If you can drive then you may have thought about becoming a taxi driver at one point or another. A lot of people consider driving a taxi at one point or another but a lot fewer actually look into it seriously.
If you’re currently considering becoming a taxi driver then below are some of the main pros and cons as well as the necessary requirements for becoming licenced in the UK.
- Regular work – Once you’re licensed and on the road, finding regular fares isn’t too much of a challenge, especially if you work for a minicab firm. If you do work as a minicab rather than taxi driver then you should know that you cannot pick up fares off the street.
- Meeting new people – If you’re a people person then taxi driving is a job where you’ll meet new people all the time. The people you meet will be from all walks of life so it’s a great way to expand your horizons and learn more about people generally.
- You’re not stuck behind a desk – This is a big pro since a lot of jobs in the modern world require you to be sat a desk for 8+ hours a day.
- Can be dangerous – One of the biggest downsides of driving a taxi is the potential dangerous. Inebriated passengers can be particularly troublesome and it’s not too uncommon for taxi drivers to be attacked on the job.
- Non-paying passengers – There are times when every taxi driver has to deal with non-paying passengers and unfortunately there’s not a lot you can do about it at the time. Fortunately, the growing number of taxi apps where the fare is paid in advance, are helping to combat this problem.
- Stress – There’s no denying that driving a taxi can be very stressful at times, particularly if you’re working in a large built-up city like London. This is part of the job and cannot be avoided so it’s definitely something to think about.
- Insurance and running costs – Running a taxi can become quite expensive and cut into your earnings significantly. Being on the road all day dramatically increases your chances of being involved in an accident and the fuel costs are predictably high too. Getting a good taxi insurance policy that includes cover for accidents, breakdowns and liability claims is a must.
In order to get apply for an operator’s licence to drive a taxi you don’t need any special qualifications, although there are minimum requirements you must meet. These can vary but usually include the following –
- Have held a full UK driving licence for a minimum of 12 months (3 years in London)
- You must pass a criminal record check
- You must pass a medical
- Be at least 21 years of age (over 18 in some areas)
- You must past a geographical test
- You must complete a driving skills assessment
- You must be a full UK or EU citizen (or have the right to work in the UK)
- You will need to apply for a private hire or public hire licence
You can find further information from the UK government careers site at https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/taxi-driver.