For as long as people need to get from one place to another, there will always be demand for taxi drivers. For those who are built to spend hours behind the wheel, ferrying passengers from one part of town to another, it’s a respectable way to earn a living. In an age of ride-hailing apps, it’s easier than ever to get work as a self-employed driver.
What does it mean to be self-employed?
A self-employed person runs their own business, and is entirely responsible for its success or failure. These people aren’t paid in the same way as other people, and they aren’t given the same employment rights. After all, there’s no point in forcing a self-employed person to pay themselves for days off sick.
In the UK, the vast majority of taxi drivers are self-employed.
Why are taxi-drivers usually self-employed?
Many of the benefits of being self-employed, like flexibility and self-responsibility, are especially important to taxi drivers. Since there’s always demand for taxi drivers, particularly around evenings and weekends when the nation’s clubbers and pubgoers need ferrying home, it makes more sense to work whenever you’re able. Self-employed drivers are able to reduce their tax liability by claiming for things like vehicle hire and repairs.
Why be self-employed as a taxi driver?
If you’re self-employed, then you have the freedom to choose your own hours. Thus, if you have other commitments in your life, like a home life, or a second job, then you can set your hours accordingly. If you have a personal commitment come up on a given weekend, then you can take the time off work without having to ask. On the other hand, if you want to work, then you know that the hours will always be available.
Be your own boss
The flipside of this coin is that you’re ultimately responsible for the amount of money you’re earning, if any changes you’ve made don’t work out. If you’re the sort of person who thrives on responsibility, then this might work out in your favour.
What do I need to be a taxi driver?
To operate as a taxi driver, you’ll need to fulfil a few requirements.
You’ll need to be suitably licensed in order to drive a taxi. The requirements are different for London drivers, who need to complete a stringent test of knowledge of the capital.
You’ll need a certain kind of personality to thrive as a taxi driver. Being comfortable talking to strangers, and putting up with long hours behind the wheel, are both requirements.
If you know the area, then you’ll fare better as a taxi driver than if you’re a new arrival. With that said, satnav systems can make things easier, here.
If you don’t have a taxi to drive, then you won’t fare well as a taxi driver. You can either rent your taxi or buy it outright from a reputable dealer in specialised vehicles.