Starting your own taxi business can be a rewarding job with a lot of benefits. Being your own boss and setting your own 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.
Be aware of the costs
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 specialised websites, like Cab Direct. If you don’t have enough cash, you could lease one or buy second hand. Bear in mind that hybrid or electric vehicles are more cost efficient.
You’re going to need to pay for your taxi licence, 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.
Check the market
Make sure you check the area before you start anything. You need to make sure that you’re not moving to an area already saturated with cab drivers. We’d advise to choose 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 specialising in a niche like patient services.
Take pride in your vehicle
Whatever your budget is, always make sure your vehicle is pristine 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?
Be prepared to work
If you like working 9-to-5, then the taxi business is not for you. You need to be prepared to work long hours, nights, evenings, during the summer and bank holidays. Nights can be difficult but remember that these will be the busiest times. If you have a family, make sure they’re aware of the long hours.
The taxi business can be a stressful and tiring job; however, it can be extremely enjoyable because you get to meet a lot of different people. Plus, the harder you work, the bigger the rewards will be.