Deciding which vehicle you will be driving is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your driver career. There are a lot of options, all depending on the type of service you would like to provide. Whether you are part of a taxi company or you are starting off as an Uber driver, this blog will show some of the best cars for taxi drivers.
Why does my taxi vehicle matter?
There are a million and one reason why the car you are using for your taxi service matters. There is generally a lot to consider when choosing a car to commit to, and even more so if the vehicle you are buying is going to be your source of income.
One of the main reasons why this is important is the fact that different local authorities have different cab requirements. For example:
It is vital that drivers are aware of these local differences when purchasing their vehicle to avoid disappointment.
The service you want to offer will also impact the type of vehicle you need to get. There is no point getting a two seater if you are aiming to get as many people in the car as possible. When driving with Uber your vehicle also has to meet specific year requirements.
Take some time to consider what type of taxi service you want to offer, and use this to inform your vehicle decision.
Factors to Consider When Choosing your Vehicle
There are many factors you should consider when deciding which car to use for your taxi service, the main ones are:
The meaning of reliable in a car can change depending on what you use a car for. When buying a vehicle to use as a taxi, reliability means that your vehicle will not be prone to issues in maintenance and it won’t break down when you need it. Taxi drivers get a lot more miles on the clock than a regular driver, so it’s important your vehicle can handle it.
One of the things you will notice after getting on the road is that efficiency is key. Whether that is fuel efficiency, cost efficiency or even eco efficiency, you will want a vehicle that has as little running costs as possible. Choosing a vehicle with a diesel engine will use 15% to 20% less fuel than a petrol one, making them a lot more cost efficient
Space and Comfort
When offering a vehicle service, it’s important that your passengers’ needs are met. Will your vehicle offer passengers a comfortable ride? Will your car have enough leg room and booth space for your passengers luggage? These are the things you need to consider.
Depending on the type of service you are providing these factors need to be taken more or less in consideration. If you are offering a luxury private hire service your car needs to reflect that.
Taxi insurance can be extremely expensive, and the vehicle you choose as your taxi can have a lot of influence on your insurance price. There are a total of 50 insurance groups your car can fall in, with the highest groups attracting the highest premiums. The grouping of each vehicle is decided based on the car’s safety features, cost of replacement parts, vehicle price among other factors. The Thatcham Vehicle Search is a great source to find out what insurance group your car is assigned to.
Find out more on how to reduce your taxi insurance price
10 of the Best Vehicles for Taxi Drivers
Based on the factors above, here are 10 of the vehicles we think are best suited for driving a taxi in the UK. There is a wide variety of vehicle, so regardless of the service you are offering you will find some good advice here.
1- Toyota Prius
Price New: From £23,449
Price Used: £4,995.00 – £12,195.00
Insurance Group 14 – 15
Pro’s- The Prius is a hybrid car, meaning it has a gasoline engine and electric motor that are separate from one another which can run on their own. This makes the Prius both fuel efficient and also energy efficient, winning multiple awards for its low CO2 emissions.
Con’s- One of the main faults in the Prius is that it has a considerably slow acceleration, but even so, whilst driving in the city this model has enough speed to get by. The second fault of this vehicle is that it has a small rear leg room, and taller passengers may feel a little cramped.
2- Skoda Octavia Hatchback
Price New – from £22,390
Price Used – £3,855 – £22,365
Insurance Group: 2012 onward models are between group 13 and group 15
Pro’s- The Skoda Octavia scores fairly high in three main features; its an extremely spacious vehicle both in seating and boot space, it offers a quiet and comfortable ride, and it has relatively low running costs. These are all very positive factors when finding the right car for your taxi service.
Con’s– One of the recurrent issues identified in the Octavia is the fact that the automatic gearbox tends to have mechanical problems, especially when purchased used. Another fault is that automatic emergency braking is not included in all models.
3- Citroen Berlingo Multispace
Price New: From £20,275
Price Used: Between £1,465 – £12,705
Insurance Group: Depending on the model between group 4 and group 23
Pro’s – The main pro of the Berlingo Multispace is the space. This vehicle can be found as a 5 seater or a peoples carrier to fit 7 passengers, as well as offering a lot of boot space and lots of storage space. Some of the models are also in a very low insurance group, making the overall running costs cheaper.
Con’s – One of the main complaints with the Berlingo is that it’s not the best looking car in the world. Some also complain that not the funnest drive either, being noisy at high speeds. The interiors are also fairly cheaply made.
