Would your drivers know what to do if their taxi broke down on the motorway? Are they maintaining your cabs as well as they should be? Here’s a quick guide to avoiding breakdowns and what to do if it happens to you.
A taxi breakdown could really put the brakes on your business. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of breakdowns, how to prevent them and how to keep everyone safe if the worst does happen.
Whether out on a job or back at home, you can never know exactly when your taxi could develop a problem. But finding the right insurance for taxis is one of the best ways to protect yourself against the financial fallout of such an event.
Many thousands of vehicles break down on the UK’s roads every year, but what are the most common causes of taxi breakdowns? Let’s take a look at some of the most likely reasons for a taxi to be put out of action.
Whether a failed starter motor, lack of engine oil or lack of coolant, there can be a range of engine problems that could bring your journey to a sudden halt.
Dead batteries are a common cause of vehicle breakdowns, particularly during colder weather. An old battery that needs replacing, leaving the taxi unused for a while, faulty components, a problem with the charging system or leaving the lights on when the engine’s off could all cause a battery to fail.
Flat tyres, failing valves and tyre blowouts are just some of the tyre-related problems you could experience during a working week. Checking the condition of your tyres and wheels is easy to do and should be performed regularly.
Fuel system problems, such as clogged fuel filters, can cause a vehicle to break down. But so can filling up with the wrong type of fuel or simply running out of fuel completely – both very embarrassing problems for a professional driver to suffer from!
The electrical system in your taxi is responsible for a wide range of important features including headlights and onboard navigation systems. Big problems such as a dead alternator or flat battery can cause a breakdown but so can faulty wiring, blown fuses, and general wear and tear.
Closely related to the electrical system, if the alternator isn’t working then the battery can’t be charged up by the engine, and you’ll eventually find the car won’t start. Hopefully, not far from help!
Stay alert to a sudden rise in engine temperature and the ignition warning light coming on - this means the alternator belt could have broken and needs fixing urgently.
There are few more important systems to keep well maintained than the brakes. Worn-out brake pads or brake fluid leaks can affect braking and could put your taxi off the road.
Particularly if you’re sitting in heavy traffic during a hot spell, overheating can occur when the engine gets too hot and can cause the engine to fail. Keep an eye on your coolant levels and top up regularly.
Transmission problems, such as a slipping clutch, broken clutch cable or worn gears, can all lead to a call out from your breakdown service.
Hopefully you’ll keep a spare key at home or at your taxi office. But if you’re far from base and you lose your key or it develops a problem then this could cause problems.
Cover for your keys could be a handy extra to add to any insurance for taxis. Speak to the team at the Taxi Insurer if this is something you’re interested in.
While insurance for taxis will provide you with a high level of cover as standard, there will always be a range of options you can add to your policy to create bespoke cover. For example, breakdown cover could get your drivers out of trouble and get passengers back on their way as soon as possible.
If you park your taxi close to home then it could be wise to go for home start recovery, too.
As a professional driver, the last thing you want is for your taxi to be out of action. Any down-time could mean a drop in profits and a dent in your business reputation.
Follow our seven handy hints for maintaining your taxi and avoid getting into a sticky situation. It’s worth doing this in addition to any weekly car safety check that you’re already performing.
Keeping on top of business matters like cab maintenance and insurance for taxis is a great way to help you hold on to more of your hard-earned cash. Speak to the team at the Taxi Insurer to discuss your requirements today.
Most taxi drivers will have to deal with a vehicle breakdown at least once in their career. Stay safe and secure by following these simple steps.
A breakdown while passengers are in your cab can be potentially damaging to your taxi business reputation, even if the breakdown is not your fault. See below for further suggestions on dealing with passengers during a breakdown.
Dealing with unexpected situations is a big part of a taxi driver’s working life, especially when you're on the road. But one of the most dangerous places to experience a breakdown is on a motorway.
In this situation, it's vital to remain calm and take appropriate action to ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers. National Highways advises taxi drivers to do the following if they break down on a motorway.
National Highways also says that if you or your passengers are unable to exit the vehicle and get to a safe place, have stopped in a live traffic lane or feel you’re in danger, then stay in your vehicle with your seatbelts and hazard lights on and call 999 immediately.
A motorway can be one of the worst places to break down as a taxi driver. So, adding public liability cover is a good idea as it will protect you against any claims brought by members of the public who have suffered injury or property damage as a result of dealings with your business.
This is particularly important for incidents that happen outside your vehicle that are not covered by standard insurance for taxis.
As a professional taxi driver, you’re expected to provide a safe and reliable service to all your passengers. That’s why reading our article on how to ensure your passengers have a safe journey is so important.
If your cab does unexpectedly stop, help your passengers by doing the following:
If you’re wondering what to do if you break down in a minibus then read this helpful article from the team at the Taxi Insurer. It tells you everything you need to know from pre-departure checks to a six-point guide on what to do if you do break down.
Another element worth adding to insurance for taxis is legal protection. If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver that’s not your fault then this could really get you out of a jam.
It can even cover legal fees incurred if you’re ever prosecuted for something arising from your work as a taxi driver. You never know when you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law and this additional cover could really help you financially.
We always recommend that taxi drivers carry a basic set of emergency supplies in case of breakdowns or other emergencies.
Which of these is missing from your cab?
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Depending on the area in which you work or the passengers you tend to carry, you might need to add a few more things.
It’s important to note that while having these items on hand can be helpful in emergency situations, they do not replace the need to seek help and assistance from emergency services if needed.
Taxi drivers should always take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers in the event of a breakdown or other emergency.
Staying safe on the road is a full-time job for any taxi driver, but no matter how careful you are, accidents and mishaps can still happen. Arranging the right insurance for taxis is a vital element of risk management for your business.
So, what cover benefits can you expect when you come to a specialist like the Taxi Insurer? With access to a panel of leading UK insurers, benefits of policies arranged through us can include:
Get insurance for taxis arranged the easy way. Call our friendly team for a quote today.