For any private hire driver who has been working in this industry for several years or anyone who has just learnt how to become a taxi driver, choosing the right vehicle will be one of the most important decisions in your working life. This will be a significant outlay for those buying a vehicle or anyone who has chosen a multitude of other finance options. Aside from being the right car for you and your passengers, it will also have an impact on other costs such as fuel, private hire taxi insurance and road tax.
The question arises - what is the best car for private hire drivers and how do you make this decision? Our guide will discuss a number of considerations you need to make as well as giving you a recommendation of ten vehicles suited to drivers working in this industry.
First and foremost, the design of the vehicle you want will likely be your first consideration, along with its appearance and the space it offers to you and your passengers. Private hire drivers that select a spacious vehicle with a sizable boot will be able to take on more job requests, giving them potential to earn a higher income.
One thing that newer drivers in this industry often overlook is that you should actually choose a vehicle solely for your business needs, rather than one that you love the appearance of. However, you should be able to find a car that looks appealing and works for both you and your customers.
Okay, so you have now figured out what type of vehicle is best suited for a private hire driver. The next step is to decide whether you are going to purchase the vehicle or lease it. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.
If you buy the vehicle, you will be taking ownership of a depreciating asset, and you must also contend with maintenance, servicing and repair costs. Although, you will own the vehicle. New vehicles can be very expensive, so you may be better off with buying a two to four year old car from a reputable dealer.
Leasing a vehicle can be easier to finance over the years to come, as you will not be expected to pay a huge amount up front. Some car finance options also include extended warranties and other perks too. If you’re still unsure on whether this is the right career for you, you may be better off by hiring a vehicle and purchasing one at a later date if you decide to continue.
Fuel efficiency of any car will be an important metric to compare. This is even more so for private hire taxi drivers who will be covering tens of thousands of extra miles compared to the average motorist. If you purchase a vehicle that is not fuel efficient, your profits will be burned on filling up the tank all the time. This is the last thing you want as a taxi driver. Newer vehicles offer far better fuel efficiency compared to cars from a decade ago. Ultimately, the better fuel efficiency your vehicle has, the more profitable you will be as a driver.
When you’re looking for a private hire vehicle, you must also consider how to get cheap taxi insurance as cover can be prohibitively expensive if you make the wrong decision. Vehicles fall into different insurance groups that you must also be aware of. These determine how much you will be expected to pay for your annual premium.
After having considered all of the above factors, it should now be a lot more straightforward in selecting your next car. We have touched upon the appearance of the vehicle, finance options, fuel efficiency and insurance costs.
If you want the right car for the job, here are the ten best practical efficient cars for private hire taxi drivers.
While not the most appealing car on this list, the Toyota Prius can take advantage of being a hybrid and its extra reliability on the road. The alternative fuel drivetrain will allow access to most low emission zones too. If you’re an Uber driver working in a congested city like London, this offers a great combination of features and functionality.
This car has been a long-time favourite for cab drivers, and it’s just as good as it’s always been. The new hybrid plug-in model provides drivers with an urban friendly option too. Fuel efficiency is certainly excellent with the Volkswagen Passat.
This car succeeds in two key areas – large amount of space and fuel efficiency. It provides passengers with sufficient head and legroom and incorporates a large luggage area too.
Amongst Uber drivers, the Ford Mondeo can still hold its own, even though it’s not as popular as years past. It has a refined cabin, composed ride and above average passenger and loading space.
The Audi A8 leaves a big impression. This is the perfect choice for executive airport transfers and VIP chauffeuring. For this niche market, the larger Audi makes a lot of sense. There are other niche market opportunities for private hire drivers to take note of too.
The Ford Galaxy has one of the largest boots of any car. Additionally, it is also a seven-seater vehicle. This makes it the ideal choice for school runs and multi-passenger transportation.
Across the globe, the Mercedes E-Class is the best-selling taxi of all time, there are even some models still in use more than 30 years later. The latest E-Class still offers a lot of the functionality and features that private hire drivers are looking for – comfort, fuel economy, space and great reliability.
This Mercedes can seat up to eight passengers and has an enormous boot. This is a very practical taxi even though it may be van derived.
The Skoda Octavia has been tremendously popular with taxi drivers across the UK for a number of years now. The car has an economical diesel engine, a spacious boot, and is pretty robust.
The Skoda Superb is our number one taxi. In addition to offering everything the more than capable Octavia does, it provides even more passenger space, luggage capacity and overall comfort for everyone seated. This big car provides extraordinary value for money.
To summarise, any one of the cars listed above will meet the needs of most private hire taxi drivers. If any of the models listed here don’t appeal to you, that’s totally fine. As long as you look out for a car that offers a high fuel economy, sufficient space and great reliability you’ll be just fine.