What is taxi insurance?

If you transport people professionally, a standard car insurance policy will not be enough to protect you, your car, your customers and their belongings.

Instead you will need taxi insurance. This is a specialist vehicle insurance policy designed to cover cars used for commercial hire, which includes everything from black cabs and pre-booked taxis to chauffeured limousines and wedding hire cars.

Public hire insurance

Public hire taxis can be hailed down by customers on the street, and do not need to be pre-booked.

They can display a taxi sign, and include London black cabs. Only public hire taxi insurance will cover you to pick up customers without a booking.

Public carriage office (PCO) insurance

All London black cabs, or hackney carriages, must be licenced by the Public Carriage Office (PCO), a division of Transport for London. These public hire taxis require a specific type of cover known as PCO insurance

Private hire insurance

A private hire taxi must be pre booked in advance, and includes most minicabs and large multipurpose vehicle (MPV) taxis like people carriers.

Private hire taxi insurance will not cover you to pick up customers without a booking from places like train stations or taxi ranks.

Who can get cheap taxi insurance?

Given the far greater number of miles you will drive, and the time spent behind the wheel, insurers recognise taxi drivers face more risks than most other motorists. To ensure they and their customers are safe many taxi insurance providers will only offer cover if you:

  • have lived in the UK for at least five years

  • have held a valid driving licence for at least a year

  • work as a taxi driver full time only with no other jobs

  • are over a certain age, usually 21, but sometimes 25

  • need to submit to a background check, which may include an enhanced criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

You may also need to pass the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) taxi driving test depending on your local council.

Can you work as a taxi driver anywhere in the UK?

When you apply to become a taxi driver you will need to confirm your operating area, and may not be covered to work outside of this area.

You should read the taxi driver eligibility criteria carefully first to save a wasted application.

The level of cover you can get may be restricted by the area you work in. Some policies only offer fully comprehensive cover if you are registered in certain areas so check your policy carefully.

Do Uber drivers need taxi insurance?

Private hire insurance is the most suitable cover for drivers working for Uber and its competitors. Uber does not define itself as a private hire company, but insurers see Uber drivers as operating a taxi service and will require them to have appropriate insurance.

This is because standard car or van insurance is usually invalidated if you're carrying a paying customer - so you'll need a commercial private hire policy instead.

Uber drivers should also make sure they have public liability insurance, whether through Uber, their own vehicle policy or as standalone cover.

What type of taxi insurance do I need?

Taxi insurance offers the same three levels of protection as standard motor cover: fully comprehensive; third party, fire and theft; and third party only.

However, there are other cover options specific to taxi insurance you should consider, including:

  • Public liability insurance This protects you if a customer suffers a personal injury or property damage while in your taxi, and it will cover any legal or compensation claims that occur as a result. Most although not all policies include this cover as standard, so always check policy wording.

  • Personal use cover: You will need this cover if you plan to use your taxi for day-to-day use when you are not working.
    Also, if you also want your partner to use the vehicle check that your local authority allows unregistered drivers to drive plated taxis, as not all do.

  • Unlimited mileage: As a taxi driver you will drive a large number of miles each year, so an unlimited mileage policy will ensure you will not be charged for driving too much.
    Look at how many miles you drive on average each year to work out whether this cover is worth it.

  • Short-term taxi car insurance If you are keen to become a taxi driver, but plan to only work for a short spell each year, it may be worth investing in temporary taxi cover, which is just like short-term car insurance. This is available from some specialist taxi insurers.

If you need any of these types of cover, make sure you choose a policy that includes them.

Taxi insurance FAQs

Q

How much does taxi insurance cost?

A

Taxi insurance is on average more expensive than standard car insurance cover because:

The cost of your taxi insurance premium will depend on the same factors as standard car insurance, including the vehicle you drive, where you live, where you keep your taxi and your driving record.

Q

How to reduce the cost of your taxi insurance premium

A

The best way to find affordable cover is to shop around and compare quotes. Most car insurers do not cover taxis, but you can find specialist companies that do via a taxi insurance comparison site.

There are several ways to help reduce your taxi insurance premiums, including by building up a no claims history, choosing a sensible vehicle, and by installing security features like CCTV into your taxi cab.