Starting a Taxi Business in Swindon: A Few Points to Consider

The competition for taxi customers is fierce is many parts of the UK these days, mostly due to the meteoric rise of on-demand ride hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. Fortunately, though, the taxi business in Swindon is less competitive than it is in larger cities like London, Manchester or Birmingham.

Uber is Not Officially Here Yet

Uber cabs are at times seen in the vicinity of Swindon and there have been a few reports of residents booking them as well. However, Uber has made it clear that they do not officially operate in Swindon yet, which presents an opportunity to get started in the cab business and make your mark here before the competition heats up.

Drive Your Own Taxi Initially

If you can afford to start with more than one minicab when you’re launching your taxi business it would be a wise idea to drive one of them yourself, which will reduce your startup costs. 

And it’s also worth bearing in mind that if you start with just one taxi and choose to drive it yourself you won’t have any employees on your payroll, which means you can forego the costly process of registering as an employer, paying employers’ national insurance and taking out employers’ liability insurance.

Consider Leasing Instead of Buying if You have Plans for a Fleet

Not that single taxi owners cannot benefit from leasing mind you, but it makes a whole lot more sense when you are planning to launch a fully-fledged taxi business with your own fleet of cars. As a matter of fact, due to the depreciating value of cars, if your business involves more than just one commercial vehicle, you should always start leasing from the second car onwards.

Compare Your Taxi Insurance Quotes

Taxi insurance will inevitably cost more than regular car insurance, but that doesn’t mean you should pay over the odds for it. By using a taxi insurance comparison service like Quotezone you’ll be able to compare insurance quotes from dozens of different providers, making it much more likely that you’ll find a suitable policy at a fair price.

Whether you have just one taxi at the moment or an entire fleet, comparing taxi insurance is essential for saving your business from unnecessary expenses. If you have a fleet, you could very well be saving a small fortune every year, just by reducing your insurance payments on each of those cars.

Avoid Heavy Fines by Understanding the Fine line Between Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles

Understanding the rules and regulations governing taxis and private cars in Swindon is quite important, as misunderstanding some of them can lead to hefty fines or even temporary suspension of the business licence. It’s easy to make mistakes when you have just started out, so here are a few pointers to keep in mind.

  • Taxis and black cabs are called hackney carriages, which are licensed to pick up passengers at taxi ranks or be hailed on the road
  • Private hire vehicles (PHV or minicabs) are only allowed to pick up passengers if they have been booked in advance, and can not make use of taxi ranks
  • A hackney carriage can double as a PHV as well, but a PHV cannot double as a hackney carriage

Offering Versatile Payment Options Will Help You Get More Fares

Many people will still pay by cash, of course, but for most cabbies having a card reader installed in their car is more of a necessity than an option these days. Still, it’s worth doing a bit of market research in the early days in order to figure out what payment options Swindon residents most prefer.