Finding the perfect job isn’t easy. Most of us end up going through a couple of gigs before we find one that truly speaks to us. Becoming a taxi driver might not be the first thing you think of when you are considering new opportunities. However, there are a number of reasons that working as a taxi driver might be the best decision you ever make.
Taxi drivers get to meet a variety of people in their professional work, so it is an excellent career option for those who have excellent interpersonal skills and enjoy meeting new people. If you think this might be a potential career path for you, here’s everything you need to know beforehand.
What Does a Taxi Driver Do?
Being a taxi driver is simple enough, in principle at least. Taxi drivers are responsible for transporting their passengers from A to B safely and efficiently. However, there is more to being a taxi driver than just driving from point to point. In order to excel as a taxi driver, you will also need to hone your conversational skills, as well as your ability to react to dynamic situations.
There are two types of taxi that account for the vast majority of all the taxis on the roads in the UK. The first are the classic black cabs, known as Hackney carriages, the rest are ‘private hire vehicles’. Taxi drivers can either work in a self-employed capacity, or they might be employed directly by a taxi firm. Both types of taxi are integral to a functioning transport system in major cities. Taxi driving is therefore providing a valuable and much-needed service.
What Are Their Duties?
Obviously, the bulk of a taxi driver’s job is spent driving passengers, but as with any job, there are lots of other tasks that need doing. An independent taxi operator will need a way of receiving fares. This could be via a radio, an on-board computer system or by picking passengers up at a taxi rank. Once you have collected the passenger, you then need to be able to get them where they’re going.
GPS units have definitely made life easier for taxi drivers. However, local knowledge is always helpful for those occasions where the usual route is unavailable. Being able to read a map or atlas is desirable, even if you also use a GPS. You will also need a way of both calculating fares and making them clear to your passengers.
Taxi drivers may also need to assist passengers – those with heavy luggage or mobility issues, for example. Finally, they will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining their work vehicles.
Is It for Me?
There are a number of questions that you need to ask yourself if you are thinking about becoming a taxi driver. First and foremost, you need to think about whether you are comfortable behind the wheel. You need to drive professionally and be responsible for the safety of your passengers as well as your own, so you will need to be a very confident driver.
You will also need to be prepared to work the required hours as a taxi driver. This is one of those jobs where your peak hours will be during the times that most people are relaxing and unwinding from their jobs. This can make things difficult in terms of your social life, but finding a healthy balance between work and life is always going to be a challenge, regardless of your job.
If you aren’t going to feel comfortable sat in a car with a complete stranger for the duration of their car ride, being a taxi driver probably isn’t for you. The better your ability to make small talk with passengers, the easier your rides will be.
What Do I Need?
Taxi drivers in the UK don’t require any specific qualifications. In some places, most notably London, you will need to demonstrate local geographical knowledge in order to earn your operator’s license. These licenses are issued by local authorities and the specific rules will vary from place to place.
You will, of course, need to have a full driver’s license and insurance for your vehicle. You might also want to take out taxi insurance in order to protect yourself financially should your vehicle become damaged. You can compare taxi insurance quotes online at quotezone.co.uk. You just need to fill in one short form and they will compare UK insurance providers for you. This is better than stumbling around online and trying to work out who will give you the best value.
You might not have ever thought about taxi driving as a potential job or career before, but it is a job that just about anyone can do. As long as you can drive and you are confident that you will be able to handle all the day to day tasks required of a taxi driver, this is a job worth considering.
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