Decent car for Private hire Taxi advice?

32
Posted 17th Aug 2020
Good afternoon you gorgeous looking bunch.

With furlough and the way my current job is heading, I have decided to embark on a new career direction and I'm in the middle of obtaining my Private Hire Licence with the added of Hackney Carriage to come later, depending on how I go.

I have been looking at suitable cars, as I'll be an owner driver and was leaning towards a Vauxhall Insignia.

Anyone have any advice or preference as to what vehicle would be suitable?
Car will not be brand new, probably only a couple of years old though as I have a 66 plate Vauxhall Moka to trade in against it.
Would have to be diesel for obvious reasons, but I also live out in the sticks and ofc, mileage will play a big factor.

Much love
GB
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32 Comments
Man, you've been on HUKD for a long time and I've only come across you for the first time.

I second the choice of a diesel Insignia. Plentiful parts at sensible prices & garages that can fix issues. Find out the preferred garage choices of fellow cabbies - get seen at short notice!
Edited by: "Gollywood" 17th Aug
Gollywood17/08/2020 17:38

Man, you've been on HUKD for a long time and I've only come across you for …Man, you've been on HUKD for a long time and I've only come across you for the first time. I second the choice of a diesel Insignia. Plentiful parts at sensible prices & garages that can fix issues. Find out the preferred garage choices of fellow cabbies - get seen at short notice!


Oh yeah?

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Check your intended licensing authority for any maximum age of vehicle for first use as PH.
When you say Hackney Carriage, do you mean a licensed London black cab driver?
AndyRoyd17/08/2020 17:46

Check your intended licensing authority for any maximum age of vehicle for …Check your intended licensing authority for any maximum age of vehicle for first use as PH.



Max 5 years at registration and max 10 for use. Already checked, thanks!
Toptrumpet17/08/2020 17:48

When you say Hackney Carriage, do you mean a licensed London black cab …When you say Hackney Carriage, do you mean a licensed London black cab driver?



No no, just the hackney carriage licence.
It's not something I'm planning on getting, but may do further down the line.
And I'm about 400 miles from London
Gandalfbaggins17/08/2020 17:54

No no, just the hackney carriage licence. It's not something I'm planning …No no, just the hackney carriage licence. It's not something I'm planning on getting, but may do further down the line.And I'm about 400 miles from London


OK, I was just going to stay ‘Don’t even think about applying’, the game is dead in London.
Toptrumpet17/08/2020 17:56

OK, I was just going to stay ‘Don’t even think about applying’, the game is …OK, I was just going to stay ‘Don’t even think about applying’, the game is dead in London.



Oh yeah? That sucks.
Was only the other day I was watching a documentary on the BBC about the amount of local knowledge you guys have to know to pass the test. I mean, man, my mind was blown.
Gollywood17/08/2020 17:58

That's a sign that I've been around too long


Like a fine Wine, it's not always a bad thing
Skoda Octavia seems to be a very popular choice here in the NE.
Get an Estate. Always get an estate. Possibly get a Toyota Auris Estate Hybrid. But always get an Estate!
All seem to be Octavia's or Prius here in Leics as well
Think about congestion zones and clean air zones and how the expansion of such is going to impact you.

Skoda Superb Estate
or
Hybrid/EV - prius etc.
Most round my way are AURIS TorIng Hybrid - rock solid and idea for London or toll cities

Agree quite a few also have

Personally through experience of company insignias and colleagues avoid unless you like free coffee in the garage !
For taxi you need be happy put in long hours too make your money anything less than 40 hours and you won't even make minimum wages, not trying put you off but yes making you aware. If you didn't know this already. Most taxi drivers are doing parcel's at moment around my areas taxis have gone slow aswell.
sane4sure17/08/2020 18:21

Skoda Octavia seems to be a very popular choice here in the NE.


Yes, see loads of Skoda taxis.
sane4sure17/08/2020 18:21

Skoda Octavia seems to be a very popular choice here in the NE.



That was another car I was looking at.
Don't do it, unless you have another income. Before the pandemic you need to work 70 hours a week to make a wage now that still not enough. No holiday pay either.
eelvis17/08/2020 19:01

Don't do it, unless you have another income. Before the pandemic you need …Don't do it, unless you have another income. Before the pandemic you need to work 70 hours a week to make a wage now that still not enough. No holiday pay either.


