Setting up your own private hire taxi firm sounds relatively simple but there are quite a few hoops to jump through before you can begin trading. Once you have all the correct equipment, fleet and paperwork however, you can almost guarantee that your venture will be a successful one as people are always in need of taxis. Where trains are late or on strike or people just want to get home from a night on the tiles; there is always demand for a reliable and reputable taxi company.
Private hire insurance which forms part of your taxi fleet insurance is essential when starting up your own taxi firm. Vehicles, drivers and third parties, such as passengers, all must be covered by public hire insurance available to minicab firms. Shop around for the best deals and consider insuring your radio and meter equipment too. Cover can usually range all the way up to £5 million of damage should one of your drivers be involved in an accident. Take a look at our helpful Taxi Fleet Insurance FAQ’s for some more useful information.
Get the correct licences
All minicab firms must hold a private hire operator licence to be able to lawfully accept fares and contracts. This should be applied for through your local council and there will be a charge for this. The amount you will be charged does vary depending on the local authority. If you are using radios to communicate with your drivers, then you will also need to apply for a licence for those too.
Finding an operating premise
It is a good idea to find some small premises close to where you will find many of your fares, such as a city centre. You may benefit from custom once the bars and pubs close as well as passing trade during the day. However, city centre property is expensive, even to rent, so you may need to start smaller. You can operate out of your own home if you choose although a local council licencing officer will be required to visit your home before issuing you a licence.
You cannot operate a taxi firm without drivers and while minicab drivers do not need to be specially qualified they should have held a full driving licence for at least 12 months and preferably be over 25 if you want to keep insurance costs down. Training isn’t mandatory but in 2000, the Intermediate Certificate in License Education for Taxi and Private Hire was introduced to provide a recognised qualification for drivers of taxis. While not mandatory, this qualification does boost public confidence and can often attract company contracts.