“SOMEONE HAIL A TAXI”
A taxi driver’s job is to pick up passengers from a location and then deliver them to their destination safely, via the quickest possible route.
Taxis are a key part of any transport system in the world, but especially so in Britain, where black cabs are an institution. But as a taxi driver you would often receive bookings for pick up and drop off jobs, as well as taking those who simply signal the car down.
Salary & benefits
A driver working around 40 hours a week in a major city would make between £14,000 and £19,000 per year, on average, although it is possible to earn in excess of £30,000 a year in the right mind.
As earnings are very much dependent on fares, times making journeys and hours worked, it is impossible to give a perfect figure.
Although most taxi drivers have the flexibility to choose their own hours, the taxi flow is directed by when and where people want them, so the most work is found on Friday and Saturday night, and weekend and late night work allows a driver to earn more money.
Whilst you do not need any qualifications to become a taxi driver in the UK, you can only get an operator’s license from your local council or from TfL, which means you have to complete the location specific requirements to enter the profession.
You will need to have held your license for at least a year, as well as have a clean criminal record, before you complete another driving skills assessment and a geographical test to check you understand the roads you want to drive. In London, the geographical test is called The Knowledge.
Training & progression
You may be offered training before you complete the local authority tests, which will help you to understand the basic elements of what you’ll be examined on. Once you have passed, there is no more compulsory training, although you may be expected to go on short refresher courses every so often.
As with many roles, progression is slightly weird in the industry because unless you buy your own taxi (or taxi company), you will struggle to move around the different companies within the industry for more money – your earnings are based on your meter.