If you’re thinking about starting up a private hire or taxi company, you’ll want to start off on the right foot. Employee and customer safety should be a high priority for any business.
Here’s some tips on how you can start up your private hire company responsibly.
You need a local licence from the council
To provide a customer service, you’ll need to get permission from your local governing body. Wherever you choose to set up your private hire company, you should apply to your local council for a private hire licence. These are managed locally, so each council will have a different process and information you’ll need to provide, from driver medical tests, to radio wave licence and office risk assessments.
Lease your fleet vehicles
It can be a good idea to lease your fleet vehicles to make sure the cars your drivers are working in are safe and meet a set standard. Alternatively, you can hire your drivers on a subcontract basis where they supply their own vehicle. This way of working is still efficient, but you will never be responsible for the vehicle. This means you cannot maintain the vehicle properly, so you’ll never know the true quality. Leasing gives you the reassurance of a quality vehicle that produces less emissions into the environment. It’s also ideal as you’ll receive a full service and warranty as standard from most providers. As the cars are generally in better condition, your fleet insurance will usually be cheaper too.
With business booming and more customers taking note of your company, you’re bound to have significant wear and tear on your vehicles. You can prevent breakdowns by regularly maintaining and servicing your cars. But, unexpected breakdowns do happen from time to time. To make sure you and your drivers are fully prepared, it’s a good idea to get a reliable breakdown cover for taxis. You’ll want a provider who can get you back on the road as quickly as possible, which will keep your drivers and customers safe and happy.
You’ll need a specific insurance policy
Taxi or private hire insurance differs from regular, personal vehicle insurance. Having third party insurance is not enough, as your cars, drivers and passengers must be insured under your policy.
As well as fully comprehensive corporate multi-car insurance, it may be worth acquiring business contents insurance for your office. This will also ensure equipment, such as radios, GPS and computer booking systems are protected from loss, damage or theft.
Keep your customers and employees safe
For any employer, safety should be a top priority. This should certainly be the case if you’re working in a high-risk environment, like on busy roads. To help keep your employees and customers safe, all drivers, under your books, need to go through official training to assess their driving ability. You should carry out a formal assessment to ensure that all your drivers and customers are safe on the roads. This will minimise risks and it’ll hold any driver accountable for their actions. You should also perform a proper background check on your employees to make sure they have no criminal records. It’s also important to check that they have a clean driving license.