With the UK’s hospitality sector in recovery and millions of Brits choosing to travel, taxi drivers and transport workers are increasingly in high demand. With the latest unemployment rate at just 3.6%, the UK’s flexible labour market continues to attract new investment while there are a record number of job vacancies across a wide variety of sectors.
In our latest educational guide on careers, we explore the taxi driving profession and the opportunities available for people looking to switch jobs.
6 things to help you succeed as a taxi driver
Being a taxi driver can be an excellent career choice for anyone who enjoys driving and interacting with others. It is most beneficial for those with an easy-going personality who find it easy to get on with anyone. It is also hard work, requiring long and possibly unsociable hours. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to experience a crash, so this is another crucial factor to consider. There are a few things you’ll need to be successful in your career as a taxi driver, and we’ll explore some of these areas below:
Local knowledge can be invaluable for a taxi driver, as you will need to know the best routes to take and avoid when driving your passengers. You may even need to take a test in local knowledge to become a taxi driver. Satnav systems can be helpful, but often a good local knowledge of roads can be even better. Your passengers may also need help with finding local amenities, so it can help to have a few go-to recommendations for things like supermarkets, restaurants and pubs.
Customer Service Skills
As a taxi driver, you will encounter people from all walks of life, so it is vital to be able to make connections with people quickly and easily. It is also good to be able to identify when a passenger may not want to make small talk and leave them to it instead. You may encounter rude passengers throughout your time as a taxi driver, so letting interactions like that roll off your back is a must.
Taxi insurance is vital to drive your taxi with peace of mind, as well as being a legal requirement. Taxi insurance can be pricy since you will be on the road much more than a typical road user, but it is worth it for the coverage you will get should the worst happen. It is best to shop around for the best taxi insurance using quality, reputable comparison sites like Quotezone.co.uk.
Many taxi drivers work for a specific company that provides them with support, equipment and passengers in exchange for a share of the profits of each trip. Different taxi companies have different requirements for their drivers, so it is vital to check different options and ensure you qualify to drive for them.
A reliable car is vital for your work as a taxi driver – your car is your livelihood. Choosing a popular maker such as Ford, Toyota or Skoda can be helpful to ensure that repairs are cost-effective and the safety quality is high. You’ll also need a car that can fit enough passengers, typically at least four plus you as the driver. You could also invest in a larger car if you want to make more money per trip transporting larger groups.
Defensive Driving Knowledge
You’ll need to have excellent driving skills to be a successful taxi driver, ensuring you and your passengers’ safety while you work. Taking a defensive driving course can be a great way to ensure that you can handle your vehicle well and know what to do in common emergency situations.
Have you considered a career as a taxi driver?