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Taxi Insurance guide

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Taxi insurance and licensing guide

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The task of buying Taxi Insurance isn't always a simple one. However, here at One Insurance Solution, we make finding your perfect Taxi Insurance cover as smooth and as fast as possible. To help you on your way, we have put together a clear and comprehensive guide for those of you needing Taxi Insurance.

Whether you are just starting out as a new taxi driver or have years of experience, or you are looking at school or chauffeur contracts, our expert knowledge of the industry can help you master the taxi license application process.  With this knowledge, you can then find the right cover for you and your taxi by getting a quote through us with confidence.

What is a Taxi?

While this may seem like a silly question at a glance, it is important to distinguish what qualifies a vehicle for Taxi Insurance as opposed to, say, Car Insurance. 
A taxi, also known as a mini cab, black cab, or chauffeur car, is a vehicle licensed to transport passengers in return for payment of a fare and are typically fitted with a taxi meter. Standard taxi vehicles range from 4 to 9 seats. If your vehicle has more than 9 seats you will be licensed by VOSA in accordance with the region you operate in. Some vehicles can also be modified to carry disabled passengers.

How do I become a taxi driver?

In the UK there are laws and regulations in place to protect not only passengers but also taxi drivers themselves. Essentially, this means that it is illegal to transport passengers in exchange for money without the appropriate licences. All vehicles must go through a process called ‘plating’. This is where a driver’s local council or authority approve the vehicle to carry passengers. If you are planning on working in London, the process of becoming a taxi driver is slightly different . 

Taxi Licences

When applying for a taxi licence you will firstly need to decide which kind of taxi driver you want to be as there are two types:

Private Hire Taxi (Minicabs, Chauffeur, Uber) – Private hire taxis are those that carry passengers for hire and reward but have been pre-booked. Private hire taxi drivers cannot be hailed in the street.

Public Hire Taxi (Hackney Carriage, Black Cab) – Public hire taxis can be hailed in the street, wait at taxi ranks and go to pre-booked jobs. Due to this, the application process can be more thorough and take a little longer than the path to a private hire driver.

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To be able to apply for a private or public hire taxi licence, you must:

• Be able to work legally in the UK
• Have held a full UK or a full EU driving licence for at least 12 months

You must also be a ‘fit and proper person’, which means your background and character will be checked. Your council may carry out an enhanced criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Different councils have different requirements so you will need to speak to your local council to find out their specific criteria. An example of further requirements are:

• A medical examination
• A ‘Knowledge’ test, i.e. a test of your knowledge of the roads in the area you wish to work in
• An additional driving test

Vehicle licensing

Once you have a taxi licence you can purchase Taxi Insurance for your chosen vehicle. 
When you have your Taxi Insurance in place, you can get your vehicle inspected and licensed for the carriage of passengers by your local council (also known as getting ‘plated’). Each vehicle needs its own licence and cannot have more than 8 passenger seats. 

The council checks make sure the vehicle:

• Is roadworthy
• Is comfortable and clean
• Has a working taximeter
• Has safe and secure doors

The council can also attach certain conditions to you receiving a vehicle licence, such as:

• The colour scheme of your vehicle
• The use of roof signs
• Use of a taximeter 

The council will then check that you have valid Taxi Insurance in place that covers you for hire and reward and lists you as the named driver.
You will need to check with your local council how long your vehicle licence will last. Generally, it is 12 months however some councils may give longer.

Which type of insurance do I need for my taxi?

The 1988 Road Traffic Act states that all vehicles driven on a public road must have a minimum of third party insurance in place at all times. This is to ensure that if an incident occurred where a third party was injured or suffered damage to their vehicle or property, the costs of repair would be covered. This acts as financial security for all drivers. There are different levels of cover to choose from when picking insurance. You can go from the basic mandatory level of cover to a fully loaded comprehensive policy. 


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The levels of cover are as follows:

• Third Party Only Taxi Insurance – This is the minimum level of cover and does not cover damage to your own vehicle when an accident is your fault. Therefore, this insurance tends to be the cheapest.

• Third Party Fire and Theft Taxi Insurance – This is similar to third party only insurance but does have some additional benefits. If your vehicle is stolen or suffers damage from a fire it will be covered under this policy.

• Fully Comprehensive Taxi Insurance – This is the highest level of cover and usually the most popular. 95% of our current customers opt for this level of insurance cover. All the cover under a third party, fire & theft policy is included, as well as any accidental damage caused to your own vehicle.


Can you insure my Taxi?

As part of the Brightside Group, One Insurance Solution is one of the leading Taxi Insurance brokers and has developed close relationships with some of the biggest motor insurance companies in the UK. We have highly trained Taxi Insurance experts to assist taxi drivers, as well as a specialist team dedicated to those drivers working within London. 

You can challenge us to beat your renewal or new Taxi Insurance quote price for any of the following:

Taxi Fleets

Cover designed for taxi business owners. If you have 3 or more vehicles in your fleet, we can look to combine them all into one multi-vehicle policy. This can mean a multi-vehicle discount and only one premium to pay. On referral, we will be able to offer any driver fleet policies once all the drivers are over 25 years of age.

