Anybody who provides a taxi service whether it is a public or private service, a single driver or a fleet, will need taxi insurance and public liability insurance. There are many different types and additional features available. This guide focuses on single self-employed taxi drivers but everyone mentioned below will also need some type of taxi insurance.
The underlying is that if you are charging a fee to the public for transporting them between places then you need taxi insurance. Most insurers will require you to have passed the DVSA driving test before they provide you with a quote for taxi insurance. There are legal obligations for working without either insurance or a certificate and fines will be applicable.
Public or Private
Public hire taxis are those that pick up members of the public off the streets without them needing to have pre-booked. They are typically found waiting at designated taxi ranks or in busy town centre areas. Public hire taxis can be flagged down by any member of the public and they usually charge a standard price per mile or minute. The vehicles must display a taxi sign like a black cab, which are a good example of a public hire taxi.
Whereas private hire taxis are those you pre-book and they must pick up and drop off from a prearranged location. These are often used for celebrations or events such as proms, weddings or birthdays. For such events this may mean more expensive makes of car or larger minibuses that carry more people. Private hire taxis are popular for large groups or when making a special entrance to an event. Private hire taxi insurance is a separate product to public hire insurance and the conditions differ between products.
Not all insurance companies will cover both private and public taxis because there are different risks associated with both types. You may think public hire taxis could pose a higher risk due to picking up customers on the street, not being booked in advance and not having their personal details. However this is not always the case as public taxis are typically newer cars so they are less likely to make claims due to vehicle fault or breakdown. Many private hire vehicles are more expensive, classic cars or vehicles that carry more than 4 passengers such as minibuses or limousines so this increases the cost of your premium too.
Single or Fleet
Single taxi drivers that are self-employed or contracted will typically have one vehicle they use that is there own. Single taxi insurance is offered to these individuals and the policy works similarly to a private policy where one person is insured to drive one vehicle.
A fleet consists of typically 3 or more vehicles so if you have less than 3 vehicles then you may want to consider single taxi insurance. Taxi fleet insurance will take care of large companies and ensures multiple people for multiple different vehicles. Fleet insurance is also used by courier companies and motor trade businesses. This is beneficial in that you do not need to take out a policy for every vehicle and member of staff so it is more convenient. However the less information you provide for fleet insurance, the more expensive it can be.
Single taxi insurance is not just for cars but also for all other taxi vehicles. If you drive a MPV or minibus for private or public purposes you will also need taxi insurance, regardless of your vehicle type. The price of the taxi insurance quotes will vary accordingly as larger vehicles tend to be worth more so will fall in a higher insurance bracket. However these larger vehicles can make more profit as they carry more people so you may wish to balance this up when deciding on your vehicle. If you have a specialist vehicle such as a classic car or limousine then you may want to look into specialist cover because these premiums will be more costly.