If the idea of being your own boss, working flexible hours, and meeting new people every day appeals to you, a taxi driver may be your perfect job. Since there aren’t a lot of barriers to entry when it comes to formal education, you won’t have to worry about spending a lot of time earning an expensive degree either. Earning your qualifications and getting started can be complicated, though, so here’s what you need to know.
Earning Your Qualifications
As you might expect, the first thing you’ll need is a driving license. Before you can start working, you’ll need to have held this for a minimum of 12 months before you legally operate in most of the country. In London, this is extended to three years and you’ll also be expected to pass an exam that tests your local knowledge.
While any points on your license won’t necessarily impede you from working, you may find it easier to find employment with a clean license free of any previous infringements. You may also be expected to accept a criminal records check before being taken on. After you have cleared all these mandatory obligations, you can begin your career as a taxi driver. But yes, different countries have a different set of rules, so you may need to fulfill the criteria accordingly.
Choosing the Right Vehicle
The next step is finding the right vehicle. If you’re going to be a self-employed minicab driver who utilises services like Uber, think long and hard about this choice as it could greatly affect the kind of work you get. If you want to earn positive ratings, it should be a comfortable five-seater with wheelchair access. You can find a list of accepted vehicles on Uber’s website here.
Likewise, it needs to be good earner with high real-world MPG rating and low carbon emissions. The Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback has, in many ways, become the poster child for Uber as a company, and for good reason too. It offers exactly what you need from his kind of vehicle.
Getting the Right Insurance
Finally, before you can get on the road you’ll need to make sure you’re fully insured. Your standard car insurance won’t cover any kind of hire or minicab service so you’ll need to take out additional cover. You can also explore commercial vehicle insurance, such as this OTTIS Insurance specifically designed for taxis, rental cars, shuttle buses, etc. You could apply for commercial vehicle insurance online by visiting the company website. Lastly, insurance comes in several different forms, so make sure you pay close attention to the terms and conditions.
Since you’ll be operating on a higher annual mileage than most drivers as well as working late at night in inner-city areas, taxi insurance will be more expensive than what you’re normally used to. To keep your premiums as low as possible, consider installing additional security-enhancing devices like alarms and immobilisers.