ve researched all the different options available to you and chosen the perfect new addition to your taxi fleet, it’s time to pick some taxi fleet insurance.

 

Taxi fleet insurance from Taxi Insurer is available for fleets of three or more vehicles. Whether you have a fleet of black cabs, minicabs, minibuses, or a mix of vehicles, it really doesn’t matter! The specialist team at Taxi Insurer can help you find a policy to match all your vehicle needs for the right price.

 

With only one policy to remember to renew each year, you can put all your effort into making your taxi business a success.

 

Give our UK-based call centre a call and get a no-obligation taxi fleet insurance quote today.

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