Becoming a private hire taxi driver offers ample opportunity to make a good living, meet people from all backgrounds and flexible working. It places you in the driving seat of your own career – in the most literal sense of the term too. Here are eight reasons why you should become a private hire driver.
For a lot of drivers, this is the biggest reason why they choose to enter this profession, as they no longer have to work the standard nine to five day job. Some drivers may have children that need to be dropped off or picked up from the school gates, others may be studying a college or university course. This flexibility allows you both of these benefits.
No matter what aspirations you have, it is possible to work on a part-time basis or take on those additional hours when you need them most. Driving a private hire vehicle can fit around your lifestyle for a better work life balance too. Just don’t forget to compare private hire insurance cover beforehand. Utility Saving Expert has made it easy to compare cover within minutes, helping you save time and money.
There is another side to the coin though. Some hours are far busier than others, meaning it is not as flexible for all those involved. For example, if you only want to work during the afternoon, you may be sitting idly for a long time. Self-employed private hire drivers can’t afford to have zero passengers as it will equal zero income. For this reason, many drivers choose to work during the mornings and evenings.
The idea of being your own boss will appeal to a lot of people. For this you’ll need to set up as a sole trader. Being self-employed means, you choose what hours you want to work, you keep all the profits, and you will not have a manager telling you what you can and can’t do. Most professionals in this sector prefer to operate this way.
Yet, you must also take into account that as a self-employed individual, you will no longer receive holiday pay, sick pay or pension contributions. These must be budgeted for separately. It’s highly recommended that you get a good specialist taxi insurance policy too. After all, you want to protect yourself and your vehicle.
Did you know that experienced private hire taxi drivers who work an average of 40 hours per week can expect to make around £30,000 per year? This is according to the National Careers Service.
If you’re prepared to put in the work and be available during unsociable hours, you can see your profits reach new heights. Want to make even more money? Here’s how to pick up extra work as a private hire driver.
Remember though, you will need to account for higher set up costs if you’re self-employed. You will have to either buy or lease the vehicle, pay for the relevant license, cover the fuel costs and factor in the price of insurance, repairs and maintenance too. It’s important to mention that you’ll also be able to claim expenses as a private hire driver too.
It’s relatively easy, compared to other professions, to set up as a private hire driver and be on your way to a £30,000+ a year career. You will need to meet certain requirements before you can start transporting customers. You’ll need a full driving license, access to a vehicle and the necessary taxi license to operate.
You can apply for the required licenses through your local authority. You will also need to pass other tests and checks too. For example, cab drivers in London must pass ‘The Knowledge’ test. Almost every driver will also need DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance and be medically fit. The sooner you start working towards these, the quicker you can get started as a private hire driver.
If you love being behind the wheel of a car, then being a private hire driver may well just be the right career move for you. You’ll be getting paid to do what you enjoy. Picture yourself driving through your hometown/city in your cab. You can converse with passengers and listen to your favourite songs all day. To make it an even more enjoyable experience, you should definitely download the best apps for private hire drivers.
On top of this, you will also be able to use your vehicle for personal use as well. Just make sure that personal use is covered within your policy terms and conditions.
Each day is different for a private hire taxi driver. You won’t be confined to an office cubicle staring in the same direction for eight hours each day. You will be out on the road meeting new people from all different backgrounds. You may be at the hospital in the morning, the airport in the afternoon and a music concert during the evening. Who knows what places you’ll discover and who you’ll meet in the process.
If you enjoy meeting new people, this career option certainly gives you this opportunity in abundance. Most of your customers will be happy to converse with you, you can ask about their day and go from there. This can also help you learn about people from all walks of life. You may even meet a famous person every now and then.
There is a flip side to this though. You will need to remain calm and patient at all times, especially in tense situations when dealing with drunk or rude customers. Remaining cool will help you in these high-pressure scenarios.
It is extremely rewarding helping other people. You may be assisting a wheelchair user or giving a passenger a lift home from the airport after he/she has had a long flight. The majority of customers will really appreciate the service you’re providing them, especially during unsociable hours.
To summarise, there are plenty of reasons to become a private hire driver, many of which we have highlighted above. If these appeal to you, you may have just found your next exciting career move.