Taxi Driver

In an age where we’re more on the go than ever before, becoming a taxi driver has the potential to be a highly fruitful business. However, with rising fuel costs, it could seem like a pointless business – you’re earning money in fares, and then spending them all on fuel – but how true is this?

While there are concerns as of late, for those looking to join the business now, knowing the cost of becoming a taxi driver and any ongoing fees or costs to consider could help you better prepare for a new career.

How To Become A Taxi Driver

Becoming a taxi driver isn’t as simple as just hopping in a car and starting to drive people around – in fact, it’s advised that those wanting to join either go through college or apply for the licence directly.

At college, you could take a Level 2 Certificate in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving – Taxi and Private Hire, or a Level 2 Certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver. You will typically need 2 or more GCSEs grades 9 to 3 or A* to D in order to apply for a Level 2 course.

For direct application, you will need to apply for a taxi driver’s licence. 

Taxi Driver Licences

Depending on where you’re looking to operate, the licences you need or where you can apply for them will vary according to the council that you fall under. The government splits it into three main categories – inside London, outside London and in Northern Ireland. 

Inside London, you will need to work with the TFL in order to gain a licence for driving a taxi or private hire vehicle in the Capital. Transport For London (TFL) provides full information about eligibility and ‘character’ requirements on their website, as well as information about Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks, HMRC tax checks and safeguarding awareness. For TFL, you should:

  • Be over 18 when applying and over 21 for licensing
  • Hold a full DVLA, Northern Ireland or EEA driving licence
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Be of ‘good character’
  • Pass a full DBS check
  • Be medically fit, meeting the DVLA Group 2 medical standards
  • Pass a tax check by HMRC
  • Complete an online Safeguarding Awareness course

For obtaining a licence outside of London, the eligibility criteria tends to be very similar, however, it can vary from council to council. You’ll need to contact and apply with the council in which you want to work – usually your local council – in order to obtain a licence. Criteria typically include: 

  • You must be over 18
  • You must be able to work legally in the UK
  • You must have had a full GB or Northern Ireland driving licence for at least 12 months
  • You must be a “fit and proper” person, with character and background checks
  • You may also need a medical examination
  • You may also need a ‘knowledge test’
  • You may also need to take a driving test.

How Much Would A Taxi Cost?

In order to be a taxi driver, you will of course need a taxi! The first thing you should do is check with your local council as to whether you need a new vehicle or whether an approved used car is also acceptable – this could save you a lot of money on a vehicle, but not all councils will allow for a used vehicle. Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to look for your vehicle. A London Taxi Driver will need a Hackney Carriage and they certainly aren’t cheap. You can expect to pay over £40,000 for a brand new one, and around £25,000 for a used or older model.

If you are outside of London, the rules tend to be laxer on the model that you can choose, though some councils may have restrictions. You can expect to pay around as much as a standard vehicle, so it’s up to you to determine what you can afford. If you opt for being a Private Hire taxi driver, however, you could even use your own vehicle, meaning you won’t have to pay anything.

Insurance Policies for Taxi Drivers

Insurance is an important part of being a taxi driver and not just car insurance – you could also benefit from taxi drivers’ public liability insurance. Accidents happen, and while your car insurance will often cover the financial costs of claims made while you’re on the road, injuries and damage caused while parked up won’t always be covered. Public Liability insurance will provide you with financial protection in cases where your passengers or third parties are injured or property is damaged by you or your vehicle. For example, if your passenger trips out of your vehicle or you damage their belongings while putting them in the boot, public liability insurance will protect you financially in the case of a claim.

For more information about becoming a taxi driver and how we can help you with your insurance policies, get in touch with Ashburnham Insurance on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137.

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