Taxi drivers operate cars, SUVs, van, and limousine to transport passengers from one place to another. They pick up passengers from a designated place along with their luggage and drop them at their destination in the most efficient way possible. Taxi drivers work independently or for companies. The companies will have a fleet of cars and they hire drivers to operate their cars. The drivers are responsible to charge passengers the established fare than can be a flat rate or calculated by a taximeter based on time and distance of the ride. Drivers hired by companies are paid on a fixed salary basis for their services. Some companies will hire taxi drivers to provide services for hotels, big enterprises, and wealthy individuals. In this case, the customer needs to pay the company for their services.
- What does a taxi driver do?
- Inspecting the condition of the vehicle
- Checking the fluid levels and motor oil
- Inspecting the condition of the tire and air pressure
- Conducting a regular check of the vehicle
- Contacting the company, passengers, and customers
- Following the direction of passengers to the designated pick up point
- Informing passengers about fares and fees
- Picking up passengers from the designated area
- Assisting passengers with limited mobility
- Ensured the passengers are properly seated
- Driving passengers to their destination
- Following traffic laws and regulations
- Ensuring passenger safety throughout the journey
- Dropping passengers at the designated area
- Collecting fares and handling receipts
- Responding to accidents and emergencies
- Reporting accidents to supervisors or company
- Requesting replacement car to transport a passenger if necessary
- Performing minor mechanical repairs
- Assisting passengers with a medical emergency by providing first aid care
- Driving passengers to the hospital
- Keeping records about journey and working hours
- 5 steps to become a taxi driver in the UK
It is quite confusing to become a taxi driver in the UK because the process involves a few major steps to satisfy. Here are given a complete understanding of how to become a taxi driver in the UK.
- Step 1: Apply for a taxi license
A candidate who is looking to become a taxi driver in the UK must be a permanent resident of the country or should hold a work permit issued by the UK immigration office. You may check the government website to see whether you hold proper documentation. In London, if you spend 3 consecutive months outside the UK you must complete the living and working abroad form from TFL and submit it with your application. The applicant needs to be 21 years old to apply for a taxi license in London. If you are between 18 and 21 years, you will be eligible to submit an application and take the knowledge exam though you may not receive your license until your 21st birthday.
- Step 2: Pass driving and theory exam
To become a taxi driver in the UK, you must pass the driving and theory exams required by the government. Most localities in the UK will require you to have your license for 12 months but in London, the requirement is 3 years. In the UK only a fit and proper person can become a taxi driver. The DBS performs background and character checks on prospective candidates which have to be ordered by your council. The DBS enhanced background check will cost you around 60 £
You need to get a medical exam ensuring that you meet standards. The doctor will check you thoroughly making sure you can operate a car safely. Not all local councils may require a medical exam, so check before you get one done.
- Step 3: collect a copy of the application
Most cities and regions will have their application for taxi drivers. Consult the government website to get a copy of the application. If you live in London, you need to register your application online. To submit your application, it will cost you £120. Your application has to be accepted to consider eligible for the knowledge exam. You may take a theory and knowledge of driving tests to get a special taxi license.
- Step 4: Register for the knowledge exam
Prospective candidates need to study for the knowledge exam by memorizing the routes. In London, you need to memorize 320 routes. The London knowledge exam is considered the most rigorous taxi exam in the world. You may attend the London taxi school if you need a structure to study. Attending the program is a great way to improve your chance of passing the exam. Candidates need to register for the knowledge exam. You may attend the written knowledge exam held by your local council and you need to score above 60% to pass. You may go through the appearance process if you are in London. The first appearance stage is for 56 days, the second is 28 days and the third is 21 days.
- Step 5: Register your vehicle
Contact your city council to get information about registration criteria. Some cities will have mechanical and appearance-based criteria. The UK criteria are the vehicle should not have more than 8 total seats. Take an emission test if needed. Your vehicle must meet euro 6 standards in London and the vehicle presented for licensing must be zero-emission. You have to pay for the emission test and documentation will be required during your vehicle inspection. The cars less than 15 years old are permitted to become a London taxi vehicle. You must go through the list of vehicle requirements provided by the local area. There are several conditions of fitness taxi in London should meet mechanically as well as in terms of appearance. Get a taximeter installed in your car. This would able you to accept cards and electronic payments. Book a taxi vehicle inspection if needed. In London, you need to register online and set up an inspection appointment. If you don’t own a vehicle or if you are unfit, you may join a fleet. This would help to rent the vehicle for a small monthly fee.
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