Appearances are everything in the taxi trade. No discerning passenger wants to be transported in a cab that is dirty, so it’s crucial that you keep your vehicle fresh and clean, inside and out.
It’s not just for your passengers’ benefit to maintain a hygienic taxi – it’s your office every day and nobody wants to work in an unclean environment.
In this article, we’ll highlight the best products on the market for keeping your cab spick and span, how often you should be getting the pressure washer out, plus when you should charge passengers for making a mess in the back of your vehicle.
Keeping your car clean is just the start of a regular maintenance routine for your taxi so you can drive around safe in the knowledge that you have a clean, safe, working vehicle. To give you added protection when you’re out on the road, get a quote for taxi insurance, too.
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. Ultimately it depends on how much dirt you’ve managed to accumulate. But most taxi drivers will need to give their cab a thorough clean – both its interior and exterior – once a week.
It’s probably the last thing you want to do on your day off, but it’s much more cost effective to clean your vehicle yourself each week rather than pay to have somebody do it for you.
That’s not to say you should never use a car cleaning service, but perhaps save it for when you really need it, on weeks when you’ve put hundreds of miles in.
Before stepping into the driver’s seat every day, check the back seat for any rubbish and crumbs, clearing it up accordingly.
You can probably get away with your car’s exterior being a little dirty from time to time, but people won’t accept the interior of the car being untidy. And nor should they.
Sometimes your passengers will create a mess in the back of your cab – often these are accidental and it’s up to the driver’s discretion as to whether to charge them a cleaning fee.
If you work for a taxi firm, they may have their own policies on when to issue a cleaning fee.
But it’s often a contentious issue, with some cases making the news and causing something of a furore.
While not many people would dispute a cleaning fee for vomiting in a taxi, some instances of passenger mess are less cut and dry.
TaxiPoint recently reported that a passenger was charged an £80 cleaning fee for spilling a packet of Skittles on the floor of her Uber taxi.
In another case, a passenger was charged £25 penalty by the ride-hailing app for dropping a chip on the floor of their ride.
These are our tips on how to systematically clean your vehicle’s interior including some of the best products on the market to make the job that bit easier so that you don’t have to use too much elbow grease.
First thing to do is to get rid of any dry litter than can be picked up by hand – those chocolate bar wrappers and crisp packets that are left in the haste to get out your taxi.
Remember to recycle any plastic packaging!
Car mats are designed to be trampled all over so are guaranteed to collect mud and dust from passengers’ shoes.
Usually they’ll just need to be banged out and given a once over with a vacuum cleaner, but if you come across a stubborn stain Turtle Wax Power Out Car Interior Carpet, Mat Cleaner & Stain Odour Remover with Brush is a sure get it out.
Close off all the air vents.
Turn the ignition on, turn the heater blower up to full speed and open the vents, one at a time. This will blast dust out of the system.
Once done, give it 10 minutes for everything to settle then start vacuuming up the dirt that’s been dislodged.
Now you can start dusting.
Rather than using household polish, which isn’t designed for the plastic and leather used in modern cars, pick up some CarPlan Demon Clean, which has a pleasant citrus scent.
Getting the seats spotless is probably the most important part of the interior clean.
Once you’ve gone over them with the vacuum cleaner, you should apply some product to get rid of any marks and stains.
If the seats are fabric, use a bespoke fabric cleaner like this one from Halfords.
If you’ve got leather, use a bespoke leather cleaner such as Autoglym Car Leather Cleaner.
To finish off, use a car glass cleaning product for windows.
These will help you get rid of the build-up of grease inside and repel water outside, which they do by causing droplets to bead and blow away.
Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner for Window, Windscreen and Mirrors is regarded by many to be the best that money can buy.
Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your vehicle’s interior, it’s time to move onto the exterior.
Now, we’re not going to tell you step-by-step how to clean the paintwork because no doubt you’ve done it countless times before.
However, we’ll flag-up a few products that will enable you to make light work of the rinse and shine – because time is money as a taxi driver.
The wheels are often the hardest part of a car to clean – but not with Meguiar’s Ultimate Wheel Cleaner.
Just spray your alloys and let the product do its magic as you move on to the rest of the car.
With Meguiar’s Ultimate Wheel Cleaner, you’ll notice that the liquid changes colour as it removes iron particles and pollutants from the road, so you can actually see the dirt breaking down!
During the spring and summer months, your taxi will probably end up covered in a layer of deceased bugs, which can be quite stubborn to remove.
Meguiar’s Heavy Duty Bug and Tar Remover will clear them in no time.
This spray helps to break down not only dead bugs, but also other sticky, difficult to remove substances like tree sap and tar.
Don’t be tempted to use washing up liquid or household detergent to wash your car, as it either won’t be as effective, or could end up damaging your paintwork if it’s too powerful.
Instead, go for a car shampoo, such as Turtle Wax Max Power Car Shampoo, which will not only remove stubborn dirt, but also leave your car smelling fantastic!
If you’re car proud, you’ll want our taxi insurance. Taxi Insurer finds quotes from insurance providers for you to compare.
You can choose which extras you need and set the right level of cover for your needs and budget.
Why not call our friendly team today and get a quick quote over the phone?