UK Taxi Drivers. Five Ways to Boost Your Income

Written by Zego

Published on

  • Private Hire drivers must find more ways to make more money
  • Surge pricing, tips, food delivery, and regular riders can all boost income
  • Private Hire insurance from Zego may save hundreds every year

Let’s face it. Times are tough. Prices are going through the roof, but most wages are standing still. Even though the UK taxi industry is now as busy as it was before the pandemic, drivers are facing a spiral of rising costs. With many Private Hire drivers already working all the hours they can and average income from platforms like Uber at £15 an hour, drivers must find other ways to boost their income. Here are five easy money-making tips to get you further down the road:

Work when the work pays best

Every taxi driver knows the best fares are where there are many riders, but few taxis. High demand lets you choose the cream of the crop. But being in the right place to cash in on a fare bonanza can be difficult. However, drivers who can shift the hours they work could cash in all the time.

Follow the surge:

Platforms like Uber operate dynamic fare pricing. When demand rises, so do fares. Uber calls this ‘Surge’ pricing and it can multiply the fare by a factor of 4 or more. Industry observers say the best times for Surge pricing on weekdays are 7.00 – 9.00am and 4.00 – 7.00pm, when commuters are on the move. On weekends, it’s Friday and Saturday nights from 8.00pm to 4.00am as the entertainment industry hits peak. Work during these hours to boost your hourly rate and cut the dead times when your vehicle is empty.

Airport runs:

Air travel is back. Travellers are flying for business and for leisure. Many need a ride to get them to the airport. Drivers who work from 4.00am to catch the early birds may enjoy the perfect mix of low competition, long distances, empty roads, and the best fares of the day.

Drive the revellers:

It’s not only Saturday nights. Revellers can offer good fares all week long. After 9.00pm the demand for taxis from riders leaving bars, restaurants and clubs begins to climb. This is true on all nights of the week, but there are typically less taxis on the midnight shift Monday through Wednesday.

Encourage customers to give a tip

Tips are basically free money, and drivers get to keep 100% of the cash. Encouraging a tip through good service and safe driving should be part of the job, but you can also nudge the rider to spare some extra change with a simple trick: Always remind them to rate you as they leave your vehicle. Doing so will open the platform app, where a message will ask them if they wish to give a tip. A 2019 report revealed that 16% of Uber riders give a tip when they are asked.

Expand the type of work you do

Taxis that sit empty earn nothing. Avoid the dead hours by expanding the type of work you do. Food delivery is a booming business and major apps like Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat are continually seeking drivers. The good news is, Zego’s all-on-one Private Hire insurance covers private hire, food delivery and personal use of your vehicle, so there’s no need to buy extra cover.

Regulars mean steady money

Experienced drivers know regular riders mean steady income, and more often, a generous tip. Keeping a stack of business cards in the car to give to suitable customers may seem old school, but it still works, especially in less urban areas. Ask the rider to ask for you the next time they need a taxi for an airport run, shopping trip, or when going out to eat.

Cut the costs of doing business

With costs always rising, drivers must find every saving. You can’t do much about the price of fuel, but you could save £hundreds every year on Private Hire insurance from Zego. Buy 30 days or annual policies. Or choose Zego Sense, the Telematics policy that rewards good drivers with lower prices – the safer you drive, the more you save.

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