Cab driver, private hire driver, minicab driver
Taxi drivers pick up passengers and charge a fee to take them to their destination by the quickest route.
Salary range: £14,000 to £30,000
How to become a taxi driver
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- applying directly
You may be able to do a college course, which could give you an advantage when looking for work. Courses include:
- Level 2 Certificate in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving – Taxi and Private Hire
- Level 2 Certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
You can apply directly to become a taxi driver if you’ve got a taxi driver’s licence. This is often a common way into this job.
You’ll need to meet the registration and licensing requirements of the taxi company you’ll be working for and the local authority area where you’ll operate. You’ll usually need your own vehicle.
- you’ll need a taxi driver’s licence from your local council’s licensing unit or Transport for London (TfL), if you want to work in the capital
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- active listening skills
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- knowledge of public safety and security
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- complete a driving skills assessment
- have a full UK or EU driving licence, held for at least 12 months, or 3 years if working in London
- pass background checks
- pass a medical check
- be over 18 but over 21 in some areas, including London
- pass a local geography test, known as ‘The Knowledge’ if working in London
- if you work in London, you’ll need to meet the English language requirement
If you’re a private hire driver, you’ll need hire or reward insurance. You may also want to take out public liability insurance.
What you’ll do
In this job, you will:
- take job details over the radio, by phone, on the in-car computer or via an app
- help to load and unload passengers’ luggage
- help passengers to get in and out of the vehicle if required
- take payments for fares or log them online
- keep your vehicle clean and in a roadworthy condition
- make sure accounts and records up to date
You could work from a vehicle.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you’ll travel often.
Career path and progression
If you’re employed by a larger taxi firm, you could become a supervisor or manager in the dispatch control room. You could also move into taxi licensing with a local authority.
As a self-employed driver, you could become a taxi operator and increase your earnings by running a private hire firm, employing other drivers.