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How to become a Taxi Driver

taxi driver careers

What does a Taxi Driver do?

Taxi drivers drive either traditional hackney carriages, known as #black cabs#, or private hire vehicles (PHVs), known as #minicabs#. They pick up passengers and drive them to their destination, charging a fare and taking payment. They work out the fastest and most efficient route, and drive to the destination. Drivers may help load and unload passengers' luggage.

Minicab drivers are linked by radio to an operating centre, which relays details of where to pick up the next customer.

Hackney carriage drivers may also be linked by radio to an operating centre. In addition, they are allowed to either wait at a taxi rank or drive around near railway stations, airports, shopping centres, hotels, pubs and clubs, or any areas where pedestrians may want to hire a taxi.

They must ensure their vehicle is in a clean and roadworthy condition. Those who are self-employed have to keep accounts and deal with tax returns.

What's the working environment like working as a Taxi Driver?

There are no restrictions on the hours a taxi driver can work, although European legislation may soon change this. Many work part-time in addition to another job or while studying. Most work is available on Friday and Saturday nights. Some private hire operators run a shift system to make sure drivers receive a fair workload.

What does it take to become a Taxi Driver?

To be a taxi driver, you should:

  • be an experienced and safe driver
  • have a good memory to get to know your area, including every street, major buildings, one-way systems and the quickest routes from one place to the next
  • be able to manage and plan your own time
  • be a good communicator with all types of people
  • be calm enough to drive safely even when the customer is in a hurry and the traffic is congested
  • be able to deal calmly but assertively with the occasional angry, hostile or drunken passenger
  • be numerate enough to handle money and change and, if self-employed, to keep accounts
  • be able to understand the laws and regulations under which you hold your licence, as well as insurance requirements.

Taxi Driver Career Opportunities

Opportunities are available in every part of the country, but most work is in the large towns and cities. In many areas there are waiting lists to gain a hackney carriage licence, as these are limited, but there is no limit to the number of private hire vehicle licences available.

Most drivers are self-employed and have bought their own vehicle. Alternatively, they may be employed by an operating company, which owns the vehicles and then progress to buying and driving their own vehicle. Self-employed drivers, can progress to become an operator and increase earnings by running a private hire firm, employing other drivers. In England and Wales this requires an operator’s licence, obtained from local authorities.

This is a growing industry, and drivers are always wanted. However, there can be competition for business in certain areas. Start-up costs can mount up, as they often include purchase of a vehicle and fare meter; paying for a licence and training; and finding appropriate insurance. So market research to ensure there is a demand in the area is essential.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Taxi Driver that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

National Private Hire Association
8 Silver Street
Bury
Lancashire
BL9 0EX
Tel: 0161 280 2800

Private Hire, Hackney Carriage and Chauffeur Industry Training Organisation
14 Widdrington Terrace
North Shields
NE29 0BZ
Tel: 0191 258 1955

Public Carriage Office (PCO)
15 Penton Street
London
N1 9PU
Tel: 0845 602 7000
www.tfl.gov.uk/pco

DVLNI
County Hall
Castlerock Road
Coleraine
Co. Londonderry
BT51 3TB
Tel: 028 7034 1469
www.dvlni.gov.uk

Go Skills
Concorde House
Trinity Park
Solihull
Birmingham
B37 7UQ
Tel: 0121 635 5520
www.goskills.org

Edexcel
www.edexcel.org.uk

Driving Standards Agency (DSA)
Stanley House
56 Talbot Street
Nottingham
NG1 5GU
Tel: 0115 901 2500
www.dsa.gov.uk



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Courses to help you become a Taxi Driver