So, you’ve got your car and you’re ready to start your journey into the world of taxi driving and lift sharing?
Your chapter begins now as the open road literally lays ahead and you’re ready for your first customer.
However, before you hit the road and start making a living, you need to make sure you’re thinking about that necessity known as insurance.
While there’s a lot to think about, today we’re going to share with you everything you need to know about finding the best taxi insurance deal possible. Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
Do you need taxi insurance?
To cut a long story short, yes. Having taxi insurance is a legal requirement, and you must ensure you have an insurance policy specifically for cabs for covering both you and your customers in the event of an accident.
If you drive a taxi with a standard car insurance policy, any claims will be void and you will not be covered.
You’ll also need to remember you need a full UK taxi license to secure an insurance policy. If you have a provisional driving license, you can’t drive a taxi, but you can if you’ve held an EU license for a year or more.
If you drive for a liftshare company, such as Lyft or Uber, you need to make sure you have a private hire license and taxi insurance as well. This is because the law sees you as driving a car transporting people and goods, which means you need taxi insurance.
Don’t forget, you can’t just get traditional car insurance that you would have on your private car because it doesn’t cover the fact you’re driving people around for money. If you’re in an accident while working as taxi and don’t have taxi-specific insurance, you may not be covered and it can void your policy!
Which kind of taxi are you?
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when choosing which cheap taxi insurance policy is best for you is choosing whether you want a public hire or private hire vehicle insurance policy.
But first, you need to understand the difference between the two. Let’s get into what kinds of taxi driver insurance there are.
|Type of taxi insurance||Explanation|
|Public hire insurance||Public hire is the kind of taxi service where people can pre-book the service you’re offering, or you can be stopped in the street and hailed by passersby. If you have a taxi sign on your taxi, you are a public hire taxi.|
The fully comprehensive public hire taxi insurance policy then covers both you and your vehicle, and the people and property you’re transporting in your car (make sure your policy includes public liability insurance). If you’re involved in an accident, the damages and compensation that need to be paid out to other involved parties will also be covered.
|Private hire insurance||If your taxi services can only be pre-booked, or you drive for a service like Lyft or Uber, you are a private hire taxi service and will need a private hire car insurance policy. This includes jobs like pre-booked airport transfers, and hospital runs.|
The same factors are covered when as public hire insurance and you’ll be able to transport people and goods safe in the knowledge you’re covered in any accident situation. However, if you pick up someone on the street that hasn’t pre-booked with you (like a public hire policy would cover for you), and you’re involved in an accident, this can void any insurance claims you make.
Who can get a taxi insurance?
The vast majority of taxi insurance policy providers will have strict guidelines that you, as a taxi driver, will need to meet to ensure you’re capable of driving a cab. Basically, providers want to be sure you won’t be a liability to them.
Some of the criteria you must meet to acquire a taxi insurance policy include the following:
- You must have lived in the UK for at least five years.
- You must have held a full UK driving license (or EU permis) for a minimum of three years. Provisional licenses are not covered.
- You must work as a taxi driver full time and have no other sources of income (there are policies that can cover you if you work part time).
- Your age. Most policies will only cover you if you’re over 21, but some providers have raised this to a minimum age of 25.
- You must have held a taxi badge and your taxi license for at least a year.
- Some providers will require that you pass a Driving Vehicle Standards Agency taxi driving test in your local area to prove you’re capable of driving with the desired level of skill.
Some of these points may differ to reflect law updates or individual insurance policy requirements set out by the providers and the type of drivers they want to cover. Always check before taking out a policy.
When you’re applying for cheap taxi insurance UK, make sure you’re carefully reading the provider’s terms and conditions and their eligibility criteria to ensure you don’t waste time. Sometimes, there will be variations in the eligibility of different policies, like third-party and fully comprehensive, even if the policies are offered by the same provider.
When filling out your taxi insurance application, you may also find you’re giving an option to disclose where you got your license from, and which operating area you have. In some cases, you may not be covered if you work outside this area, so always ask to make sure you know the facts.
Which taxi insurance cover should I get?
Your taxi insurance policy should cover everything a traditional car insurance policy has to offer, and even more.
Since you are driving your cab as a business, you need to be sure that if you ever find yourself in an accident situation, any damages or compensation that you would need to pay out will be covered by your insurance provider.
This is the same for both public and private hire taxi insurance policies.
|Level of cover||What the plan covers||What the plan does not cover|
|Third-Party Insurance||Covers anybody involved in an accident for injury or damage they may need.|
This includes customers using your taxi service, and any other people or vehicle involved.
|You or your vehicle will not be covered in this policy. Any damage or injury you sustain to yourself or your vehicle will not be compensated by the policy.|
|Third-Party, Fire and Theft||The same policy as third party insurance, except you will receive compensation if your vehicle is damaged by fire or a theft incident.||Your taxi will not be covered for repairs or compensation for any damage sustained while working, unless specifically by fire or theft.|
|Fully Comprehensive||Everything in the above policies are covered, including the cost or compensation for any damage sustained to your taxi, including repairs.||Nothing (except exclusions such as driving drunk kind). If you want to ensure everything is covered, this is the policy you choose.|
With this in mind, it’s important to remember that, in most cases, you’re going to want to opt for fully comprehensive insurance. This is because you need to protect both your customers and the vehicle you’re driving.
If you’re involved in an accident and your customers aren’t protected, this isn’t going to look good for your business nor your reputation. With fully comprehensive policies, there are fewer exclusions to the policies and you’ll be covered for a more diverse range of potential situations you may come across.
