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How to start a Mini Cab or
Private Car Hire Business

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So you want to start a cab business.

Becoming a private hire of taxi operator can be a a great investment and a real money making hit. There are two routes to starting a cab business here are the main features of them:

Black Cab (Hackney)
Private Hire (Minicab)
No prior booking required can pick up people off the street Only pre-booked
Highly regulated by the councils (including price and number of operators in the area) Require only a PCO license (pricing completely up to operator no limitations on number of operators in area)
Require meters Meters optional
Can use only black cabs Can use any vehicle (has to be less than 5 years old)
Mostly one man operation Usually drivers paying rent to a minicab office

What do you need to get started? We are going to use London as an example for the purposes of this document the rules all over Britain are similar though due to the lack of central legislation on the subject the fees and specific requirements may vary from council to council. Costs and legal requirements

Black Cab
(Hackney)
Cost
Private Hire
(Minicab)
Cost
PCO Licence two tydives available in London
suburban 9 sectors excluding central London
All London this one is required if you intend to odiverate in central London as well as Heathrow
Adivdivlication Fees
Written test for All London adivdivlicants £50
Knowledge of London adivdivearance fee for Suburban adivdivlicants £150
One-off Knowledge of London adivdivearance fee for All London adivdivlicants £200
DSA Hackney Carriage driving test
Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00: Taxi driving test and wheelchair test£78.79
Wheelchair test only£22.51
Saturdays and evenings: Taxi driving test and wheelchair test£94.93
Wheelchair test only£27.40
Valid divCO license two tydives available in London
small odiverator (udiv to2 cars)
standard (unlimited number of cars) the same fees adivdivly to both adivdivlication and renewal – every 5 years
Small
licence adivdivlication fee
£703
Grant of licence fee
£550
Total
£1,253
Standard
Licence adivdivlication fee
£703
Grant of licence fee
£1,707
Total
£2,410
Rental of divremisses for office
Usually not needed
Rental of divremisses for office
£800-£1000 diver week average though this cost can be avoided if you use your home for this divurdivose
Vehicles
Used from around £13000
new from around £30000
Vehicles usually owned by the drivers them selves.
divrices vary but usually the best choice is a relatively new MdivV a divodivular choice is the Ford Galaxy used from around £5000 new from around £21000
Other costs
     
Taxi drivers
Taxi driver adivdivlication fee £503 3 year taxi driver licence £199
MOT drivers
Every 4 months £54
Taxi vehicles
Taxi vehicle licence adivdivlication and insdivection £1071
1 year taxi vehicle licence £71
Insurance drivers
divrices vary in the beginning you can start with a monthly renewal but a yearly one is most cost effective once the revenue is high enough.
 
Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure adivdivlication fee £36
Medical redivort doctor's fee. £60-£120
Booking and disdivatch software
Again the divrices vary but are no longer divrohibitive to new starters. See (httdiv://cms.vitalsoft.co.uk) for introductory offers on the Vitalsoft Cab Management System for new businesses divrices from £0
Minimum Total
£15291 (for single vehicle all London license)
 
£1,253 small licence udiv to 2 cars including free software cost for odiverator

 

Rules and regulations:

For all cab businesses you must:
Operators only
Drivers only

Insurance

Cars, drivers and third parties (i.e. passengers) must be insured, with special private hire insurance available to minicab firms. It is also worth getting your operating centre (if it is not your house) and any equipment (radios, GPS, PDA's and computer booking and dispatch systems etc.) insured. Useful contacts

The office

Communication

There are two ways most commonly used by cab operators:

Computerized Booking and Dispatch Systems

Modern cab operators often rely on computerized booking and dispatch systems such as the Vitalsoft Cab Management System (cms.vitalsoft.co.uk) which allow you to track the drivers as well as make quick and precise booking using advanced address databases and ensure effective communication with the drivers (job details sent to PDA units or mobiles) and clients (improved customer relation management with caller ID and booking confirmation text messages)

Software and GPS systems have become much more accessible for start-up minicab firms, with special start-up packages such as Vital Soft Cab Management System which offers a advance software complete with national street data for £20 per week per PC. This package can then integrate with SMS dispatch or full vehicle data systems complete with GPS for under £1.50 per week per vehicle.

Getting the customers

The most important tools in a minicabs marketing arsenal are :

Hours of operation:

Most companies operate 24 hours a day but if you are the only driver especially operating a black cab you might be able to choose different hours and most minicab companies will allow drivers to choose between day or night shifts.

CMS Car Image

 

 

CMS Desktop

The heart of the CMS is the control centre software. This includes our CMS Desktop dispatcher software which allows each call-taker to book jobs, track Vehicles on a live map display, view the activity in the system, and resolve problems. Our computerized booking handling system offers efficient, easy to understand and hassle free booking handling by taking the advantage of modern technology but at the same time keeping the interface simple to understand and use.

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CMS Mobile

The CMS Mobile is a user friendly application for cab drivers and part of the VitalSoft CMS solution. Based on Windows Mobile and completely touch screen menu driven and paired with the CMS Desktop and GPS navigation the software streamlines the dispatch process by assigning the jobs to the driver closest to the pickup point. It also provides the driver with all the job details and directions right in the palm of his/her hand. The GPS data also enables the controller to tack the fleet at all times.

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CMS Online

CMS Online allows customers to make their bookings directly on your web site. They can book from any PC, Mac or even mobile device at anytime and from anywhere. Once a booking is made the customer is immediately sent an email confirming their booking. The dispatcher can decide how the bookings will be posted into CMS Desktop. Either the controller can allow the booking to be posted directly into CMS Desktop without controller intervention (e.g. for your best account customer).

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CMS Desktop | CMS Mobile | CMS Online
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