If you live in London and you have managed to put aside a certain sum of money, if you are business oriented, wish to have your own employees and not be one yourself, if you have the basic skills to create a marketing plan and decided upon the following idea – starting a taxi company – then this is the right article for you. Especially nowadays when people are using public transportation more than ever. Having your own car, especially in London, means enduring all the rush hour traffic, congestion charges, fuel expenses, licenses and car service attendance. All of this can be avoided by taking the bus, tram, Tube or by using the taxi transfers of a minicab company.
Cab Dispatch System
The first thing you should do is make a research regarding United Kingdom’s regulations regarding private hire companies. The policies are very different in comparison with the Black Cabs’ requirements. So make sure to read them very carefully. Please keep in mind that when it comes to minicab companies, you are only allowed to take orders in advance. Your future drivers are interdicted by law, to take passengers that flag down on the street for a taxi. This is why you will also need to hire one or several operators. They will help you with the booking process. It is highly advisable for you to purchase a cab dispatch software that they can use. You will find more about it in Part II of this article.
Having all of your required private hire company licenses is very important due to the higher number of incidents that took place in London in recent years. The crime rates have risen in an alarming way in the taxi business and this led to a problem regarding the targets that are made up of women. Besides having the proper papers and showing them on your official website and in your public office, you can always send the contact details of the allocated drivers before the pick-up. This way, your customer will know in advance his name, phone number, car type, model and licence number.
Another important aspect is that you are not required to install meters in your vehicles, thus avoiding customer service problems, as many private hire company drivers tend to charge extra, especially when it comes to foreign travellers. This is why establishing a prior list with standard prices should represent a special place when it comes to a “top things to do list” before opening your private hire company. This involves marketing. You can either hire a specialist or start reading some basic advices, as you have to search for your competitors, see their pluses and weaknesses, analyse the prices on the cab market and also create and maintain your website, contact with future business partners and Social Media management, which has become a very important part of today’s life.
The costs are not as in the Black Cabs situation, but nonetheless you should keep in mid the following. In order to actually start taking bookings, you should first pay for all the necessary licenses: 250-300 pounds/operator, 75-300 pounds/vehicle, 25-200 pounds/driver. In case you have to purchase a fleet of cars, make sure that the cars are not older than 5 years. Also, each driver has to present a full EU driving license, a medical certificate and to have zero criminal convictions. Other costs will imply the rent for your official headquarter, IT components, furniture and other office accessories, salaries for your staff, name boards and other branding materials, etc. Statistically speaking, after your first two or three years of activity, you can reach thousands of bookings each year, so do not get discouraged by the initial investments..