Named driver policies for taxis
That said, if you’re not the legal owner of a car, you can still use the car and be insured on it as a taxi driver by investing in a named driver policy.
A named driver policy is where the car owner, or main driver on the policy, will have a third-party or fully comprehensive policy in their name, and then you’re a named driver which allows you to drive the car as a taxi.
If you’re the main driver of a car, you can also have specialist taxi insurance for someone who becomes a named driver on your policy.
Other taxi insurance types
While there are a lot of similarities between traditional car insurance and taxi insurance policies, there are some notable differences you’ll need to be aware of, which is why a specialist taxi insurance is essential. These include:
|Other taxi insurance types||Explanation|
|Public Liability Insurance||This is the same kind of insurance as a physical retail outlet or public commercial property would have, and covers you in the event that someone is hurt or injured in your taxi, or if their property is damaged for whatever reason. If you have an accident in your taxi and someone puts a lawsuit against you, it’s your public liability policy that will help you cover the costs.|
|Unlimited mileage||While available on select policies that offer it, an unlimited mileage policy can be a great option to look into as a taxi driver since you’ll never really know how many miles you’re going to do a year. While you’re probably used to putting in the average number of miles you do, this kind of policy allows you to make sure you know you’re always going to be covered.|
|Personal Use Cover||If you plan to use your car in other areas of your life, and not just when you’re working, you’re going to need personal use cover in your plan. This is also essential if you plan on allowing your partner or non-taxi named driver to use your car because, as the title suggests, it covers you while the car is being used for personal reasons and not for business purposes.|
Extra upgrades for taxi drivers
Just as regular car insurance policy, there are plenty of extras that can be added and taken away from policies, allowing you to customize what your policy offers and what kind of service you have.
This can also help you manage the costs of your policy to ensure it’s as affordable as possible. Some of the things you’ll want to consider include:
- Breakdown cover
- Courtesy car
- Windscreen cover
- Legal compensation.
Having a courtesy car feature in your insurance policy is definitely an extra feature to consider since, if your car is out of action, you need to keep working to earn money until yours is fixed.
Compare best taxi insurance policies
Finding the best taxi insurance online quotes doesn’t have to be a challenge, especially when you’re looking for cheap private hire insurance that give you the best deal and cover you for everything. Check out the average online taxi insurance quotes table below to get started on finding the best deal for you!
Here’s our taxi insurance comparison with everything you need to know:
|Insurance provider||Average price per month||Main features||Our comment|
Averages are based on a Ford Mondeo car with a driver aged 40 looking for a comprehensive plan. Prices will vary depending on the details of your quote and are subject to change
Why is taxi insurance more expensive than standard car insurance?
To compare, the average cab insurance policy will cost anywhere between £1,000 and £1,800 open per year.
That’s huge in comparison to the average for standard car insurance that sits around the £480 mark.
The shorthand answer is simply because taxis will do way more miles on the road each day than your typical drive.
With more time on the road and more miles being racked up almost on a daily basis, it’s simply a statistical fact that taxi drivers are more at risk of being involved in an accident. Providers will also take into account facts like taxi drivers could technically drive in all weather conditions and may travel to anywhere in the country, thus the level of protection needed is greater.
That being said, that’s not the only difference you need to think about. Consider the fact that, most of the time, the car will be carrying more than one person, meaning there’s always going to be more personal injury compensation to pay out in the event of an accident. Imagine picking up four drunk people after a night out who are shouting and screaming. This dramatically increases the chances of an accident.
Another taxi insurance cost factor to consider is the fact a taxi cab or minibus can be much larger in terms of engine and size than everyday cars, therefore more likely to be involved in accidents. While this might not make a difference to you if you’re using a smaller car, it will apply more and more the larger your car is.
You then need to take into account all the other factors that are similar with standard car insurance policies. These include things like the locations and areas you’re driving in, where abouts in the country you live, where you keep your taxi at night, and whether you have a criminal record or driving convictions on your license.
How can you lower your taxi insurance quote?
As we detailed above, you’ll find when searching for a tax insurance quote online, it’s notably more expensive than traditional car insurance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to ensure you’re getting the best deal and finding the cheapest car insurance policy possible.
- By driving safely so you can build up a decent no claims discount. Every year that passes that you don’t claim on your insurance policy will go towards your no claims discount, and every time you take a policy, your policy price will reflect this. If you have any criminal convictions on your license, such as speeding or illegal parking convictions, this will significantly raise your insurance premium.
- By installing extra security features on your taxi. You can dramatically decrease the premiums you’ll be paying because they’ll be less chance of something bad happening thanks to the extra features. However, if the option to declare these features isn’t available, you may need to contact the provider directly to receive the discount.
- By choosing a taxi car in the lower car insurance group, you’ll automatically pay less for your insurance premium. You can check out our car insurance group checker there to find out the best cars that could be exactly what you’re looking for!
- Installing telematic devices into your vehicle is a fantastic way to bring down your premium because it shows you’re a responsible driver and can provide proof that will cover you if an accident does take place. Insurance features like the installation of black boxes will help to monitor your unique driving style, including things like your braking habits and speeds. This will then directly affect your premium. The safer you are, the lower your insurance costs.
- Do your research. The best way to get the best price is to shop around and see who is offering the best price for what you’re looking for in your policy. if you just go for the first price you find, you could be missing out on a fantastic deal elsewhere.