If you own a taxi company, your fleet is your bread and butter so maintaining optimum vehicle health is an absolute must. Introducing a weekly car safety check, fleet-wide, helps keep your drivers and customers safe, protecting your investment and your reputation in the community.

Flagging problems in their early stages saves you time and money, reducing the chance of legal headaches should an accident occur involving one of your vehicles.

Setting a safety-conscious tone from day one helps form a positive business culture, letting your drivers know that they are obliged to take vehicle roadworthiness as seriously as you do.

Of course, you can stay on top of fleet maintenance and still run into issues. Your drivers and cabs are out on the road all day, every day, facing increased exposure to risks such as road traffic accidents and theft.

The Taxi Insurer understands that your vehicles are your investment – one that deserves dependable protection. We offer bespoke taxi fleet insurance, tailored to your needs, business and budget.

We’ve got a wealth of experience in the taxi industry, so we know a thing or two about first-rate fleet safety.

Take a look at our tips on performing thorough and efficient weekly car safety checks – you won’t regret it.


How do I set up a weekly car safety check?

A person putting their seat belt on in the drivers seat

If you want to maintain consistent fleet safety standards, vague safety warnings won’t cut the mustard. You’ll need to consider the type of system you’ll use and provide clear training, making sure every driver understands what’s required of them.


Setting up your safety check system

Once you’ve decided upon your safety checklist, you’ll need to get several copies printed. You could provide them to drivers in note-book form, or, if you prefer, create a digital form that requires online completion.

A 15-point checklist gives you enough scope to cover all bases:

15-point car safety checklist

  1. Brakes: check that both the hand and foot brakes are working correctly.
  2. Fuel/water/oil: ensure that fuel levels are adequate and top up water/oil levels if necessary.
  3. Steering and suspension: check that the vehicle is handling roads smoothly and safely, listening out for any unusual noises.
  4. Tyre pressure: measure this and confirm it meets the required level set by the vehicle manufacturer.
  5. Tyre health: check the tyre tread is significantly higher than the legal level of 1.6mm, and look for any tears or bumps in the rubber, along with any debris that may have become wedged in the grooves. Check out our new blog on what taxi drivers should know with new tyre safety labelling.
  6. Wheels: give them a close visual inspection, watching for any nuts or studs that have loosened or fallen out.
  7. Lights: test all of the cab’s lights, not forgetting the hazard lights, noting any issues.
  8. Horn: give it a beep to test it out.
  9. Mirrors: inspect all of the driver’s mirrors, looking for any cracks or damage.
  10. Seats/seatbelts: test every seatbelt, making sure it’s in good working condition, and check all seat mechanisms are operating correctly.
  11. Windscreen, wipers and washers: look for any chips and cracks on the front and rear windscreens, test the wipers, then check the washers are working and filled.
  12. Plates/stickers: verify the validity of both.
  13. Paintwork and bodywork: carry out a thorough visual inspection, looking for scratches, dents and chips.
  14. First aid supplies: confirm the first aid kit is fully stocked and up to date.
  15. Cleanliness: clean the vehicle’s exterior and interior, making sure the dashboard, lights, windows, windscreens, plates and mirrors are clean. Hoover the seats and floor, remove any litter and target unpleasant odours.

A person using a tool to check the tread depth of their tyre

If possible, ask your drivers to run through and complete the checklist daily, filing them at the end of each week. Make sure any serious or potentially dangerous issues are flagged and dealt with as soon as possible – chipped paintwork can wait, but faulty brakes cannot.

A mandatory fleet-wide checklist helps to protect your fleet and your drivers and it demonstrates a diligent effort to keep customers and cabs safe. If this is something you adopt in your business, why not talk about it on your website and tell customers how you’re going above and beyond your competitors when it comes to fleet safety.

That being said, a checklist alone doesn’t provide sufficient protection, as accidents can and do happen; you also need to secure reliable taxi fleet insurance, as this will give your fleet an extra layer of security.


Training your drivers

To make sure everyone’s on the same page, run a brief training session. During this you can walk your drivers through the correct methods of checking for and recording safety issues. This should be part of the on-boarding process for new recruits, too.

A training session will also be a useful way of picking up on any flaws in your safety check system. For example, some drivers may be confused by your wording or feel uncertain about how to fill out the form, whether it’s on or offline; the training session makes sure everyone understands the procedures.

Likewise, if you own a mixed fleet, you may find that the checklist needs to be altered or expanded for drivers operating specialised cabs. Vehicles used to transport larger groups, for example, may require extra checks.

A training session also enables you to introduce the safety checklist to your drivers in a positive manner. Your fleet drivers are your team, so make sure they feel heard, discussing questions and ideas.

It’s an ideal time to reach a consensus regarding rules. Agreeing upon sanctions for those who don’t fill out the checklist lessens the chance of negative dynamics further down the line. Offering rewards for those who do comply helps to motivate everyone and keep morale high, fleet-wide.

A taxi rank in London

Protecting your cabs with taxi fleet insurance

If you want to build your fleet’s reputation as a reliable, safety-conscious cab company, introducing a thorough safety checklist is a great place to start.

Maintaining roadworthy vehicles handled by safety-conscious drivers reduces the chance of collisions and breakdowns, however, it’s impossible to rule out every scenario.

The stats say it all: a total of 160,597 casualties occurred due to road traffic accidents in 2018 alone, while 115,777 vehicles were stolen between June 2018 – June 2019.

The Taxi Insurer provides specialist taxi fleet insurance, designed to fit around your budget and business needs.

Protect your investment – get a quote today.