Yup, I've been doing PH for 18 years now, I've never known it so hard. I would advise the OP NOT to do it, in this current climate, in all honesty.
Edited by: "StonkwellBogtrotter" 17th Aug
I do have another Income at the min, but this may change. Initialy it just to test the waters and see how it goes.
Had 25 year under my belt. Gave it up 6 years ago.
I would recommend you give up all hope now.
I still have 20 to 30 friends that are black cab or mini cab drivers.
Since COVID-19 they are only taking £30 - £50 a day and up to £100 on a Friday or Saturday night.
Most drives have Skoda diesel estate or Toyota Prius. The stupid ones are driving E-class, paying as much finance as mortgage.
Which car you can have will be district specific.
God help you with hire and reward insurance price.
bigwheels17/08/2020 20:15

Had 25 year under my belt. Gave it up 6 years ago.I would recommend you …Had 25 year under my belt. Gave it up 6 years ago.I would recommend you give up all hope now.I still have 20 to 30 friends that are black cab or mini cab drivers.Since COVID-19 they are only taking £30 - £50 a day and up to £100 on a Friday or Saturday night.Most drives have Skoda diesel estate or Toyota Prius. The stupid ones are driving E-class, paying as much finance as mortgage.Which car you can have will be district specific.God help you with hire and reward insurance price.



Meh, I think I'll give it a shot before I give up hope.
PH Insurance is around £1,400 a year for me with £500 excess, plus I was on the lookout for a new car anyhow, so it's not as if it's going to cost much to try it.

Whilst I'll be self employed, I already have scored a contract for a quite remote hotel where I live for their Staff.
Trying to get a taxi for their guests (or staff) also is literally an impossible task. Nearest rank is about a 45-50 minute drive away. I live just about next door

The big towns or cities may be struggling at this time, Covid, influx of drivers, Uber, etc But I doubt this will effect myself much. Not where I live anyhow.
Then their are other options, it just all depends how hard I guess, you are willing to work.
And I'm not looking to earn millions, Just enough to keep ticking over.

I'll see how it goes.
Thanks for the input
Edited by: "Gandalfbaggins" 17th Aug
sane4sure17/08/2020 18:21

Skoda Octavia seems to be a very popular choice here in the NE.


I was just going to say the exact same thing. The Skoda Octavia is definitely the most popular car for cabbies here in Newcastle.
Gandalfbaggins17/08/2020 21:44

Meh, I think I'll give it a shot before I give up hope.PH Insurance is …Meh, I think I'll give it a shot before I give up hope.PH Insurance is around £1,400 a year for me with £500 excess, plus I was on the lookout for a new car anyhow, so it's not as if it's going to cost much to try it. Whilst I'll be self employed, I already have scored a contract for a quite remote hotel where I live for their Staff. Trying to get a taxi for their guests (or staff) also is literally an impossible task. Nearest rank is about a 45-50 minute drive away. I live just about next door The big towns or cities may be struggling at this time, Covid, influx of drivers, Uber, etc But I doubt this will effect myself much. Not where I live anyhow. Then their are other options, it just all depends how hard I guess, you are willing to work. And I'm not looking to earn millions, Just enough to keep ticking over. I'll see how it goes.Thanks for the input


Good for you.
Drunk idiots etc were no problem. It was the office staff and boss that made me give up.
They had been doing the job for 5 minutes and thought they knew how to do the job.
And were telling me how to do my job, but had never driven a customer in their life.
As for car, your in a remote area and hotel work means luggage it’s got to be diesel estate.
Ive got a Peugeot 5008 1.6 bluehdi auto 66 plate. Works as a large estate and 6 seater.
Though some licensing authorities only allow certain cars as 6 seaters.

Local I get 30-35 mpg and on the motorway 45-50 mpg.
Insignia estate is quite small, Skoda estates are very large. Due to being remote I’d avoid hybrid.
Find a set of leather fitted seat covers, as easy to wipe clean. A boot liner and rubber floor mats.
For breakdown cover go with the AA, They don’t exclude mini cabs like the Rac do.
bigwheels17/08/2020 22:30

Good for you.Drunk idiots etc were no problem. It was the office staff and …Good for you.Drunk idiots etc were no problem. It was the office staff and boss that made me give up.They had been doing the job for 5 minutes and thought they knew how to do the job.And were telling me how to do my job, but had never driven a customer in their life.As for car, your in a remote area and hotel work means luggage it’s got to be diesel estate.Ive got a Peugeot 5008 1.6 bluehdi auto 66 plate. Works as a large estate and 6 seater. Though some licensing authorities only allow certain cars as 6 seaters.Local I get 30-35 mpg and on the motorway 45-50 mpg.Insignia estate is quite small, Skoda estates are very large. Due to being remote I’d avoid hybrid.Find a set of leather fitted seat covers, as easy to wipe clean. A boot liner and rubber floor mats.



