Becoming your own boss and taking the wheel of not only your own private taxi but the direction of your life can be a tempting prospect and one that is hard to resist especially if you love being out on the road and would like to get paid for it too!
To help you discover if you have what it takes to achieve your dream – this is what it takes to set up a small taxi firm.
Check your market
You need to do some research and check out the local competition to ensure there is a gap in the market for your own small taxi firm. Taxi firms are notoriously territorial of what they consider to be their area!
You need to be able to finance your plans both in the short and long term
The biggest initial outlay will usually be the taxi itself because without a reliable vehicle (or fleet of reliable vehicles) your dream will fall at the first hurdle. If you don’t have enough available funds to buy your car/s outright then leasing or purchase hire can be an option. The next items on your list will be specialist communication equipment such as a phone or radio system and a payment system for accepting passenger fares. Taxi insurance including public liability will be a legal necessity and fleet taxi insurance will be beneficial if you are planning to run a fleet of vehicles within your company to cut down on paperwork and the inconvenience of insuring different vehicles under different insurance policies. On-going fuel and maintenance costs will then be two of the largest day to day expenses for your small taxi firm.
You need to choose the right vehicle for the job
Think about the type of taxi service you want to run and choose your vehicle accordingly. For instance; regular airport runs are going to require a car with a large boot capacity for your passengers’ luggage!
You will need a taxi licence
The cost of obtaining your taxi licence from the local council will vary according to location and also dependent on the tests you may need to take. Minimum requirements usually include:-
- A medical test to prove you are fit and healthy
- A language test to ensure you can communicate in English
You will also need to obtain your DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service). A clean DBS reassures your passengers that you are free from any criminal convictions that would prevent you from working safely with the public. Some parts of the country will also require you to take a knowledge test so that you can demonstrate that you know the area and won’t get lost!
Hackney licences are very different to private hire licences in that they cover taxi vehicles that can be flagged down by passengers in the street instead of those pre-booked or hired direct from a taxi rank. You will need to ensure you have the correct licence for the needs of your business and customers.
And, perhaps most importantly; you will need the right fleet taxi insurance
If you have several vehicles, then taxi fleet insurance will be beneficial in reducing costs and minimising paperwork for any small business taxi firm. You will need to factor in considerations such as the mix of vehicles to be insured, different levels of cover, driver-flexibility, public/private hire and whether you operate owner-driver or rental schemes. It is important that you choose the most competitively priced fleet taxi insurance policy that fulfils all the necessary requirements for your small taxi firm.
The type of cover you’ll want to get for a taxi firm is private hire insurance. The other major type of insurance for taxis is public hire insurance.