If you are considering becoming a private hire driver, then you aren’t alone. In 2020, Uber took over $26 billion in bookings, and this wouldn’t be possible without millions of drivers.
It has been reported that 1.44 billion rides are completed each quarter with Uber, but this isn’t the only area available for private hire drivers. Delivering food, and goods, or working for a cab firm are viable options. As is starting your own private hire firm and working purely for yourself.
One thing you need to understand though is how to legally cover yourself, and make sure you have the right protection in place.
How can you start driving for a living?
If you want to make some extra income from driving then there are possibilities available, and it shouldn’t be hard to find some opportunity. You could obviously head toward the rideshare market and seek employment from one of these companies.
If you choose this route then you will need to prepare your car for Uber driving. However, this isn’t the only option.
Taxi cab firms will often allow private hire drivers to work for them on an ad-hoc basis or full-time. They may lease you a vehicle, or require you to use your own. Due to the rise of ecommerce, many businesses are crying out for delivery drivers and couriers too.
How can you ensure you’re covered while driving?
One issue with working as a private hire driver is insurance. If you obtain employment driving a company vehicle it is unlikely you will need to be concerned with this. Yet, with side hustles and the gig economy, it is more likely you will need to use your own car or van.
A visit to Zego confirms that you will need private hire insurance before you are legally able to drive for payment. This insurance covers drivers who deliver goods or passengers under a prearranged booking. Taxi drivers who pick up fares without bookings require public hire insurance which is a different type of policy.
Having the correct insurance policy in place is critical. A private hire driver can only work where bookings have been taken in advance, and specific insurance is available for this.
Is there any way to get lower private hire insurance?
Every driver would like to pay less for their insurance, but it can take years to build up no-claims bonuses. And certain factors can push up your insurance premiums such as age or your location.
Now, many agents offer usage based insurance to delivery and taxi drivers. This is perhaps of particular benefit to those who drive in the private hire sector. By collecting and analyzing data every time you drive, an accurate study can be made about your performance behind the wheel.
The idea is that if you drive well, you should be able to receive benefits. In this regard, it should mean lower insurance quotes for the following year.
How does this form of insurance work?
Usage-based insurance uses technology linked to GPS to gather and transmit information about your driving ability. This involves telematics systems, which is a form of wireless communication that has been embraced by the insurance industry.
Many aspects of how you drive can be ascertained by an app or device collecting data as you go about your daily work. This data will incorporate such factors as how fast you drive, the distance you cover each day, and the time of day you work.
Bad driving habits such as sudden braking regularly or accelerating rapidly often, will be recorded. But, good driving behavior will also be transmitted to your insurance company.
How could this affect driving habits?
Firstly, telematics can help to encourage safer driving. This in turn should lead to fewer accidents on the roads. It could as a by-product lead to lower premiums for all, as fraudulent claims become less common.
The data collected can protect commercial drivers when they have an accident that is not their fault, but it also protects the insurance company from fake claims. With telematics, no one can claim they were driving within the speed limit when in reality they were speeding.
Any information about driving habits that are analyzed can be returned in a report to the driver. This feedback can help a driver to spot where they need to improve with the incentive of lower insurance costs.
Insurance isn’t just there to cover damage to your vehicle, but a legal requirement. If you decide to work as a private hire driver then you need to be covered in case an accident occurs. In the event of a car crash, your passengers may seek legal advice. Having the right insurance in place will make sure you are covered.
Usage-based insurance offers you the chance to make private hire driving a little bit more profitable, and hopefully will encourage safer driving.