When private hire taxi drivers are looking for their next vehicle, there are several key factors they have to take into account.
As well as taking out private hire taxi insurance, wherever they operate, drivers need to consider that the future of private hire is going to be green. They need to choose something that will help reduce running costs and is better for the environment.
As more Clean Air Zones are created across the country, and the Government continues its drive towards net-zero carbon and banning new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030, it is becoming less attractive for private hire drivers to steer towards traditional petrol and diesel vehicles.
With the choice of electric and hybrid vehicles constantly improving, it is becoming easier for drivers to find the right tool for the job. Private hire taxi drivers need to be prepared for almost everything when they pick up each fare, from taking someone home from the supermarket with a few bags of shopping to taking a family and their luggage to the airport.
Even compact cars can seat four passengers, which can be fine for short journeys, such as heading home after a night out. But for longer trips, such as airport runs or visiting family further afield, smaller cars aren’t practical or comfortable, which is why taxi drivers often chose something in the middle, such as a family or executive-size vehicle which will be able to handle the majority of fares easily and comfortably.
Equally, it doesn’t make sense for drivers to choose a minibus for the odd long-distance run when the majority of fares will be between one and three passengers.
Having chosen the type of vehicle required for the job, private hire drivers need to carefully consider the fuel economy and range of their new car. We’ve tried to make it easier by suggesting our top five most-popular vehicles for private hire.
We’ve considered several factors, including price, running costs, practicality, space and comfort.
Our list actually includes six because we couldn’t separate two models from one marque.
1 Patons is seeing demand for the Hyundai IONIQ SE Connect, which we are also able to supply to customers. The self-charging hybrid technology gives it a range of up to 625 miles and is designed to be elegant and spacious, providing comfort for journeys of any length.
2 Toyota’s Prius has been hugely popular with private hire drivers for a number of years, especially in towns and cities. Although the Japanese maker is no longer producing the Prius in the UK, many can be picked up second hand in good condition and for a reasonable price.
3 The Ford Galaxy remains one of the largest people carriers on the market and can easily cope with six passengers and luggage. The new hybrid model also makes it better for the environment and helps drivers lower their running costs.
4 There are two offerings from Skoda which are also popular with private hire drivers – the Octavia and the Superb. Both are comfortable, good-sized family cars that are ideal for taxi work and which now include hybrid engines featured in certain spec levels.
5 Another popular choice which Patons can also supply is the newer electric vehicle on the block – the award-winning MG5 EV Long Range estate which has plenty of room for passengers and luggage. It offers a combined range of 250 miles but for private taxi drivers who spend most of their in busy towns and cities, the estimated range is 344 miles.
We hope that helps and if you’re considering switching to any of these, or already drive one, we’d love to know what you think.