Whether you are a self-employed taxi driver or the manager of a taxi service company, buying the right taxis is incredibly important. Just like cars and trucks, taxis are long-term investments. This is why you should need to think carefully and do some strategic planning before going ahead with your purchases or leasing.
Where Can You Buy Taxi Vehicles From? (A Closer Look)
When it comes to buying taxis, you generally have two choices:
- Online dealership
- In-person dealership
Buying a taxi online is widely regarded as the best way to do it in the modern age. You get to browse the different options available and filter your search results so that you only see models that appeal to you.
To buy a taxi online, start by looking at a black cab for sale. You will be able to save more money this way.
How Does Taxi Insurance Work?
After buying a taxi (or multiple taxis), you need to get taxi insurance so that you can legally drive it on the road.
Due to the nature of taxi driving (higher mileage, long journeys, busy roads) means that taxi insurance is more expensive than normal vehicle insurance. However, it is still affordable for the average employee or business.
Standard taxi insurance includes motor insurance and passenger liability. In addition to this, you can add other factors to your insurance plan, such as:
- Breakdown cover
- Personal use cover (for if you use your taxi outside of work)
Make sure that you find an insurance plan within your budget range. Obviously, if you work alone, then you will only have to insure one taxi. However, if you have multiple drivers, your monthly insurance costs will be higher. At the same time, your business will be making more money, so the insurance costs should not be too bad.
Now, look at the five things to look out for when buying a taxi:
Make no doubt about it, price is the most important factor when you are looking for a taxi to drive. For a taxi in the US, you will be looking at somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000. The key, though, is to choose a taxi that only requires a low deposit and comes with affordable monthly payments. This way, you do not have to worry about covering any bulk up-front costs.
2. Brand-New or Used
Next, think carefully about this: do you want a brand-new or used taxi?
Generally, if you want to save a significant amount of money, it is recommended that you buy used ones. This is because used vehicles are cheaper on average.
A used taxi, despite having a previous owner (or owners), will still perform to the same standard as a brand-new taxi in most instances. The only catch is that there might be signs of wear and tear. Also, used vehicles are more susceptible to long-term problems, such as breakdowns and other faults. Not to mention, the warranty is normally a lot shorter.
If you buy new, you are going to get a spotless new model. However, you will have to fork out more cash for this privilege. For start-ups, it is often a good idea for start-ups to invest in used models for the first few years before upgrading to new ones when there is a steady cash flow.
Taxi models vary in terms of size and the seats they offer. Usually, there will be anywhere between 3 and 8 seats available.
More often than not, the lower the number of seats, the less you’ll have to pay for the vehicle. If you are planning on long journeys and earning as many new customers as possible, you might want to invest in a taxi with 6+ seats.
Let’s think about airports for a moment. At airports, it is extremely common for families and other large groups of people to book taxis with many seats to transport them where they need to go, such as a hotel several miles away. If your taxi only has a limited number of seats available, then it is going to cost you some potentially lucrative journeys!
For anyone out there who’s thinking about buying a used taxi rather than a brand-new one, then you should always take the mileage into account. High mileage used taxis are almost always cheaper to buy. As attractive as this can be, it is sometimes a gamble to take, especially if it is clocked over 80,000 miles worth of miles over the years. When you buy a used taxi (or any other type of vehicle) that has a lot of mileage, then there is a strong chance that you will experience future problems down the line, such as engine faults and brake pad wear and tear.
Last but not least, make sure to look out for the appearance of any taxi you’re thinking about buying. These days, most people book taxis online (via apps like Uber). When they do this, they will often get to look at the taxi models available in their area and go with the most visually appealing one.
The same applies to people who flag taxis in public spaces. Often, the appearance plays a big part in forming a positive first impression. If a taxi is old and worn out, it might influence people to look for another one instead. So, knowing this, it is very important that you choose a taxi (or taxis) that has a nice visual appearance. If you can get a slick and modern-looking one, go ahead and do it. In the long run, it will help you to gain many more customers.
Hopefully, you now feel more comfortable regarding your future taxi investments. Remember, all of the above-mentioned factors, from price to mileage, are important. Ideally, you’ll want to tick as many boxes as possible so that your business can thrive, and costs are kept under control. Many businesses use loans to purchase their taxis, so consider this avenue if you need help with the funding.