Working as a Private Hire Taxi Driver

There are thousands of private hire taxis in operation in the UK and no shortage of jobs for people who are looking to make a career switch.

To help you get started, below is a guide to becoming a private hire taxi driver that covers everything from getting your licence to staying safe on the job.

Getting a licence

The first thing you’ll need to do before you can work as a private hire taxi driver is get a licence.

The requirements for obtaining a private hire licence vary depending on the city you live in. Generally you’ll need to meet the following requirements –

  • Be at least 21
  • Have a full UK driver’s licence
  • Pass a medical taste
  • Be of good character
  • Pass a competence test

Is your vehicle suitable?

If you already have a vehicle then you might be wondering if it’s suitable for use a taxi. This will depend on a few factors. Firstly you want a vehicle that has adequate room for passengers. If you have a very small car or one that only has two seats, such as smart car, then this probably isn’t going to be suitable.

Another thing to think about is the cost of insurance. The cost of taxi insurance is is different to regular car insurance, even for the same vehicle so this is something to bear in mind.

Whether your vehicle is suitable will also depend on the company you’re working for. For example Uber require that their drivers have a vehicle registered in 2008 or after.

Getting insurance

To work as a private hire taxi driver you’ll need to get the right insurance. Private hire taxi insurance is available from a number of different insurance providers and getting quotes is a quick and easy process so it shouldn’t be too hard to find cover at an affordable rate.

When looking for insurance it’s important to think about what level of cover you need/can afford. A third party policy will be cheaper than comprehensive cover but also provides less protection for your own vehicle.

Staying safe

A very important aspect of working as a private hire taxi driver is to take any precautions you can in order to stay safe on the job. Although private hire drivers are typically at less risk than public hire drivers, that doesn’t mean no risk is there.

One of the best ways to make yourself more safe while working is to have CCTV installed inside your vehicle. This will act as a deterrent to passengers who might otherwise become aggressive or refuse to pay.