Thanks for all the advice
Having an obligation to pick from a place or person can be a burden, as you drive dead miles to get there and stuck on a hire and company's may not allow this. The benefits of private work are good only if hires are long and regular. There is no money in this job unless you give up all your family and free time, OK at first but hell later and your stuck with your car car debit. Been out now over a year and can't believe how much better life is. More difficult to get loans and credit when self employed.
“Gandalfbaggins wrote:
Meh, I think I’ll give it a shot before I give up hope.PH Insurance is around £1,400 a year for me with £500 excess, plus I was on the lookout for a new car anyhow, so it’s not as if it’s going to cost much to try it. Whilst I’ll be self employed, I already have scored a contract for a quite remote hotel where I live for their Staff. Trying to get a taxi for their guests (or staff) also is literally an impossible task. “

You do realise that as well as your PH license or Hackney license if you’re not working for a actual company, (say Joe Bloggs Taxis), you will also need to take out your Operators License, be it Hackney or Private Hire, and in doing so any jobs booked over the telephone MUST be wrote down in a book that can be examined by your local Licensing Authority.
I’ve been there and wore that T-shirt a few years ago.

Edit: unless things have changed by now!
Edited by: "wallzone" 18th Aug
wallzone18/08/2020 07:26

“Gandalfbaggins wrote:Meh, I think I’ll give it a shot before I give up hop …“Gandalfbaggins wrote:Meh, I think I’ll give it a shot before I give up hope.PH Insurance is around £1,400 a year for me with £500 excess, plus I was on the lookout for a new car anyhow, so it’s not as if it’s going to cost much to try it. Whilst I’ll be self employed, I already have scored a contract for a quite remote hotel where I live for their Staff. Trying to get a taxi for their guests (or staff) also is literally an impossible task. “You do realise that as well as your PH license or Hackney license if you’re not working for a actual company, (say Joe Bloggs Taxis), you will also need to take out your Operators License, be it Hackney or Private Hire, and in doing so any jobs booked over the telephone MUST be wrote down in a book that can be examined by your local Licensing Authority.I’ve been there and wore that T-shirt a few years ago.Edit: unless things have changed by now!



Oh I know about the OL, but it's only around £150 so no big deal
eelvis18/08/2020 07:17

Having an obligation to pick from a place or person can be a burden, as …Having an obligation to pick from a place or person can be a burden, as you drive dead miles to get there and stuck on a hire and company's may not allow this. The benefits of private work are good only if hires are long and regular. There is no money in this job unless you give up all your family and free time, OK at first but hell later and your stuck with your car car debit. Been out now over a year and can't believe how much better life is. More difficult to get loans and credit when self employed.



I'm lucky enough not to require 'loans or finance'.
No car debt payments either, as stated earlier, I was on the look out for a new motor anyhow

Also, I have done my research so it's not like I'm about to jump in head first without looking.

I'll have zero car finance.

Local knowledge test £40 - Done
Practical test, (which is tomorrow btw) £80
Licence application £98 1 year.
Or
Licence application £208 for 3 years
New private hire vehicle (up to three years old, one year licence): £155
Or
New private hire vehicle (over three years old, one year licence): £185
Full set of plates: £180
New private hire operator's licence (one year): £109
OR
New private hire operator's licence (five years): £360
Insurance around £1400-£1500

So, for £2k ish, for 12 months of trial, I don't think is bad, considering I've already got a contract waiting for me which will virtually pay off all that within a month.


Appreciate all the feedback though, I'm sure some of you guys have been through hell and probably do work 80 hour weeks just to put food on the table, which sucks, but I'm in a position where I can try it out for a year or so to see how it goes.
Gandalfbaggins18/08/2020 16:49

I'm lucky enough not to require 'loans or finance'.No car debt payments …I'm lucky enough not to require 'loans or finance'.No car debt payments either, as stated earlier, I was on the look out for a new motor anyhow Also, I have done my research so it's not like I'm about to jump in head first without looking. I'll have zero car finance.Local knowledge test £40 - DonePractical test, (which is tomorrow btw) £80Licence application £98 1 year. Or Licence application £208 for 3 yearsNew private hire vehicle (up to three years old, one year licence): £155OrNew private hire vehicle (over three years old, one year licence): £185Full set of plates: £180New private hire operator's licence (one year): £109ORNew private hire operator's licence (five years): £360Insurance around £1400-£1500So, for £2k ish, for 12 months of trial, I don't think is bad, considering I've already got a contract waiting for me which will virtually pay off all that within a month. Appreciate all the feedback though, I'm sure some of you guys have been through hell and probably do work 80 hour weeks just to put food on the table, which sucks, but I'm in a position where I can try it out for a year or so to see how it goes.


Easy job in the world to get into but the hardest to get out off, good luck
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