A Guide to Start a Taxi Cab Company

Often, the best types of businesses let you begin small and then scale the business, and this is very true of operating a taxicab service. Whether you intend to drive for a ride-sharing service, utilizing your own vehicle or a rental, or you plan to launch a taxi business of your own, it's important to understand what you should expect.

It's important that you have a high-quality vehicle, a good attitude, and the ability to work the long hours that will be required as you get your business started.

Starting as a Ride-Share Driver

In the past, there was only one way to operate a cab company. However, ride-sharing services such as Lyft and Uber have changed the market entirely, making it easy to earn money by shuttling individual customers from place to place, without the need to start your own taxicab stand. The best thing about working as a driver for these companies is that you work for yourself without the need to pay start-up costs. You will find, however, that you may not make as much money as you would just doing your own thing.

To begin as a ride-share driver, it's important that you have a valid license and insurance, as well as a vehicle that's clean and in good condition. You'll have to go through an application process and be approved, as if you are working for an employer. However, once you've gotten started you'll primarily be allowed to choose the areas you want to work in and to set your own schedule.

Get Started with One Taxicab

The best thing about starting this type of business in the modern era is that you don't have to own a yellow car with a large sign on the roof. You can purchase partitions, taximeters, and a roof light to put on almost any type of vehicle, if you want them. You can also obtain a ride-sharing decal to help reassure potential passengers that you are working with the ride-share service.

If you're planning to purchase a vehicle, you'll need to plan on spending between £10,000 and £15,000 for this part of starting a business. This doesn't include any other equipment you may have to purchase. You'll also need insurance and a business license so that you can meet your state and municipality's guidelines for taxi drivers. If you're a single-car operation, you'll be able to avoid the expense of an office and equipment, however, as you can work from your home.

Adding More Vehicles

If you prefer to have more vehicles, you'll be branching out into the cost of getting started with and managing a fleet. This means buying and equipping the vehicles, as well as keeping insurance on all of them, as well as hiring appropriate drivers and paying them. This will also mean drug screens and background screens so that you can protect your business against potential liability that can occur if you hire the wrong individual.

After you've hired numerous drivers, you'll need a way to keep track of it all. Luckily, there is now software available that can help you keep track of things without you needing to keep an entire team on staff to take calls and dispatch drivers. Instead, customers can request their rides through an app, and drivers can take the calls themselves, then give the ride to the customer without needing a dispatcher to handle it all. If you'd like to have a staff member taking phone calls, you can hire them to use these apps to keep track of drivers.

Staying Competitive

Now, many big cities have only one of these types of transit providers taking care of the entire area. You'll be dealing with competition not only from ride-share services, as well as local cab companies. One thing that can help is making sure that your cars are available to contact at hotels and airports locally. Additionally, make sure to shop around for insurance for your cars – especially important with a fleet – look here to compare taxi insurance for better value.

After you've lined up all of the marketing, it's important to be sure that customers are pleased when the car actually arrives. It's important to insist that your drivers are safe, professional, and polite, and to keep high standards of cleanliness for all of the vehicles in your fleet. Be sure to consider each customer complaint seriously, so that you can catch problems with unsafe drivers fast and avoid endangering passengers.