There are almost 300,000 licensed taxis and personal hire vehicles in the UK, and an equivalent number of taxi journeys happen each day in the capital alone. Each driver who operates a taxi, whether that's a black cab or hackney carriage, minicab or personal vehicle, taxi-bus or people carrier, needs to take out a special kind of business car insurance called taxi insurance.
Designed to cover taxi drivers and their vehicles whilst they work, taxi insurance protects livelihoods too. If your vehicle is involved in an incident on the roads, you protect yourself financially when you have a good insurance policy in place.
Finding the right cover is now easier than ever. Using our online comparison tool, you can gain access to a wide range of taxi insurance policies that are tailored to your needs, all within a matter of minutes. Compare quotes to find the best value for money and ensure you get a level of coverage that sets your mind at ease.
If you'll be working as a taxi driver, standard car insurance won't give you the cover you need.
Instead, taxi insurance, a type of business car insurance, enables you to operate your vehicle for commercial use. You'll see the term 'hire or reward' on your policy documents, and this means you are legally allowed to carry people and goods in your vehicle in return for payment.
There are two common types of taxi insurance:
Recognisable around the world, public hire vehicles that require public hire insurance include London's black cabs and hackney carriages. Public hire vehicles also cover any type of taxi that can pick up passengers at taxi ranks or be hailed down on the street, as well as pre-booked.
You can use your private vehicle to carry passengers if you take out private hire insurance. This applies to people driving for ride-hailing apps like Uber, and operating minicabs. If you are driving a private hire vehicle, you can't pick up passengers from the street. Instead, all journeys must be booked in advance.
When comparing insurance policies, you might also come across:
The Public Carriage Office, also known as the PCO, is the division of Transport for London that licenses black cabs and minicabs. You may come across London PCO insurance, which has been created specifically for London-based public hire vehicles.
Whilst London PCO insurance covers driving in London, it won't cover driving outside of this area. However, black cabs can be found in major cities all over the UK. Look for black cab insurance more generally for public hire insurance that covers driving inside or outside of London.
If you will be driving on behalf of a taxi-hailing app like Uber, Gett or Ola, you can search for specific terms like Uber insurance to cover you for your work. These are special types of private hire insurance that may be tailored to suit flexible work reflecting the gig economy.
You might find policies specifically created for minicab insurance, providing private hire cover and enabling you to legally transport passengers in your minicab for pre-booked journeys.
Having a basic level of taxi insurance is a legal requirement, but getting a more comprehensive policy can reassure you that you are sufficiently protected if you and your vehicle are involved in an incident.
Similar to standard car insurance, there are three main levels of cover. These are:
Third-party, fire and theft
The most basic level of cover and the legal minimum. If you were involved in an accident that was deemed to be your fault, this policy would cover the cost of compensation if you injured other people or caused damage to property. However, it would not cover your injuries, damage to your taxi, or any other financial help.
Third-party, fire and theft
Provides the same basic level of cover as third-party only, with additional cover if your car is stolen or damaged by fire. You would not receive compensation if there was any damage to you or your taxi during a road traffic accident, though.
Builds on from third-party, fire and theft, but provides additional protection. It covers you for damage to your taxi, and some policies compensate for medical treatment and accidental damage. Sometimes called fully comprehensive or fully comp, this is the highest level of cover, so there is a common expectation that it is also the most expensive. However, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover how much value for money a comprehensive policy can offer. It's worth comparing all levels of cover to ensure you choose the right one for you.
When you look further into the policies, you may find that insurance for your taxi only covers incidents whilst your vehicle is being used as a commercial 'hire or reward' vehicle. If you use the same vehicle for personal use without checking that your taxi insurance covers this, you may have unintentionally invalidated your insurance. You can usually add coverage for personal use on top of your taxi insurance, or take out a separate policy to ensure you won't be caught short.
Your work as a taxi driver involves interacting with the public daily, so some drivers choose to take out additional public liability insurance. This covers you in case a passenger who was injured or had their belongings damaged during a journey with you tries to claim against you. It also covers you for legal costs, should they arise. Public liability is not a legal requirement for taxi drivers but offers reassurance and protection for worst-case scenarios. It's unlikely that your taxi insurance will include public liability cover as standard, but you will either be able to include it as an extra feature or take out a separate policy.
