Like personal cars, you can’t drive a black taxi without adequate insurance – it’s a legal requirement. From public liability claims to breakdowns, you face many risks while driving passengers to their destinations, so finding insurance is crucial. And if you drive your cab on a private hire basis, you’ll need another type of insurance to cover you while ferrying pre-booked customers. There’s a lot to consider, so let’s run through everything you need to know about black cab insurance.
What is black cab insurance?
Whether you have a private hire, PCO, or public hire licence, you need taxi insurance to drive a black cab.
Black cabs – also known as Hackney carriages – are often used to pick up fares from paying customers who hail down taxis on the street. These are operated by public hire licenced drivers. However, private hire or PCO-licensed drivers also use some black cabs. In these situations, customers must pre-book taxis.
They aren’t all black, either! Whatever colour your cab is, you can’t drive it without insurance. A suitable level of cover might include cover for your customers, public members, employees, and the cab itself.
Types of black cab insurance:
There are different types of black cab insurance depending on how you and your company operate, including:
- Sole driver policies – Only the owner can drive the taxi.
- A named driver policy – People named on the policy can drive the vehicle (useful if more than one driver uses the cab).
- An ‘any driver’ policy – Anyone employed by a taxi company can drive the vehicle (more common for PCO or private hire companies).
We also cover taxi fleets at ChoiceQuote. Whether it’s a fleet of black cabs or a combination of taxi vehicles, get in touch, and we’ll work our magic.
What does black cab insurance cover?
Black cab insurance comes in three levels:
- Third-party only – The minimum level of cover required to drive a taxi. This insurance can cover you for claims made to third-party vehicles but not for your taxi’s damage.
- Third-party fire and theft – Provides the same cover as third-party insurance but adds fire damage and theft protection for your vehicle.
- Comprehensive cover – Adds insurance for damage to your vehicle and the benefits of third-party fire and theft cover.
As well as basic cover to drive legally, most insurers let you purchase add-ons for extra cover. These can include the following:
- Public liability insurance – Insures you against accident and injury claims from the public, including your passengers.
- Employers’ liability insurance – If you employ drivers, this insures you against claims of accident and injury from your employees.
- Legal expenses cover – Covers the cost of legal fees associated with claims made against you.
- Breakdown assistance – Pays the cost of breakdown call-out charges if your taxi breaks down. It may also cover the cost of taking your cab to a garage for repair.
- Vehicle replacement – Provides you with a replacement vehicle if you cannot drive your taxi, for example, following a collision or during repair.
These are brief product descriptions only. Please refer to the policy documentation paying particular attention to the terms and conditions, exclusions, warranties, subjectivities, excesses and any endorsements.
Who needs black cab insurance?
Anyone who drives a Hackney carriage must have black cab insurance.
Most black cab drivers need public hire insurance, but if you have a PCO or private hire licence, you’ll need private hire taxi insurance to cover pre-booked rides.
At ChoiceQuote, we offer comprehensive cover for all taxi drivers. Whether a saloon or an MPV with multiple seats, we’ll help you find a policy for your insurance needs.
How much does black cab insurance cost?
Finding cheap black cab insurance doesn’t mean paying for the lowest level of cover. On the contrary, many providers offer comprehensive cover at affordable prices. In most cases, these policies offer more value for money and are better for you as a driver because they come with added protection.
When shopping around, it’s essential to consider the factors affecting your policy price. Aside from the type of cover you choose, these include:
- Age – Drivers aged 25 and under can often expect to pay a higher premium.
- Driving experience – If you’ve been on the road for longer, insurers usually drop the price of your policy.
- Type of vehicle – Insurers will consider the type and value of your vehicle. Expensive taxis will cost more to replace, so your policy fee may increase.
- No-claims bonus – Drivers with several years of no-claims usually pay less for insurance since providers can see you’re less likely to make claims or have an accident.
- Motoring convictions – If you have a history of motoring convictions, you may need to pay a higher premium.
- Where your business is based – Certain areas may be deemed higher risk than others for theft or accidents, so insurers may increase your policy fee.
- Time on the road – Providers will consider how many hours per day you spend on the road to calculate your insurance.
- Mileage – Insurers will also consider the miles you do per year. More mileage may mean higher insurance.
How can I save money on black cab insurance?
If you’re wondering if you can minimise the price of your policy, then the answer is yes. Here are a few things you can do:
Pay annually – Try to pay for your policy annually rather than monthly. Usually, you’ll get a discount for paying upfront.
Secure your vehicle – Ensure you secure your vehicle, especially when you’re not using it. For instance, could you leave it parked in a garage overnight rather than on the road?
Add security – Use additional security measures to lower the risk of theft and damage. This could include dash cams, wheel locks, and other devices.
Use telematics – Telematics like speed boxes can significantly lower insurance premiums. If yours is high, consider installing a black box.
Who can get black taxi insurance?
To get black taxi insurance, you typically need to satisfy the following conditions:
- Aged 25-75
- Hold the right to live and work in the UK
- Hold a full UK driving licence
- Passed the public taxi driver test and ‘The Knowledge’ of London exam
ChoiceQuote can arrange cover for new badge holders, younger drivers (aged 23-25) and older black cab drivers, as well as those with motoring convictions. While this isn’t always the cheapest insurance available, it gets you on the road and earning money. It also offers you a chance to build up your taxi no-claims bonus.
Can you cover electric, hybrid, and LPG black cabs?
The latest generation of black cabs is going green. In polluted city centres, this is good news for environmentally-conscious taxi drivers. And, while the initial cost of buying an electric taxi can be quite high, the running costs offer savings in the long run.
More taxi drivers will consider changing their cabs in the months ahead. There are already around 5,000 hybrid taxis made by LEVC on the streets of the capital, and the company has recently launched a fully-electric black cab.
ChoiceQuote can provide insurance for taxis of all types. Whether you drive a regular diesel-powered black cab, a hybrid, an LPG-fuelled vehicle, or an all-electric model, we’ve got insurers who can cover your needs. To get your quote, call the team today on 01625 885046.
Benefits of Black Cab insurance
- Third-party, third-party fire and theft, or comprehensive cover for your taxi
- Public liability insurance included as standard by most insurers (can also be added as an optional cover)
- Cover for drivers aged 23-75 years old
- Cover for new badge holders available
- Drivers with claims or convictions are considered
- Repayment options
- UK offices
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I insure my taxi for personal use?If you’re a registered taxi driver, you can still use your vehicle for personal use. Rules can differ depending on your local council, so make sure you check in advance.
How many drivers can I have on my policy?When you purchase single vehicle taxi insurance, you can insure up to 4 drivers on a ‘named drivers’ policy. Dependent on your insurer, you can cover any authorised driver, rather than all named drivers on your fleet.
What other policies do you offer?We know that you rely on your vehicle to make a living. In an unfortunate case of a breakdown, you will want to get back on the road as soon as possible. We offer breakdown cover in addition to your existing policy or as a new policy. Legal expenses cover is also available.
What types of vehicles will your taxi insurance cover?Our insurance covers a wide range of vehicles from saloons to executive cars.
Can I get cover today?Yes, if you need insurance today, you can buy immediate cover. You can make a payment by credit or debit card or if you choose to pay by Direct Debit, you can pay an initial deposit and then pay the remaining amount over monthly instalments.