Specialist Public Hire Taxi Insurance
It is common knowledge that to drive a car in the UK, standard motor insurance is legally required for all vehicles. However, if you are carrying paying passengers you will need specialist taxi insurance which is tailored to the type of cover you need – and this depends on your business.
What’s the difference between public hire and private hire?
If you are picking up passengers for hire and reward without pre-booking, such as passengers hailing a London black cab or hackney carriage, or picking up passengers from a designated taxi rank, then this is often referred to a Hackney Carriage or PCO (Public Carriage Office) licence and you will need public hire insurance.
If your passengers are all pre-booked, then this is private hire and requires private hire insurance.
What’s the difference between a taxi driver and a chauffeur?
Although there are some similarities between the roles of a chauffeur and a taxi driver, a chauffeur typically provides a luxury transportation service, driving a high-end vehicle for clients who want a more personalised and comfortable experience. Chauffeurs often must meet certain dress code and etiquette standards, whereas a taxi driver generally offers a less formal type service.
Chauffeurs require a specific type of specialised insurance to cover these aspects of the role.
Do I need specific insurance to drive my public hire taxi / black cab / hackney carriage?
To operate legally you will need public hire insurance. This not only protects you but your passenger’s safety and well-being too. This specialist cover specifically protects your passengers in the event of an accident or injury during a taxi ride, and includes their medical expenses and any compensation awarded if a claim is made.
This specialist insurance will also give you Vehicle Protection, which is important as public hire taxis are subject to extensive use which can increase your risk of accidents, wear and tear, vandalism, and theft. This insurance can cover the repair or replacement costs for the taxi in case of such events, allowing you to maintain your vehicles and continue running your business.
There are also options for legal assistance and breakdown assistance.
Do I need to buy taxi driver liability insurance?
As a taxi driver, you should also have Liability Protection. This will cover your damages and legal costs if you are found to be responsible for an accident, injury, or property damage. It is not a legal requirement, but it will protect you financially.
Some contracts that are linked to the local council contracts or schools, do require this public liability insurance. Some policies do include this cover so it’s always wise to check your policy.
How do I register my car to become a public hire taxi?
The first step to registering your car as a public hire taxi is to find out who your local licencing authority is as each has it’s own eligibility criteria such as the age of the vehicle, your age and experiences. You can find your local licencing authority on the following website https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council
It is likely they will need to complete a background check on you with an enhanced criminal record check conducted by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Once you are confident that you meet the eligibility criteria, alongside registering your car, you will also need to apply for a licence or badge for your vehicle, if you don’t already have one. For this you need to fulfil several requirements including holding a full UK driving licence for at least 12 months.
You will need to provide certain documentation such as proof of your identity, proof of your right to work in the UK, evidence of your vehicle’s insurance, registration documents and MOT certificate.
You may also need to provide evidence of your vehicle’s suitability for use as a taxi. Some local authorities require a specific type of vehicle, such as a black cab or a wheelchair accessible vehicle. You should check with your local authority if there are any specific requirements.
The process of registering your car and obtaining your badge for the first time can be complex so it is vital that you do your initial research and fully understand what is required by the local licencing authority.
Depending on where you will be operating your taxi, some local authorities may require additional training or knowledge of the local area. It is important to check with your local authority to ensure you meet all requirements and seek professional help if needed.
Once you have applied, and your local authority has acceptance of your application, they will issue a personal taxi licence, normally in the form of a ‘badge’, an operator’s licence and a vehicle licence. You will need to add a ‘plate’ to your vehicle and display your licence to show you are adequately licenced by your local council to undertake the work you are carrying out.
Is Taxi Insurance more expensive than regular insurance?
Generally, specialist taxi insurance is more expensive as you will be on the road more than private cars, usually during peak times and in adverse weather conditions. You also need to be protected for more eventualities that involve the public.
How long does it take to get a quote?
Depending on the complexity of your insurance needs, we can usually provide a quote in as little as a few hours. From there, the process is simple and cover can be issued as soon as your instructions are received.
What do I need to get a quotation for my taxi insurance?
You will need the following information to obtain a quotation for both private hire and public hire taxi insurance:
Details of your vehicle
You will need its make, model, registration number, and idea of its current value, when you purchased it and where it is kept overnight
Annual private hire and personal mileage
We will ask you about your annual mileage and will ask for a split between both business and personal mileage.
The name of your licencing authority
This normally determines where you will undertaking your work.
Details of any risk monitoring and personal safety devices
This might include GPS monitoring, CCTV, monitoring the interior and exterior (dash cam) of the vehicle and two-way radios.
Your name, date of birth, how long you’ve held your driving licence, details of any claims and motoring convictions from within the last five years along with how many years’ experience you have driving a taxi.
Details of any other drivers
The names, dates of birth, how long they’ve held their driving licence, details of any claims and motoring convictions from within the last five years along with how many years’ experience they have driving a taxi.
The level of cover that you require
You can opt for comprehensive, third party, fire and theft or third party only.
No claims Bonus entitlement
We will allow you to carry over no claims bonus which has been earned on a previous standard car or taxi insurance.
Does my Taxi Insurance cover me for personal use?
All Acer’s taxi policies offer social and domestic cover as standard which will cover your vehicle for personal use and gives you the convenience of one policy covering your personal and business needs.
Can I insure more than one taxi at a time?
Yes, you can either buy individual policies for each of your taxis or opt for our fleet insurance policy. All we need to know is how many taxis you would like to insure and what type vehicles you have, whether they are used for private hire or public hire, which local authority you work with and your claim experience.
We can then work hard to find you the most competitive price for your insurance. We will let you have the options so you can make an informed decision.
Do you compare taxi insurance prices?
Yes, we understand when running a busy company you don’t have the time to shop around for your taxi fleet insurance – we go to most of the major taxi insurers so you don’t have to.
What happens if I need to make a claim?
The first notification of an incident should be made to us. We’ll get the claims process rolling and help you every step of the way.
Why choose Acer for my public hire insurance?
To make sure you have the right cover for your business, it is important to speak to a reliable insurance provider who specialises in arranging public hire insurance.
At Acer, we have over 15 years’ experience in providing specialist insurance to businesses across the UK. We are an independent broker and are proud of our friendly, professional service so you can be confident that you will always get the right cover for your business.
Call 01959 528435 for an immediate quotation or leave your details below and one of our expert insurance brokers will call you back.