If you are thinking of getting a job as a private hire driver then be aware that there are certain checks that your boss will be making before they will allow you to drive for their company.
The government has proposed plans to simplify the criminal record checks procedure in order to reassure passengers who may be vulnerable and travelling alone in taxis. Therefore you can expect that your boss will be seeking to perform an enhanced check on you in order to fall in line with the forthcoming reforms. This will include checking if for any reason you are not allowed to work with children or vulnerable adults. Your boss will be keen to protect the rights of the passengers and will want to be able to make an informed decision before handing over a licence to you.
Have you got insurance?
You will also need to ensure that you have valid private hire insurance before you pick up your first passenger. This is a specialist kind of insurance that you will need if you are driving paying passengers around. The premiums are higher than standard insurance due to the risks involved, but there are companies who can provide PCO insurance at very reasonable rates. The rates of your insurance will vary depending on the age of your car, your age and your claims record.
And Public Liability too?
Your boss will want to know that you have public liability insurance to protect you against claims which may be brought by your passengers. Some private hire insurance will include this as standard but you will need to ensure that your policy covers you.
A no brainer
It goes without saying that you will need a full UK driving licence. It is an offence to work as a taxi driver without having a valid licence in your possession.
You will be asked to undergo a medical examination in order to meet the DVLA Group 2 medical standards. You will usually have to pay for this. Your GP may be willing to carry out a private medical examination for a fee but whoever carries out your medical will need full access to your medical records. It is really important that your employer knows that you are healthy enough to drive with the required level of skill. Your eyesight and hearing must be good, as must your judgement and your memory. The process of driving for long periods of time requires complex interactions between your brain and your body and in order to look after your passengers safely you must be in excellent health.
Now you know what checks will be made, you’ll be able to go in for a job as a private hire driver knowing that you have all bases covered.