Starting your own taxi business can be a rewarding job with a lot of benefits. Being your boss and setting your timetable for work can be tempting for most people. However, it also requires skills, planning, and a big budget. If you’re still keen and you want to get started, here are four things to keep in mind.
Firstly, you’re going to need a car to start your taxi business. If you have a big budget, you can buy a new taxi outright. Try looking on specialized websites such as Cab Direct that sell purpose-built taxis but also electric/hybrid taxi and luxury cars like Mercedes. You could also choose to lease one or buy second hand.
You’re going to need to pay for your taxi license, the cost of which depends on where you’re planning on working. It’s also a legal requirement in the UK for taxi drivers to pass a medical examination, which you’ll need to factor into your budget, and in some areas, an English language test.
You’ll also need to pay for the Knowledge of London test if you’re planning on becoming a black cab driver in the capital. This test requires the drivers to study and know 320 routes and 25,000 streets by heart and costs £200 to take the examination. It is not an easy test and can take years to finally pass it, so patience and perseverance are a must.
Make sure you check your area before you start anything. You’ll need to make sure that you’re not moving to an area already saturated with cab drivers… We’d advise choosing what kind of clientele you wish to take on, be it business people, airport trips, students on a night out, etc. If your area is too crowded, you could maybe think about specializing in a niche like patient services.
Whatever your budget is, always make sure your vehicle is pristinely clean, in good condition, and visually attractive. We strongly advise to have luggage space and maybe add a nice little touch for your clientele like a fresh bottle of water and some biscuits? Don’t put loud music or some eccentric decorations in your car.
If you like office hours, then the taxi business is not for you… You need to be prepared to work hard, long hours, nights, evenings, during the summer and bank holidays. Nights can be a difficult one, but remember that these will be the busiest times and the most cost-efficient. If you have a family, make sure they’re aware of the long hours.
The taxi business can be a stressful job; however, it can be extremely enjoyable because you get to meet a lot of different people and see different places. Plus, the harder you work, the bigger the rewards will be.