If you’re new to being a taxi driver or you’re considering it as a new career path, then you may be asking yourself what taxi insurance actually covers.
Here at FleetCover, we offer prestige and specialist motor fleet insurance. We pride ourselves on offering professional and personal service for a variety of different fleets.
What is taxi insurance?
Taxi insurance is a specialist vehicle insurance policy designed to cover cars for commercial hire.
This type of insurance covers public or private hire usage, and will usually include public liability insurance to cover you against any claims from the public that could arise as a result of your vehicle or driving.
Do taxis need special insurance?
Yes, if you drive a taxi, is it a legal requirement to have a valid taxi insurance policy since regular car insurance will not be enough to protect you or your passengers.
While different levels of insurance of taxi insurance are available, it is vital that you have sufficient cover for the following risks associated to driving a taxi:
- Driving a higher number of miles
- Being in regular contact with the public and having accountability for them
- Driving in stressful situations, such as heavy traffic
- Driving during unsociable hours
Taxi insurance requirements
When you’re applying for a taxi licence, you will firstly need to decide which kind of taxi driver you want to be, either Private Hire Taxi or Public Hire Taxi.
Regardless of which you’re applying for, you must:
- Be able to work legally in the UK
- Have held a full UK or full EU driving licence for at least 12 months
You must also be classed as a “fit and proper person”, which means your background and character will be checked. Your city council may carry out additional criminal record checks from the Disclosure and Barring service (DBS).
Different councils have their own requirements, so you will need to speak to your local council to find out what their criteria is for taxi drivers.
Further requirements could include:
- A medical examination
- A knowledge test, such as a test of the roads you wish to work on
- An additional driving test
What’s the difference between Public Hire Taxi Insurance and Private Hire Taxi Insurance?
The main difference between Public Hire Taxi Insurance and Private Hire Taxi Insurance is that public hire taxis don’t need to be booked in advance and are licensed to pick up passengers on the street, whereas private hire taxis must be pre-booked and cannot be stopped by pedestrians on the street to use.
Public hire taxis, commonly known as black cabs, are also able to wait at a taxi rank for prospective passengers.
Public hire taxis can be more expensive than private hire taxis, since the vehicles are usually newer.
How is taxi insurance different from car insurance?
Taxi insurance does have some similarities with normal car insurance in regards to levels of cover, but this does not mean you will be able to rely on your usual car insurance if you wish to become a taxi driver.
As you will be carrying passengers and driving more miles, there is a greater risk to the insurer, which is often reflected in the insurance premiums.
Getting caught without the correct level of cover could result in losing your licence, and you may have to pay a heavy fine as you will be classed as uninsured.
How much is taxi insurance in the UK?
Depending on your experience, your years without claims, convictions, car details or other important factors, prices will vary for taxi insurance.
When a vehicle is used for business purposes, the cost of insuring it is higher because:
- Your drive more miles each year
- You carry more passengers, increasing the risk of personal injury claims
- Certain taxis are bigger than average cars, so it will sit in a higher insurance group
Taxi insurance for under 21’s
Taxi driving amongst young people has become increasingly popular, but many insurers are reluctant to provide a policy which covers under 21s due to the lack of driving experience and increased risk.
If you are a taxi driver under the age of 21, you could expect to see higher premiums and you may even be capped at the amount of miles you can drive per year and restricted to certain working hours.
At FleetCover, we pride ourselves on being extremely flexible and can often offer under 21s fleet taxi insurance.
Taxi insurance for under 25’s
Taxi drivers under 25 are classed as young drivers, even though they may have 8 years of experience. Typically, taxi insurance for young drivers will be more expensive than for drivers over the age of 25, and finding a cover may be hard due to insurers only offering cover for over 25s.
Insurance is always calculated on risk, and oftentimes the risk associated with young drivers is reflected in their insurance price.
Again, coming to us at FleetCover for a quote will allow you to get the best price, even if you are under 25.
Chauffeur insurance and executive driver insurance
The risk profile for a chauffeur or executive driver may vary from a typical taxi risk as the vehicles could be of high net worth. However, similarly to taxi insurance, you can find cover for drivers aged between 21 and 75, but at the moment, we don’t cover ages outside of these limits.
Chauffeur’s will still require a taxi licence to be considered for insurance, but we can provide cover for newly licensed drivers and all driving histories are considered.
Electric vehicles will be considered too and there is the option to add up to £10 million public liability insurance to the motor policy. Up to 5 vehicles can be added to a multi vehicle policy and each vehicle will earn an individual no claims bonus.
Fleet insurance is also available for Chauffeur risks.
Uber’s are classed as private hire taxis since they carry passengers who have pre-booked the taxi in advance. Uber cars cannot be hailed in the street like a regular black cab.
Just like with regular taxis, Uber drivers are subjected to background checks, and there is a code of conduct in place for drivers that Uber themselves will check.
Taxi insurance for food delivery
If you’re going to work for a food delivery company, such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo, just having public or private taxi insurance will not be enough. All app based delivery products will express their need for additional courier or fast food delivery driver insurance.
The good news is that there are insurance companies that will include food delivery driver insurance at no additional cost if you already have a taxi insurance policy with them.
Failure to ensure you have sufficient insurance for food delivery could leave you at risk of any future claims not being upheld.
FAQs about Taxi Insurance
Can I take paying passengers on normal car insurance?
Regular car or van insurance becomes invalid as soon as you start taking on paying passengers, meaning you will need a commercial private hire policy instead.
Can I use my taxi for personal use?
If you wish to use your vehicle for personal use, you must remove any signage that indicates your vehicle is a taxi.
As tempting as it may be to use your taxi whilst the signage is still on it, this can be misleading to the public and could get you in trouble.
Can you drive a taxi with business insurance?
No, as a business owner, you need to have a taxi insurance policy in place in order to use your vehicle to carry passengers.
Would telematics help me to get cheaper taxi insurance?
There is a possibility that using telematics for your taxi fleet could lower the cost of your insurance.
If you’re a new taxi driver, you should consider taking out a telematics insurance policy as it can give you much cheaper insurance from the get go.
Telematics monitor the drivers habits, including speed, breaking and the time of day the vehicle was driven. The insurance company will use this data to either increase or decrease your insurance, depending on how well you drive.
Can I get taxi fleet insurance for minibuses?
Yes, you can get fleet insurance for a number of vehicles including minibuses. Taxi fleet insurance for minibuses can cover any fleet of two or more vehicles, no matter how big or small they are.