How to Make Extra Money as a Private Hire Taxi Driver.

Working for an operator efficiently
When you first become a taxi driver, radio work from your operator will be your main source of income. If you hire a settle car the fees can seem quite intimidating. 
Recently in response to my article ‘What Operator to Work for’, Tamsin contacted me about her partner paying 40% of his earnings to the operator, I advised her that he may be better on a fixed rate  settle car as percentage deals mean the harder you work the more you pay. Percentage deals can be good if you only drive part time because you are not bound to earning a specific settle fee before you start to profit. The guys at my old company who used the settle cars had to earn £260 per week before they made a penny, hence why they were all full-timers. Never be afraid to ditch an operator, be loyal to yourself, shop around to see who will give you the best deal for you.
I always recommend  people to use settle cars to begin with for reasons covered in my article ‘Rent or buy your Taxi? But once you know the job is for you then owning a car becomes a more sensible option as it is slightly cheaper in most [not all] cases after you take into account things like Private Hire Insurance. Another benefit is the flexibility of having your own car, this comes in hand if you want to source your own work .

Money making Ideas
Making extra money as a taxi driver is fairly easy, you will need to obtain an operator’s licence from your local council, details will be on their website; a list of which you can find here. Its far easier to obtain this document that it is to become a taxi driver (in most cases) so don’t stress. Once you have this document you are then allowed to advertise for work.  Most of my work came from Airport Transfers, its a great way to go if you live near one.
  • Websites like www.freeindex.co.uk are good places to start, freeindex is a FREE local business directory that brought me quite a few clients looking for airport transfers.
  • Get your business (thats you!) on google maps, when people search for ‘airport taxis in Liverpool’ google presents a map of local businesses, again i got some work via this method. Details of how can be found here.
  • Build a website, it only has to be basic! Hosting can cost as little as £3 a month. A domain name can be had for £5. You can even do it for free. Once build you site will be indexed by google and people can find you this way. If you live in London  there will be hundreds of other sites fighting to be top of google so you may not be able to compete, but this can be worthwhile for less competitive areas. If there is any interest i will do a more in-depth article on the subject.
  • Advertise in local papers, free magazines. This is hit and miss but its worth running a one month trial in your local rag to see if the ad brings you enough customers.
  • Advertise IN your car! I printed out a piece of photo paper advertising my airport transfers and mounted it on the dashboard, people would often ask for prices and take my contact details. I got a good amount of work this way.
  • Print business cards, hand them to choice customers. Print leaflets and see if you can leave them a in local shops, pay some kids to post them for you!
  • See if any local businesses want to advertise on your car, they can use magnetic strips or window transfers, think of all the faces that will see the ad as you drive about, its a strong selling point. You could even advertise your own services in this way.
  • Act as a middle man, I would often get calls from people looking for a 6-12 seat taxi, I would then call some of the lads at work or a local airport transfer business [who I had an arrangement with] and see if they wanted the customer, you just add your percentage on top of the quote! Everyone’s happy.
  • Hire out your car, see if another driver wants to use the car in your down time. Charge him a settle fee that beats local operators. I used to know a husband and wife team, she drove in the day and he used the same car to work the night. The secret to a happy marriage perhaps?

There are loads of ways you can bring in extra income, just try to think outside of the box. Becoming a taxi driver shouldn't mean you are limited only to picking up radio work, with a little effort you can open up multiple sources of revenue. Don’t worry about being the cheapest, I was competing against people running illegally without licences or insurance. If you get hung up on being the cheapest you will end up skint and the customers you attract are often the most difficult to deal with (unrealistic).

If you have any other ideas please leave them in the comments below!

Drive Safe...


2 comments:

  1. I thought taxi driver had to go through an operator to get work? I thought that there was some kind of law that said you couldn't pick up passengers directly otherwise you weren't insured?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thats true for private hire taxis, but as mentioned in the article, in order for a PH driver to take his own bookings he must first become an operator.

    ReplyDelete