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Which of our top 5 cars will be your next taxi or PHV?

Finding the right car is the most important decision a taxi or PHV driver has to make. It is a huge investment in their business and one they must get right.

They need the right tool for the job, whether they work in busy towns and city centres or focus on longer journeys such as airport runs. Whatever they go for must be affordable and practical – and something they can trust will do the job from day one. The vehicle they choose will also have an impact on their taxi insurance, whether they are public hire drivers choosing an iconic black cab, or a family-size estate or SUV for private hire work.


Whether it is a work vehicle or our own car, we all have manufacturers and models we trust, which is why the same models are used by taxi and PHV drivers across the country, and drivers will often choose the same again when the time comes to replace it.

The great EV debate

The biggest decision at the moment is whether to swap a petrol or diesel cab for an EV. When choosing any vehicle, drivers must weigh up the pros and cons of each, including the initial price, the cost of maintenance and repairs, running costs including fuel or charging, congestion zone fees, vehicle excise duty and public hire insurance or private hire insurance.

And while the debate usually focuses on petrol/diesel or EV, hybrids have an established record in the taxi industry and could offer drivers the best of both worlds, especially for avoiding congestion charges and being able to undertake unplanned longer journeys.

Suzuki Swace/Toyota Corolla

So what better place to start than reliable and quality hybrids? Toyota has long been a trusted brand among taxi drivers, from the Carina E saloon, to the Prius and the global best-selling Corolla.

Toyota’s new Corolla Touring Sports is popular with taxi drivers, offering reliability, affordability, comfort, as well as room for passengers and luggage. The 1.8 self-charging hybrid engine comfortably delivers 60mpg and the car is packed with technology to make driving easier and more enjoyable.

But we can go one better. Toyota and Suzuki combined to create the Suzuki Swace – everything you get with the Corolla, but for less. As you can imagine, they are hugely in demand with taxi drivers. Patons prices start from £26,995.

MG5 EV Estate

Car manufacturers have sent their designers back to the drawing board to create EVs people actually like the look of, as in the case of the MG5 EV estate in 2022. The style-less box on wheels is now much more sleek, yet practical for the needs of a taxi driver, with space for passengers and plenty of boot room.

Range is always a huge consideration and the Exclusive Long Range delivers 250 miles of combined driving, and up to 344 miles in towns and cities.

It’s also exempt from congestion charges, saving at least £12 a day.

Patons prices start at £18,000 for a 72-plate with less than 700 miles on the clock.

Kia Niro EV

Another brand that has seen a transformation of its vehicles is Kia. Its designers have really pulled out all the stops to distance today’s cars from the bland look of the late 1990s and early Noughties to create something that turns heads and even has others follow.

Looks aside, the Kia Niro EV is a popular family-sized SUV that delivers 285 miles on a single charge. It offers a comfortable ride for drivers and passengers and there is a decent size boot offering 475 litres for luggage and shopping.

It comes packed with technology, especially in terms of safety, such as lane keep assist and smart cruise control.

It’s perfect for carrying passengers across towns and cities where drivers will also be exempt from congestion charges.

Patons prices start at £36,995.

Skoda Octavia

Skoda is a brand that taxi drivers trust for producing reliable and practical vehicles and the Octavia has been a work horse in the industry. Like its VW Passat stablemate, it is practical and economical, and the boot space is about the largest around, delivering 640 litres with five occupants, to 1,700 litres with the back seats down.

It has also undergone a makeover to ensure it more upmarket than its predecessor and is available as petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid, which is recommended for company car and other drivers who clock up the miles. RRP £26,245.

Volkswagen Touran

For longer journeys such as airport runs, people carriers were the perfect tool of the trade for taxi drivers. And before we fell in love with SUVs in the late Noughties, they were everywhere. Now, only a few manufacturers still produce them, but Volkswagen’s seven-seater Touran remains popular with taxi drivers.

As well as space, the 1.5-litre petrol engine helps keep running costs down and is ULEZ compliant. Above all, it is practical and spacious, and Volkswagen has concentrated on delivering reliability and quality over style – to be a people carrier, it has to look like a people carrier.

There is plenty of room for luggage and four passengers, but with all seven seats in use, there is just 137 litres of boot room – ideal for groups on short trips, but it might be a challenge for longer journeys.

The Touran does tick most of the boxes for taxi work, although it isn’t the cheapest, with prices starting at £37,405.

What are you looking for in your next taxi?

All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.