Working with Bolt is a great way to get into the taxi driving game, or to earn a bit of extra cash on top of your usual driving work. Here’s a quick guide on how to get started and the things you’ll need, like taxi cab insurance.


From what type of licences and taxi cab insurance cover you need to how to get registered with the ride hailing app, this article contains lots of need-to-know information. Be sure to also read our other helpful guides including 18 actionable steps to become a UK taxi driver right now or our blog on whether Uber or Bolt is better for you.


Just like finding the right taxi cab insurance cover, there’s no better place to begin the next stage in your driving journey than here at Taxi Insurer.


What is Bolt and where does it operate?


Arriving in the UK in 2019, Estonian-based Bolt claims to charge its drivers the lowest commission fees in the UK (between 10% and 20%) and provide the best driver treatment.


It currently covers 18 cities across the UK including Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Peterborough, Sheffield, Southampton and Wolverhampton.


According to Bolt, the top 20% of highest earning Bolt drivers can earn up to £1,100 per week in London. While Bolt drivers in other cities could earn up to £800 or even £1,000 per week.


What do you need to become a Bolt driver in the UK?


Getting started with Bolt in any of these cities is pretty straightforward. And if you’ve previously signed up with ride hailing apps like Uber and have all the necessary documents to hand, then it’s really very easy.


Before registering with Bolt, you’ll need to check whether your vehicle meets the following requirements:  


  • No commercial branding.
  • Must have 4 doors.
  • Minimum 5 seats (including driver).
  • Excellent working condition, with no cosmetic damage.
  • In many licensing areas there will be a maximum age for vehicles. For example, in Manchester the maximum vehicle age is 7 years, while in Bristol it’s 12 years. You’ll need to check the exact vehicle requirements with your local council.
  • Some areas may also set Private Hire Vehicle emission requirements.


You’ll also need the following vehicle documents:


  • Private Hire vehicle licence.
  • Taxi cab insurance certificate.
  • MOT test certificate issued within the last 6 months.
  • V5C logbook.


You’ll also need the following driver documents:


  • DVLA driving licence.
  • DVLA check code.
  • Private hire driver licence.
  • PCO driver badge.
  • UK bank account statement showing account number and sort code.
  • Profile picture that meets Bolt’s requirements.


Different cities may have slightly different requirements, so check this Bolt help page for details on the specific documents needed for your area.


Wherever you’re operating, you’ll need specialist taxi cab insurance. Call the Taxi Insurer team for a quote today.


3 easy steps to begin earning with Bolt


When you’ve got all the appropriate documents, you can then begin the process of working with Bolt. It’s really very straightforward, just follow these three simple steps.


Step 1: Register with Bolt


Contact details

Go to the Bolt driver signup page and enter your contact details including email address and phone number (make sure they are correct to prevent delays in the processing of your application).


Choose your licensing authority from the drop-down list. If you have multiple cars and drivers, go to the Bolt fleet signup page instead.


Personal information and car details

Fill in your personal information and car details including vehicle make, year of manufacture, registration and colour. Be aware that passengers will only see your first name and car details during the booking.


Enter legal and licensing details


Your National Insurance, UK driving licence numbers and birth date. If you don’t yet have a valid PHV licence then click the box and you can upload it later in the process.


Upload all documents


You can take a photo of your documents with your phone or upload the documents in PDF format. Do not upload blurry, unreadable, cropped or expired documents as this will delay your application.


If you’re unsure about the picture quality then you can retake a picture as many times as you want.


Add payment details


You must enter a valid current account in your name. Click finish to complete your online registration. All your documents will be reviewed by the Bolt team, who may contact you to book an appointment at a Bolt driver hub.


Step 2: Download the Bolt Driver app


As soon as your profile is activated, you’ll want to download the Bolt Driver app to your phone. The Bolt Driver app is available on phones running iOS and Android.


Once the app is downloaded, log into the Bolt Driver app with your username and password. You will have received your login details via email once your Bolt driver application is approved.


Using the app is very intuitive. Here’s how:


  • Swipe right to go online with the app and set your driving radius using the map. This is for the location of pickups; it does not include the drop-off location.
  • When you receive a trip request, you will instantly see the fare, category, pickup location, and destination. Swipe right to confirm the request.
  • When you reach the pickup location, swipe right to tell the passenger you’ve arrived.
  • When you reach the destination location, swipe right to end the trip.


Step 3: Get paid


Fare payments are made via the Bolt app and you’ll get paid once a week. You’ll usually receive your payment plus any bonuses during the first half of the week.


Depending on your bank you should receive the money in your account within one to two working days.


Bolt drivers need specialist taxi or PHV insurance


a row of black taxi's


The Taxi Insurer team has access to a panel of leading UK insurers, helping you find the right cover for your business.


You can pay for your car, minibus or MPV cover in instalments, helping you manage your insurance more easily alongside your other expenses.


Give the Taxi Insurer team a call today to arrange a quick quote for taxi cab insurance.