Any driver policies 

We can offer these policies when the drivers
• meet the age restrictions of 25 to 70 years of age 
• must not have had a claim nor conviction in the last 5 years. If they are not claim free the person must be named on the policy.
• must have a UK or EU driving licence (held for 2 years).
• have the correct taxi badge for the length of time required by the underwriter.

These policy criteria requirements must be checked and confirmed by the policy holder. These Any Driver Policies enable drivers the convenience to swap from vehicle to vehicle within the fleet. 

Uber

If you are driving a vehicle for Uber or other peer-to-peer ride-sharing companies such as Lyft, you can find insurance for your vehicle through us. Bear in mind, however, that the insurance will be rated on the licencing authority you are registered to. 

Chauffeurs and Executive drivers

Hire and reward insurance for drivers who hold chauffeur contracts or work for a chauffeuring company. Executive driver insurance is usually aimed at vehicles valued over £30,000 and can also depend upon the type of vehicle used.

How does Taxi insurance differ from Car insurance?

Taxi Insurance bears similarities to normal Car Insurance with regards to levels of cover. However, Taxi Insurance still allows using the vehicle for social, domestic and pleasure. It is always worth checking this with your chosen insurance provider. Having Taxi Insurance for your vehicle does not mean that you can drive somebody else’s taxi, regardless of the level of cover each party has.

What else can I include on my policy?

In addition to the high level of cover included in our policies, you also have the option to add (if not automatically included):

Breakdown Cover

Our full UK breakdown cover is provided by the RAC. This specialised cover is tailored to meet our taxi drivers’ needs due to the increased annual mileage of this profession. If you were to breakdown whilst out on the road, the RAC will try to fix the vehicle at the roadside. If your vehicle cannot be fixed then the RAC will take your vehicle to an approved mechanic and arrange onward travel for you and up to 7 passengers. The destination for onward travel can be chosen by you but will need to be within a 10 mile radius of where the vehicle broke down. You can also opt to include home start at an additional cost to cover breakdown assistance at home or within a ¼ mile of your home address.

Key Cover

Our Key Cover insures you against the cost of lock and key replacement and onward transportation in the event that you lose, damage or have your vehicle keys stolen. It also covers keys on the fob used for your home or office up to £1500. Cover is also in place if you need to gain access to your vehicle or home after your keys have been locked in, or broken in the lock of your vehicle, home or office. If for some reason you are stranded due to loss or theft of your keys, a hire car or alternative travel can be arranged within limit. You can also rest easy knowing that Key Cover comes with a 24 hour/365 days a year Emergency Helpline, ensuring you aren’t left high and dry by the roadside.

Personal Accident

We hope that nobody is ever injured whilst working as a taxi driver but sometimes accidents cannot be avoided. If you were to suffer injuries whilst driving that were severe enough to stop you carrying out normal day to day life, the importance of having financial cover for you or your family to fall back on cannot be overstated. The Personal Accident add-on gives financial protection should serious injury or death occur from an accident whilst driving. It also insures getting in or out of your vehicle, loading or unloading your vehicle and covers up to £50,000 per person with a maximum claim limit of £350,000.

Vehicle Replacement

In the event of a non-fault accident that takes your vehicle out of workable action, we automatically include a replacement plated vehicle at no additional cost to you. This will ensure you are kept on the road and earning whilst your vehicle is being repaired. Additionally, we can also offer a Vehicle Replacement cover if a fault accident was to occur. Should you have an accident, that was your fault and your vehicle is un-driveable, a plated vehicle will be made available for 14 days so that you can carry on working. This cover is also available if your vehicle is un-driveable due to fire, vandalism, theft and attempted theft.

Legal Protection

We can provide you with Legal Protection to help recover losses should a non-fault accident with an un-insured driver occur. You can take advantage of up to £100,000 worth of legal expenses, covering solicitors and court fees. This also includes Personal Injury and Loss of Earnings cover if unable to work after an accident. In the worst-case scenario, cover is available for fees incurred should prosecution be brought against you in connection with any lawful use of the insured vehicle.

Excess Protection

Unfortunately accidents do happen and usually when one occurs, the insured has to pay the first part of any claim, also known as an ‘excess’. Excess Protection allows you to claim back the amount of your excess once the related claim has been settled. Protection levels offered are £300, £500 or £1000. Using excess protection can potentially be a way of getting a lower premium, allowing you to select a higher level of excess to reduce the overall cost of insurance.

Public Liability

This cover gives financial protection for any claims made by members of the public relating to injury or property damage caused by you or your business, specifically for events that happen outside of your vehicle that are not covered by your motor insurance. Cover starts from £1 million but can be extended to £10 million. Some councils make it a requirement for their drivers to have public liability cover and if you have, or are planning to gain a school contract, it is usually mandatory to have cover for £10 million.

Windscreen cover (Included with Fully comp policies)

For those drivers that choose a third party fire & theft or third party only policy, Windscreen cover is the perfect additional product. It gives extra peace of mind whilst out on the roads, knowing that if your windscreen was to smash, crack or chip, you wont have to spend hundreds of pounds replacing it. Usually a small excess applies from an approved repairer then you are on your way again.

Still confused about Taxi Insurance?

To find out more, please give us a call on 0330 134 8923 and we’d be more than happy to provide you with a competitive Taxi Insurance quote and answer any questions. Or alternatively, fill in our call back form below and one of our Taxi specialist advisers will call you back.

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