The rail network is worse than ever. The bus lanes are nothing short of a nightmare. As a whole public transport is in a bit of a mess these days, and starting your own taxi firm may be a way to not only solve some of Britain’s public transport troubles, but also to create a livelihood you can rely on now and well into the future. If you think this might be the career for you, where can you begin? These tips can help.
• Decide What Type of Business Is Right For You: One of the first decisions you must make is whether you’ll be a taxi firm or a private hire vehicles company. Taxi firms, or Hackney Carriage taxis, can pick up anyone without any type of booking. To run this type of business, you’ll likely need to be located in an urban area. Expect lots of regulations, too. Your fares are generally controlled by the local council and other authorities. Private hire vehicles, also called minicabs, must have a prior booking. They cannot pick up random people from the street. They face fewer regulations than Hackney Carriages, but the required bookings can mean there are both slow and busy seasons. It is possible to mix your fleet up a bit, offering both private hire and Hackney Carriages, but doing so requires learning many of the regulations that go with both industries.
• Understand the Rules: Both types of firms have different requirements to meet. You’ll want to check with your local council and apply for the correct licenses and permits to get started. This will take quite a bit of research on your part. For example, if you choose to drive a Hackney Carriage, you will need to prove you’re a fit and proper person, in addition to having a full EU license for at least 12 months, among other requirements. Learn what you’ll need, then invest in the training required to make it happen.
• Insure Your Vehicle and Your Business: You need specialised cover to run a taxi service of any kind. Keep in mind that it does tend to be more expensive than standard motor insurance because you travel more miles than the average driver and you carry passengers. To get the best deal, look for taxi insurance quotes online. The internet has increased competition, which is good for you. It means you can easily and quickly search to find the best prices. But keep in mind, a lousy policy with a great price is still a lousy policy. Balance the cost against the terms of your policy. You may also want to pay annually to keep the costs in check. Insurance companies typically offer a financial incentive for customers who pay in one lump sum yearly. This can make a big difference when it comes to your budget.
• Invest in the Necessary Equipment: A vehicle isn’t the only thing you need to run a successful taxi or minicab business. If you intend to have more than one vehicle, you’ll need some type of radio equipment and the license that goes with that. Additionally, GPS systems are nothing short of a must today, and they’ll help you find the best routes for your customers. They can also help you track your vehicles.
Once you have everything you need, you can open for business. Running a taxi business isn’t always going to be easy, but with the right advertising and a bit of hard work, you’re certain to create a successful enterprise, customers will turn to again and again for all of their transportation needs.