For generations, communities have placed trust on their local taxi firm to support them with all their transportation needs. From airport drop-offs to the last-minute booking after a heavy night out with your closest friends, they have undoubtedly been at the heart of many of our towns, and for that, we are entirely grateful.
Becoming a taxi driver has a whole host of benefits. While every job has its ups and its downs, there’s something incredibly special about working in an industry that is held up so highly by society. In this blog post, we outline what it takes to become a taxi driver in the UK and what benefits it can bring into your professional life!
Qualifications & Entry Routes
If you’re looking to work in the private hire industry, you will need to carry out some formal training. Not only will this help you land your first job, but it will become your first taste to this working environment and allow you to make more informed decisions around your future career prospects.
For those who are just starting their professional lives, and are perhaps leaving school, you might consider a course at college. This could include a Level 2 Certificate in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving – Taxi and Private Hire, for example. This could most certainly brush up your CV and make you stand out in the application process!
Alternatively, there’s always a way to apply directly with a taxi firm if you’ve already got a taxi driver’s license. This is the most common way into this profession. With this, you will need to meet the registration and licensing requirements of the firm as well as the local authority. More chances than not, you will also need to own your own vehicle.
Additional Requirements & Considerations
On top of any qualifications, there are other requirements that you should keep in mind. You might need to complete a driving skills assessment and naturally have a full UK or EU driving license held for a minimum of 12 months. This time frame could be longer if you’re looking to work in London!
As well as this, you will have to pass background checks, such as a DBS, so the employer can have a full insight into any potential criminal record history. Some companies may even ask you to complete a knowledge test of the area that you will be working with!
Once you’ve secured the job, you will then also want to look at taxi insurance policies that meet your requirements. It’s important that you have something like this in place to protect you on the road when completing your jobs. Check out our guide to find out what is the best taxi insurance for you!
Just like any job that you might be applying, for there are specific skills that you will need to carry out your duties. These will mostly relate to customer service skills, as you’ll be interacting with people every day from different backgrounds. Others could include:
- Verbal communication skills
- Listening skills
- Public safety and security knowledge
- Attention to detail
- Confidence with technology
When companies are trying to sell themselves to candidates, they will tell you that no two days are the same. While this can often be an exaggeration, this is completely true in the taxi industry as you’ll be meeting new people on every journey and having fresh conversations with them until you reach their destination.
The daily tasks of a taxi driver really do vary. For example, you will need to take job details through radio, telephone, or even an app if the firm you’re working for has one. Additionally, you’ll then need to take payments from these customers.
It’s important that you build a great reputation for both yourself and the company that you work for, so you should always be carrying out cleans of your vehicle. This should include both the interior and exterior!
The taxi industry truly does hold our communities together here in the UK, and it’s a great environment to work in. If you enjoy driving and chatting to people every day, you might just find that a career in this field could be for you.