Every sector of Scotland’s economy is feeling the effects of the pandemic. The latest figures show that Scotland has an unemployment rate of 4.3% in 2021. This rate was however lower than the UK average unemployment rate of 4.8%, so it’s not all bad news.
2.5 million people aged 16-64 in employment January – March in Scotland, 116,000 people in that age range were unemployed.
There is one industry that has an abundance of work, and not enough workers to keep up with demand. The taxi industry has seen a drop in drivers returning to work after lockdown restrictions have eased. Many drivers have opted to retire through the pandemic, and some European drivers have returned home due to Brexit.
These situations have left the taxi and PHC industry with many roles to fill to keep up with the continuing taxi demand as Scotland emerges from its lockdown slumber. So, if you’re looking for a job in Inverness, have you ever considered joining the ‘taxi ranks’, and becoming a taxi driver or Private Hire Car (PHC) driver?
Here’s our guide to what it takes to become a taxi driver, and why you might want to consider becoming a cabbie.
What Does a Taxi Driver Do?
You will already have an idea of what a taxi driver’s duties may be, but here are the main duties:
Taxi driver’s duties include:
- Driving passengers to their destinations in a prompt, friendly manner.
- Taking job details from an operator at the office, or more usually from your in-car computer/phone.
- Accepting advance bookings and waiting on taxi ranks.
- Help to load and unload passengers’ luggage.
- Help passengers to get in and out of the vehicle if needed.
- Take payments, both cash and card.
- Keep the vehicle clean, roadworthy, and adhere to all COVID-19 health and safety measures.
- If self-employed, you should keep accounts and records.
How Much Does a Taxi Driver Earn?
How much you earn as a taxi driver depends on the number of hours you work. A full-time taxi driver could work from 40 to 60 hours a week, with the weekends being the busiest period.
Most recent figures tell us that there are over 18,000 taxi drivers in the country with a 30% drop in drivers since 2020 due to the pandemic and Brexit. of these drivers, 14% of drivers are full-time, 16% are part-time, and the lion’s share of drivers are self-employed – 71%.
As a driver, you can also choose to be self-employed, where you keep all of your earnings and pay a fee to use a taxi operator’s platform for passenger bookings etc. Being self-employed means you can choose when and how much you work, giving you greater freedom.
The industry operates 24/7 and with a great office feeding you quality runs, it’s really up to you how much you earn. The more hours you work, the more money you can make. A full-time driver will make over 4 figures a week.
Why Become a Taxi or PHC Driver in Inverness?
Inverness has returned to being the vibrant city it was before the pandemic. There is plenty of work to be had in the capital of the Highlands with a drop in drivers serving the city.
Get out and about and meet new and interesting people. Help the local Inverness community recover from the trials of COVID-19 by providing an essential transportation service that is considered the safest way to travel during the pandemic.
Inverness Low Crime Rates
New drivers to the area have expressed that the reason they came to Inverness is the low crime rate in Inverness. The city was joint second place for lowest car thefts in the UK. This is reflected the country’s most recent crime stats which show a continued downturn in crime in the area!
Divisional Commander, Ch Spt Conrad Tricket said that this “continued the trend” of the Highlands being one of the safest places to live in Scotland, with the number of crimes down compared to the same point last year. Another great reason to move to Inverness and start your career in driving.
Be Your Own Boss
Becoming a PHC or taxi driver in Inverness means you’ll have access to Inverness Taxis’ exceptional booking platform. This will give you access to quality runs ranging from Airport transports to school runs and everything in between.
Become your own boss and earn on your terms without having to sacrifice the salary!
How to Become a driver
To become a taxi driver in Scotland, you will need the following:
- You’ll need to be at least 21 years old
- Have a clean current driving licence
- Have been driving for at least 12 months
- You will need to pass a test of knowledge about the Inverness area
- A PHC driver does not need to pass a knowledge test
You will also need to apply for a special license from the Highland Council to operate as a taxi driver. Also needed is a medical examination to make sure you’re fit enough to work as a taxi driver in Inverness. You will also need to be approved for the Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland. This is to check on any previous convictions that may exclude you from being able to become a taxi driver or PHC driver.
All the details of what you need to gain a license from the Highland Council can be found here.
Skills and Qualifications That Would Help You
Any additional driver training like an Advanced Driving Test would be of great use in your role as a cab driver.
Basic car maintenance skills are a huge plus. This will help keep your car on the road and the maintenance costs down.
Customer service experience is a great help, but just a personable temperament and positive disposition can help your career in private car hire enormously.
How Do I Apply to Be a Taxi Driver?
Inverness Taxis are currently looking for both experienced and new taxi drivers. Contact Inverness Taxis on 01463 222222 or send the team an email about how they can help you join their ranks and get your taxi driving career in Inverness off to a great start!