Lots of people become taxi drivers every year, and for many different reasons. It’s a handy way to get a little extra income for those who need more cash, and it’s popular with mature students, too. Think you might be able to handle the extra workload? If so, there are a few things you’ll need before you get started. Let’s take a look right away.
Spare time is essential if you want to make a decent amount of money as a taxi driver. First of all, it takes around 12 weeks to process your license application, so there could be a long wait. And, once you start working, you will need to be available at peak times of the day. Try to avoid slower periods, as you will be spending time sitting around waiting for calls.
Licenses and checks
We’ll assume you already have a driving license – you won’t get far without one! The next step is to become a licensed taxi driver. There are two stages you will need to go through. The first is to complete a disclosure check for Access NI and send it to the Passenger Transport Licensing Division. They will look at your conviction history, the length of time you have been driving, and your health record. You also need to pass a taxi driving test. Like the standard driving license test, there are two stages – theory and practical. The overall cost of all tests and license exams comes to around £234.
An operator license
If you plan on working for yourself, you will also need an operator license. If you work for a taxi company, however, they will already have this in place.
A well maintained car
There is a lot to think about when you drive a taxi – but looking after your vehicle should be a big priority. It’s what makes your money, after all, and without it, you will be earning nothing. You will need to keep it clean and tidy at all times, and have regular services. It’s also a good idea to replace your car tyres when needed – if you get found driving with bald tyres, it can lead to your license being revoked.
If you are operating on your own, you will need business insurance. It will protect you in the event of an accident. Private hire insurance can be more expensive than you are paying for your regular car. However, you can lower this as you spend more time on the roads – assuming you drive within the law.
Ability to read people
What makes a good taxi driver? Getting you from A to B in a quick and safe way is vital, of course. But, it also depends on your mood. Some people like to have a chat while travelling, while others prefer to sit in silence. Good taxi drivers understand the difference and know when to talk and when to keep a lid on it. Many people tend to remember drivers who give them the perfect service, and it can be a great way to get repeat custom.