4- Mercedes E-Class Saloon
Price New- From £37,795
Price Used – £3,010 – £19,320
Insurance Group- Depending on the model , between 29 and 43
Pro’s- The pro’s of the E class are easily spotted. It is an extremely stylish car, and also very comfortable. Because it’s a partly electric car, you will also achieve a lot of fuel economy, especially in short trips.
Con’s – The main cons of this vehicle is the Insurance group it fits in. With the lowest insurance group available being 29, there are a lot of similar cars which rank considerably lower than the E class. Others also complain about the complicated infotainment system.
5- Volkswagen Passat
Price New- From £27,085.00
Price Used – £1380 – £8760
Insurance Group- Depending on the model, between 12 and 28
Pro’s –One of the main pros of the Passat is the fact that most models stay in a relatively low insurance group. As we know the lower the group, the lower the insurance price. Another big factor especially when using the vehicle as a taxi, is the fact that it has an incredibly spacious boot and rear seat. This will improve your drivers comfort.
Con’s –The most popular complaint with the Passat is the ride quality. The Passat is believed to do ok at slow speeds, but once you begin to pick up momentum the ride becomes uncomfortable.
6- Ford Galaxy
Price New- From £33,100
Price Used £900 – 24,540
Insurance Group Depending on the model between 16 – 22
Pro’s- One of the main positives of the Ford Galaxy is that it is adaptable to fit your needs. It’s spacious enough to fit 7 adults and if your client needs more storing space than seats they can be brought down creating a very large boot space. Galaxy drivers als enjoy a quiet ride at all speeds, and good handling.
Con’s-The main issue with this car is its price. Prices for a new start at £33K which is more expensive than rivaling vehicles. Some drivers also complain that the Galaxy offers a poor infotainment system, which is often sluggish.
7- Skoda Superb
Price New- From £23,975
Price Used- £7,025 – £33,635
Insurance Group- Depending on model between 13 -31
Pro’s- The Superb is an incredibly spacious vehicle with a very high quality ride. It also scores well in fuel economy, with some models achieving an impressive 76.4 miles per gallon. Depending on the model it can also sit in a very low insurance group.
Con’s- One of the main complaints of the Superb is the fact that new models only offer a three years warranty with a 60000 miles cap. Another issue found in the Superb is that its gearbox can be a bit jerky when driving in traffic.
8- Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle
Price New From £43,690.00
Price Used Between £7,995.00 to £28,990.00
Insurance Group – 13 or 14 depending on the model
Pro’s – The Transporter Shuttle is an extremely spacious and comfortable vehicle. It also offers some exciting added features such as a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring, air con, rear sunblind’s and remote central locking as standard.
Con’s – The main drawback from the Transporter is its price. It’s one of the most expensive vehicles against its competitors second only to the Mercedes V Class.
9- Audi A4
Price New From £29,505
Price Used £7,925 – £46,590
Insurance Group Between Group 19- 41 depending on the model
Pro’s- One of the main pros of the A4 is its appearance. As well as the executive exterior look the A4 offers a very stylish, high quality interior, giving your passengers plenty of room. The A4 also offers a wide range of engine sizes both petrol and diesel, so you will have a wide range of options to fit your driving needs.
Con’s- The main complaint highlighted is surrounding engine failures. Car Complaints gave it a severity rating of 10.0, the worst rating possible, due to its high repair cost. Others also complain about the infotainment system on new models being quite difficult to use, as well as noisy ride.
10- Hyundai i40
Price New From £27 630
Price Used £2,475 – £16,725
Insurance Group Depending on the model it sits between 12 – 20
Pro’s –One of the main pros of the i40 is its fuel efficiency. It emits relatively low CO2, as well as running at around 8.4 – 11.4 miles per pound, making a good option for single drivers and fleet owners to keep their costs low. The I40 also offers plenty of front, rear space.
Con’s- Some drivers have issues with the amount of booth and general storing space in the i40. Another issue highlighted by drivers is the price of the car, as rivals are very similar in features and often cheaper.
As you can see there is a wide range of vehicles you can use for your Taxi service. Make sure you consider all the pro’s and con’s of each vehicle, and the type of service you would like to provide, before you commit to buying your new car.
Once you made your choice and it’s time to insure your new car, remember that Quote the Market compares prices from a variety of insurance providers, so we are able to quote you some of the best taxi insurance prices on the market.