If you’re considering starting your own business, a taxi firm can be a highly profitable enterprise. Taxi firms can make a lot of money, particularly if you live in a city where there is a high demand for cab services.
Hackney Carriages or Private Hire?
There are two types of taxi fleets, although ambitious individuals can attempt to amalgamate the two, and these are Hackney Carriage or black cab taxis, and private hire taxis. Hackney Carriages are permitted to pick customers up off the street without a prior booking. Fares are controlled by local councils and black cabs are usually highly regulated by local authorities. Private hire vehicles have to have a prior booking when picking up passengers, and if private hire cabs are found touting their business, the driver may be prosecuted.
Start Up Costs
The cost of starting up your own taxi firm will vary according to whether you wish to operate a fleet of Hackney Carriages or private hire vehicles. Hackney Carriages must include wheelchair access and induction loops for those who have hearing impairments. Black cabs should also have taximeters, and drivers must pay for an additional driving test, a medical examination and an area knowledge test. There are plenty of firms that supply taxis for those interested in starting their own business or becoming a self-employed taxi driver, including Cab Direct. If you’re looking to get a private hire fleet on the road, you will need to pay for driver, vehicle and operator licences before you can receive a Certificate of Compliance from your local council, as this is what allows you to start taking bookings.
It’s very important that the cars, drivers and third parties (passengers) are insured if your taxi firm is to be legally compliant. Remember that there is special private hire insurance available to minicab firms and that your equipment, including radios, GPS, computer booking and dispatch systems, should also be insured.
Making a Profit
One of the fastest ways to become successful is to utilize the power of ‘word of mouth’ advertising. Provide a fast, safe, efficient and friendly service, and your customers won’t hesitate to recommend your service to their friends and family. Deliver your business cards through letter boxes in your local area, and always treat your customers with courtesy. You can also attract customers by offering new features like online and text bookings, as this will appeal to young people and those who prefer to book using the internet rather than making a phone call.