If you are just starting out in the private hire trade then it’s recommended that you hire your minicab in the first instance whilst you get to grips with the job and perhaps still finding out if it’s really the job for you.
All vehicles used for private hire need to be licensed with the Public Carriage Office so it’s not a case of simply using any car and there are certain cost implications with either option of either getting you own vehicle licensed or paying for rental. Please note that some operators will require you to have a vehicle new than 5 years old and yet again this may influence your decision as a newer car will cost more to buy.
How much does PHV rental cost?
You can usually rent a licensed private hire vehicle from your operator and this fee will vary from operator to operator but you are looking at paying around £150-£200 per week or around £35 a shift. This may sound a lot but this will also cover MOT, upkeep and repair, insurance, and should your vehicle breakdown then you can easily get a replacement and not lose out on any income.
There are also external companies now who offer PCO rentals but often these will cater for the higher-end vehicles are are only viable for short-term rents.
How much will it cost to use my own car?
After factoring the cost of buying your vehicle, the PCO Vehicle License will cost you around £114 and is outlined on this page. You will also be responsible for taxing your car, paying for the MoT, keeping the car in good condition, and you must also be aware of the amount of mileage you will be doing which may effect the amount of repairs on your car.
If you are looking to buy a second hand car then make sure you’re aware of the new rule changes for 2012 which relates to the age of your vehicle.
Top 10 PHV Manufacturers in London
There are currently just under 49,000 Private Hire Vehicles operating in the Greater London area and it may be of use to see what cars other drivers choose to use before deciding on buying or renting your own vehicle.
- Toyota – 7845
- Volkswagen – 7750
- Mercedes – 7284
- Vauxhall – 5961
- Ford – 5946
- Peugeot – 1899
- BMW – 1341
- Nissan – 1298
- Honda – 1054
- Chrysler – 942
These 10 manufacturers account for 41320 of the total 48778 Private Hire Vehicles in London so they should give you an idea on what other drivers choose to drive and may influence your own choices.
The Public Carriage Office (TfL) issues three types of PCO license in relation to the private hire trade.
Private Hire Drivers License
This is the license that allows drivers to work and be employed as minicab/chauffeur drivers in London. All Private Hire Drivers need this license so if you want to work as a minicab/chauffeur driver in London then contact us to submit your application. Please note, you will have to fulfill several requirements to get the license but as long as you’re over 21, have held your driving license for for 3 years, in good health and a good honest character then you should be fine. Once you have this license you must ensure that customers can clearly see it when you are working which ensures they know you are a fully licensed driver and you are not an ‘illegal cabbie’.
If you are caught working without a valid License you could face the possibility of not being able to apply for a number of years! So, get legal, stay legal and continue earning an honest living.
Private Hire Vehicle License
The PCO wants to make sure that all vehicles used for hire and reward are in good condition and fit for use, so it is a regulation that all private hire vehicles are licensed and it is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to apply for a licence. This may be you if you own your own car, or it could be the company you work for. If you rent a PCO vehicle from a third party it would the their responsibility but ultimately you have to make sure it’s legal while your behind the wheel. Private Hire vehicles must display their licenses in both the front and rear windows.
If you have any questions about the PCO vehicle licence then please use the ‘vehicles’ drop-down in the main menu. If you want to get your vehicle inspected and licensed then call the NSL Call Centre on 0343 222 5555 to book an appointment. It should cost around £100 in total for the inspection and the license.
If you want to run your own minicab/chauffeur office in London and accept pre-booked journeys then you must be licensed by Transport for London (TfL) or risk being prosecuted. There are several types of licenses covering a range of uses. The Operators license is valid for 5 years and must be displayed in a place where the public can view it. To check whether an operator is licensed you can use this online checker.