5 Niche Market Opportunities for Private Hire Drivers

Drivers that work in the private hire taxi industry will see various highs and lows when using their private hire vehicle to make a living. You may have even wondered how some drivers are able to be so successful at this profession compared to the average worker. While you’re struggling away working hard to cover your fuel, private hire taxi insurance and other business expenses, someone else has somehow figured out a way to increase their income by a considerable amount.

Fortunately, like any industry, the taxi landscape does provide a number of niche markets for private hire vehicles, these are often overlooked by many, especially those who are just beginning to learn how to become a taxi driver. These niches can be focused on primarily or used to supplement your existing income. By adopting any number of these, you will earn a substantial amount more than the standard taxi fares you’re typically used to. Here are five niche market opportunities for private hire vehicle drivers to consider.

Minibus hire

If you’ve ever worked for a taxi company, or even managed one yourself, you’ve likely received a call for a group booking. Minibus drivers are always in demand. If you have a larger taxi, or even a fleet of vehicles, this is a service you could potentially provide to customers. It could be for a large group who needs transport to the airport, a group who has a work get together planned or even any type of celebration for that matter.

If you’ve got a minibus, you can certainly benefit from this type of booking. Of course, there will be a price difference you have to account for in your increased expenses when transporting multiple passengers in a sizable vehicle. Although, these added costs will not add up to that much in comparison to the extra income you can project for yourself. Furthermore, although minibuses aren’t used that often compared to standard taxis, you must remember that not every driver has access to this type of private hire vehicle. This could potentially give you a big opportunity within the town/city you serve.

Children and the school run

For various reasons, a number of pupils are not able to use public transport or a private car to get to school or college. As a result of this, they may be offered transport by their local authority through government funding. This provides a great niche opportunity for those that have a private hire vehicle. It is definitely something you should consider if you are searching for consistent work, the school run during term time will certainly provide this.

If you do wish to undertake this task, you will have to get in touch with the local authority who is responsible for this if you wish to carry children to school, sixth form or college. The local authority will be able to outline any specific requirements that you must meet in order to provide the best service for pupils who will be in your temporary care. This line of work will also involve a contract between you and the local authority.

This commitment means you will have guaranteed work that other taxi drivers may not have access to, at least until the contract is due for renewal. Also bear in mind that during school holidays, this type of work may not be available for the most part

Corporate transportation

Often times, it is mainly larger companies that proactively approach clients in the corporate world. They will offer their services to these businesses in the hopes of setting up a long-lasting account and fruitful working relationship. However, self-employed taxi drivers and smaller firms should also approach these clients too. This is because they can be very profitable contracts and are relatively straightforward to land. They are just like any other customer; the only difference is that they may have specific requirements that need to be met. Reliability will be a key area of importance to clients needing corporate transportation.

To get started, search for larger businesses located within your area who may require a taxi service. Once you have a list of firms, you should put together a proposal that explains to them what you’re able to offer. Although this may sound time consuming, it is definitely worth the effort, especially when you land your first client. Who knows, this could lead to you having your own taxi empire in the years to come. Remember though, that you and your private hire vehicle will need to be clean and presentable at all times. Most importantly, as mentioned previously, reliability is often the key differentiator. As long as you’re able to provide exceptional customer service, there is no reason why you can’t be considered as an individual provider.

Working as a courier

It’s relatively common to assume that the only provision taxis can provide is by transporting a passenger from point A to point B. However, they do have other uses. Someone may require urgent documentation to be delivered to another location on short notice.

Another popular example is offering a delivery service, this could be for Amazon or any food delivery company for that matter. Just make sure you have the right cover in place. You may need to take out a specialised food delivery insurance policy if you’re delivering food to customers. If you have access to your own taxi, it’s definitely worth considering working as a casual courier driver for the added income available to you.

Accessibility for wheelchair users

Not every cab offers wheelchair accessibility to those that need it. Although, all London cabs should offer some level of accessibility to users. As a result, the accessible taxi niche is in short supply, but this is offset against the reduced demand. To provide this type of service, you must be exceptionally focused on customer service. Wheelchair ramps and maintenance of the various accessibility features are just the starting point when serving those that have disabilities.

Always remember, that if you do offer any of the above niche services in the taxi industry, you must declare the extra income to HMRC on your self-assessment form. It’s also useful to know that there are a number of expenses you can declare as a private hire taxi driver.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel as a private hire taxi driver, thinking a little creatively and being able to pick up the phone to make some calls could net you some added revenue to your bottom line if you’re willing to put in a little extra work. See what you’re able to offer potential customers within your area and give it a go. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain by doing so.