Installing a black box into your vehicle as a tracking device allows your insurance provider to monitor your driving. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate you are a safe and responsible driver, but it also opens you up to scrutiny, so you should strictly adhere to speed limits and always drive sensibly. With telematics insurance, your insurance firm can adjust your premiums according to your driving habits, rewarding you for driving safely with cheaper insurance. Whilst black boxes are more commonly used by younger drivers with less experience, they can be used by anyone and could be particularly helpful for newly qualified taxi drivers.
Other extras you may wish to add to your policy include:
The most obvious thing that separates taxi insurance from domestic car insurance is cost. It is usually far more expensive to insure your vehicle for taxi driving than for personal use, in some cases doubling the price, or more.
As taxi drivers are on the road for long hours and covering many miles, insurance firms view them as high risk. The likelihood of anyone being involved in an accident increases with more time spent on the roads, making it inevitable that taxi drivers are perceived as a group that is likely to be in an accident and make an insurance claim.
On top of this, taxicab drivers regularly drive through heavily built-up city centres, at night or in adverse weather conditions, and when they are tired or with possible distractions from their passengers. In response to this, insurers usually raise the insurance costs for this group.
It is impossible to give an estimate for the cost of taxi insurance because so many variables influence the quotes that insurers calculate, and each insurance firm will work slightly differently.
Whilst there is no simple answer to the question 'How much does taxi insurance cost?' there are common factors that will affect the rates you are offered. These include:
Although there are a variety of factors at play which can raise the price of taxi cover, this equally gives you the power to push down your premiums. Here are some tips for getting cheaper taxi insurance:
The best way to find the cheapest possible taxi insurance is by comparing quotes online. Using the free online comparison tool available on UtilitySavingExpert.com, you can input your details and we'll automatically generate the most competitive deals from trusted insurers. The results are tailored to suit your needs, with relevant information about each policy and provider to make your choice easier than ever.
As a taxi driver, you have a bigger obligation than the average motorist to drive responsibly. On top of that, having a clean licence and being able to demonstrate that you adhere to road safety rules by driving sensibly and obeying speed limits will lower your insurance quotes. By giving your insurance provider the confidence that you are trustworthy behind the wheel, you will benefit financially.
Top-of-the-range cars are comfortable and enjoyable to drive, but if you choose a high-end, imported or modified vehicle for your taxi, it's likely that your insurance premium will be significantly higher. This is, in part, because the cost to replace these parts is higher if you are involved in an accident. Selecting a reliable, cheaper model to use as your taxi could benefit you by lowering your costs.
It's smart to take good care of your vehicle, especially as your taxi cab is more than a vehicle, but also a means to work. If you service your vehicle regularly at the garage, you will mitigate the risk of breaking down or experiencing a costly mechanical fault. Even with breakdown cover in place, it's better to avoid any issues with maintenance and frequent services.
If you have the choice between private hire or public hire taxi insurance, you'll usually find that private hire is cheaper. The reason for this is that public hire vehicles tend to work in city centres, where road accidents are more likely to happen. However, some vehicles must use public hire insurance, such as black cabs. Make sure you choose the correct cover for your needs.
Some insurance providers see CCTV as a deterrent against vehicle theft or vandalism. CCTV can also mitigate the risk of false third-party claims made against your vehicle. Additionally, some taxi drivers may have a legal obligation to install CCTV into their vehicles, due to regulations from their employer or local area.
Some analysts think you should avoid renewing your insurance at the last minute. On the other hand, research suggests quotes may be higher if you renew too early. Usually, the best time to renew or switch your taxi insurance policy is three or four weeks before your insurance is up, or the same period of time before your policy is due to begin if this is the first time you're taking out taxi insurance.
Almost all insurance providers consider age and experience to be factors that influence how risky you are seen as a driver. Younger or less experienced drivers will usually be charged more because insurers expect that they will be more likely to be in an accident and make a claim. For taxi insurance, this goes one step further and providers usually won't insure anyone under 25. Some specialist insurance firms might provide cover for ages as low as 21, but it's likely to be very expensive.
Insurance for taxicabs tends to cost more if you're based in a busy, built-up city with higher crime rates. Therefore, although there is a need for London cabbies, you will probably find that the UK's capital is the most expensive zone to cover with your insurance. If you are able to cover another city outside of London, you will probably find this has comparatively lower insurance costs.
