Launching Your Taxi Business with iCabbi’s Dispatch Software
6th June 2023
Starting a taxi business can be a lucrative and flexible career option. With the right tools and resources, you can provide exceptional customer service, reduce operational costs, and compete with popular ride-sharing apps like Uber. iCabbi’s world-leading taxi dispatch and fleet management software offers the support you need to manage your taxi business. Today we wanted to talk through the steps of starting your taxi business and highlight how iCabbi can help you succeed.
- Understanding the Taxi Business Landscape
- Requirements to Become a Taxi Driver
- Acquiring a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) Licence
- The Journey to Becoming a Taxi Driver
- Choosing a Vehicle for Your Taxi Business
- Taxi Driver Earnings
- Why Choose iCabbi for Your Taxi Business?
Understanding the Taxi Business Landscape
In 2022, there was over 260 thousand licensed taxis and minicabs in England, an increase of 3.8% from 2021. The growth was driven by a substantial 5.1% increase in minicab numbers, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Taxi drivers enjoy the freedom to choose their work hours, making it an ideal option for those looking for a “side hustle” or needing to balance multiple commitments.
Requirements to Become a Taxi Driver
To become a minicab driver, you must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Hold a UK driving licence for three years (for London) or one year (outside London)
- Have the legal right to live and work in the UK
Acquiring a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) Licence
To drive a minicab, you will also need a PHV licence. The process includes:
- Providing proof of identity (e.g., national ID card or passport)
- Undergoing a Group 2 medical examination to confirm fitness, including an eyesight test and disclosing any medical conditions
- Obtaining certification, such as an NVQ Certificate in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving (Taxi and Private Hire)
- Passing a topographical or local area knowledge skills assessment
- Clearing an enhanced criminal record Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
To work in London, you’ll also need to take the Safety, Equality, and Regulatory Understanding (SERU) test, similar to the black cab “knowledge” test.
The Journey to Becoming a Taxi Driver
Becoming a minicab driver can take around six months and cost up to £1,500. Once you submit your PHV licence application, local authorities may take between six to eighteen months to make a final decision. If there are complications, such as a previous criminal conviction or medical issues, the process can take even longer.
Choosing a Vehicle for Your Taxi Business
After obtaining your PHV licence, you can either use your own car or work for a minicab operator that provides a vehicle. Purchasing a minicab can cost between £35,000 and £75,000, especially if you opt for an electric vehicle, which would be more efficient in the long run. You may also need to install a Covid screen or CCTV system for safety purposes.
It’s recommended to work for an existing minicab firm initially to gain experience before committing to buying a vehicle of your own.
Taxi Driver Earnings
Outside of London, taxi drivers can take home around £500 a week after expenses, resulting in an average annual income of £27,000. In London, earnings can be significantly higher, up to £60,000 per year after expenses but before taxes.
Why Choose iCabbi for Your Taxi Business?
So now you’re on your way with your taxi career, how can you expand? iCabbi offers a world-leading taxi dispatch software that helps you manage your business effectively. With iCabbi, you can:
- Automate a high percentage of bookings
- Streamline your operations to cut costs
- Deliver outstanding customer service
- Compete with ride-sharing apps like Uber
In addition, iCabbi provides exceptional UK-based customer support to help you navigate any challenges that arise while running your taxi business.
If you’re looking to become a taxi driver, now may be the perfect time. It’s not easy to meet all the specific requirements and navigate the lengthy application process. However, with the right tools, such as iCabbi’s taxi dispatch software, you can create a successful and flexible business that meets the needs of your community.