While York recently became the third UK city to place a temporary ban on Uber (following in the footsteps of London and neighbouring Sheffield), the statistics suggest that Britain's taxi industry remains relatively buoyant.
This is reflected by the fact that the total number of licensed taxi and private hire vehicles in England increased by 16% to 281,000 in 2017, with a growing number of citizens establishing themselves as self-employed drivers.
While this is a career choice that can deliver significant returns, however, you'll need to keep various points in mind if you're to successfully save and generate money. These include:
1. Invest in a Safe and Cost-effective Vehicle
As a self-employed taxi driver, it stands to reason that buying a vehicle will represent the single most important investment that you'll make.
The key is to maintain a balanced outlook, and one that is focused on value for money rather than optimising your initial savings. More specifically, you'll need to buy a vehicle that boasts a suitable specification and complies with prevailing safety standards, without being forced to spend an extortionate sum of money.
One way to achieve this is to leverage resources such as Cab Direct, which offer access to a broad range of high quality taxi vehicles with variable specifications.
Not only this, but resources of this type also serve as a one-stop shop that provides you with considerable savings from the UK's leading manufacturers. This ensures that you achieve the best possible value for money, depending on your precise needs and the real-time nature of the marketplace.
2. Identify the Most Cost-effective Method of Operating
Once you've invested in the requisite vehicle and insured this asset, the next step is to identify the best and most cost-effective method of operating.
As a new driver, simplicity should probably be your key watchword, as you'll need to access a pre-established customer base in order to optimise your initial earnings.
Freelancing for a private hire firm is the best way to achieve this objective, as firms of this type will have already secured a loyal consumer base and invested in disciplines such as marketing and sales.
As a result, you can tap into this resource to establish a viable income stream as a new driver, before plotting the desired career path that you wish to follow in the future.
3. Carefully Manage your Tax Bill
As a freelancer, it's imperative that you pay as much attention to your expenses as you do to chasing income.
After all, there's little point in working if your costs outweigh your earnings, so it's imperative that you're meticulous in your approach and strive to optimise your profitability as a driver.
So, be sure to note down all of the expenses that you incur as part of your job, from the cost of fuel and toll fares to any pre-planned maintenance works and insurance premiums.
A qualified accountant will be able to claim against the vast majority of these expenses and deduct them from your income, creating a lower tax bill that increases your take-home wage!
This is crucial, and while you'll need to invest time and money in managing your expenses this can deliver long-term gains over time.