Many policies are now available for temporary or flexible car insurance, which suits the gig economy and allows the likes of Uber drivers to manage their insurance cover to reflect their working patterns. However, if you'll be driving your cab full time and can afford to pay for your insurance up-front, it's more cost-effective to pay annually than monthly or weekly. This is more convenient for insurance providers and they will reward you with potentially hundreds of pounds off your bill.
Depending on the provider you choose, you may be able to use your personal no-claims bonus to positively impact on your taxi insurance quotes. This would involve transferring your no-claims discount from your personal insurance to your new taxi insurance, allowing you to take advantage of your safe and sensible driving history to lower an otherwise expensive policy.
Adding a tracking device to your vehicle allows your insurer to monitor your driving and gives you the opportunity to show you drive sensibly. This reassures your insurer that you are unlikely to be in a collision or make a claim. Your insurance provider will adjust your premiums accordingly, and you may only need to use a telematics device for one year to prove you handle your vehicle responsibly.
Licensed taxi drivers who are plying for hire or carrying passengers have no legal obligation to wear a seatbelt. Although you are exempt as the driver, your passengers are not. Legally, it is your passenger's responsibility to wear their seatbelt, so your insurance won't be invalid if your passengers don't comply, but it's still important to encourage the use of seatbelts.
If you're interested in taking out insurance for a taxibus or taxi minibus, this process follows the same processes as comparing or taking out a new policy for taxi insurance. Premiums may be higher if your vehicle has been modified or if it's very expensive and therefore, would be very costly for the insurer to fix or provide replacement parts for.
Some modifications are necessary to ensure your vehicle is wheelchair accessible, such as installing a disability lift or wheelchair ramp. These modifications may still cause your insurance premiums to rise, but there are regulations in some parts of the UK making it a legal requirement for vehicles to be accessible for passengers who have mobility issues or disabilities.
Some taxi companies will provide their staff with taxi insurance, but this depends largely on the driver's relationship with the company. If it's a firm that owns the vehicle, it's likely they will have taken out fleet insurance. However, if you're classed as self-employed and drive your own vehicle on behalf of the brand, it's unlikely they'll cover your insurance. It's a good idea to speak openly with the company you're representing to ensure you're on the same page.
Exact terms and conditions vary from provider to provider, but generally, insurance policies don't cover taxis:
Whether your policy enforces a mileage limit depends on the insurance firm you decide to use. Some insurers impose annual limits on mileage but others have no limitations on the number of miles you can cover. However, even if there is no limit on mileage, there may be a limit on the hours you can work per day.
These limitations are designed to reduce the likelihood of you getting into an accident on the roads, presumably linked to tiredness, by encouraging you not to overwork. Reducing the chances of accidents, in turn, reduces the risk for the insurer. Check the terms and conditions to ensure you know all limits before you purchase your taxi insurance.
In addition to the minimum age restrictions most taxi insurance providers enforce, there will often be a restriction relating to driving experience too. Usually, you can't start driving taxis until you've built up some experience behind the wheel, so it's unrealistic to presume you'll be working as a taxi driver straight after passing your driving test.
Most insurers ask that you have at least 12 months of driving experience after getting your driving license before offering you a policy. The logic behind this is to keep drivers with relatively little driving experience from carrying passengers in taxi cabs because they have a higher risk of getting into a collision. If you did find a taxi insurance policy suitable for inexperienced drivers, it is likely to be prohibitively expensive.
It's not possible to name a single insurance company as the best provider for taxi insurance because, the truth is, there's isn't one. Insurance policies will suit different people with distinct circumstances and companies cater to diverse groups with various needs. A range of variables determine the type and level of cover you will be offered and you'll want to ensure the policy meets your needs.
Our comparison tool will always show you the best deals, even if we aren't partnering with those companies. We are 100% impartial and independent so you can be confident that the results we generate will always reflect the best value for money for your taxi insurance. You won't be offered a better deal if you go directly to the insurance providers, and it costs nothing extra to secure your policy through Utility Saving Expert.
It's difficult to find a definitive list of insurance providers, as lists can become inaccurate quickly. With hundreds of insurance providers in the UK, it would take a long time to search through each company individually, working your way through the list. Instead, you can search for taxi insurance using UtilitySavingExpert.com and we'll rapidly scan for relevant quotes, so you find the cheapest deals without needing to do the digging yourself.