How to become a self-employed taxi driver

Start your career as a self-employed taxi driver

Wherever you live in the world, one of the services that are in constant demand is that of a taxi driver. It doesn’t matter if you live in a small village or in the middle of a vibrant city; people always need a good driver to get them from A to B.

If you enjoy driving and are safe and responsible behind the wheel, a career as a self-employed taxi driver could be the perfect option for you.

There are two types of taxi that you could choose to drive, either white cabs or black cabs. Black cabs tend to be more common in cities and larger towns. The main difference between the two is that white cabs can’t pick up people off the street, they can only be pre-booked. On the other hand, black cabs can be pre-booked, hailed from the street or picked up from a taxi rank.

At Futurelink Group, we are experts in payroll and have a wealth of experience in helping people just like you to get to grips with the complex world of accountancy and taxation.

Training and qualifications required to become a taxi driver

As a taxi driver, your passenger’s lives are in your hands. So it is essential that you complete the required training and qualifications in order to become a fully licensed taxi driver. We have already mentioned that you need to be a responsible and safe driver but there are other requirements that you need to meet:

  • Hold a full UK driver’s license
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Undergo a CRB check
  • Prove that you have the right to work in the UK
  • Pass an area knowledge test
  • Complete a specialised driving test for taxi drivers (this includes practical and theoretical elements)

In addition to the required training and qualifications, there are certain personal qualities that can aid you greatly if you decide to pursue a career as a self-employed taxi driver:

  • Be friendly – Taxi drivers have many fantastic stories to tell, you’ll meet people from all walks of life in your cab. However, sometimes you could find yourself with the odd rowdy intoxicated or just generally disruptive passenger. As a result, it is important to understand how to handle such situations appropriately so that you and your passenger arrive at the destination safely.
  • Look after yourself – As a self-employed taxi driver, you’ll only be paid when you work, meaning that it is of vital importance that you remain healthy so that you are able to go to work each day.
  • Have good navigational skills – Whilst we live in the time of the sat nav, it is useful to have a good sense of direction as a taxi driver. One of the main appeals for people using a taxi rather than public transport is efficiency. They want to arrive at their destination as quickly (and safely) as possible, so if you run into traffic on your route it is important to know the area like the back of your hand so that you can find alternative routes with ease.

Once you are ready to start your new career, you’ll need to think about getting a car. Some taxi drivers opt to buy their cars outright whilst others prefer to lease them on a weekly or monthly basis. The choice is yours; you just need to ensure that the vehicle you use meets all of the safety requirements put in place by your local council.

Finding work as a taxi driver

Methods for finding work will largely vary according to how you are operating. Are you setting up your own taxi firm, working out of a black cab or working as self-employed for an existing firm?

If you are looking to work as self-employed within an existing firm, the best thing you can do is directly approach the firms in your local area. Ask them if they are looking for a driver and tell them about any relevant experience you have.

In contrast, if you have your own black cab and are working by yourself, you’ll be able to find work by driving around some of the most populous areas to ensure that your cab is always near any prospective customers.

No matter how you choose to work, you’ll need to be flexible and have an open mind when it comes to working hours. You could find yourself working Friday and Saturday evenings quite regularly as fares from the “night owls” can be extremely lucrative for taxi drivers.

Setting up as a self-employed taxi driver

At Futurelink Group we are experts in payroll and accountancy solutions, so if you are ready to become self-employed, our friendly experts can help guide you through the process.

With the comprehensive solutions that are available from Futurelink Group, getting your career as a self-employed taxi driver up and running couldn’t be easier. We’ll be able to minimise your paperwork responsibilities and ensure that you are working in the most tax efficient way possible.

Our Sole Trader and Limited Company solutions should be the best fit for you. To find our more information on both of these solutions and to identify which route you should take, call our friendly experts on 01923 277 900 and they will be happy to talk things through with you.

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