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Black cab drivers in London know all the routes, after all they have passed the infamous Knowledge test. So, it won’t come as a surprise when you get into a taxi and the driver knows the quickest route to your next destination. Those in this industry will also be well aware of the PCO (Public Carriage Office), a division of Transport for London (TfL).
This department is responsible for licensing black cabs and a number of other taxis. If you’re planning to work in the Capital, you’ll need PCO insurance and the accompanying specialist license.
What is PCO Insurance?
Public Carriage Office cover is a type of taxi insurance for metered taxis and minicabs in London. This is for those who are operating private ‘hire or reward’ vehicles.
What levels of PCO cover are there?
Like a traditional car insurance policy, there are three main levels of cover to choose from when operating as a taxi driver in London. These are: Third-party only, Third-party, fire and theft and Comprehensive.
Third-party only is the minimum legal requirement. As expected, a comprehensive PCO insurance policy will offer you the most coverage. Many taxi drivers assume that this level of cover will cost them a lot more, but more often than not, it will only cost slightly more, depending on your circumstances such as previous claims history.
Types of PCO cover
It is important to note that PCO insurance covers two different types of policies. These are the following:
London public hire taxi insurance – Normally referred to as black cab insurance. This will cost a little bit more than a private hire policy.
London private hire taxi insurance – Commonly referred to as minicab insurance, this could offer drivers a slightly cheaper option.
How to reduce your PCO insurance premium
Similar to any type of insurance policy, there are a number of smart ways that you can cut the premium cost. One of the best ways to lower this is to compare cover by using an online comparison site. You will also want to be aware of the different risk factors that determine the price you will be expected to pay. Here are some of the most common risk factors:
- Previous driving and claims history
- Number of years you have held a taxi license
- Your age
- The make, model, and age of your vehicle
- Where your car is kept when you’re not working
How can I get the best PCO insurance deal?
After considering the above risk factors, you’ll want to think about the various ways you can lower your annual PCO insurance premium.
Compare PCO insurance quotes
As mentioned previously, the best way to get a cheaper quote is to compare PCO insurance by using an online comparison site. Simply fill in a form asking you about your current circumstances and requirements, and you’ll be given a number of options to choose from. These can be filtered by price and it shouldn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes to obtain a free no-obligation quote.
Switch your insurance before your renewal
Once your existing policy is due for renewal, there’s a good chance your current insurer will provide you with a much higher quote. Before you automatically renew for another 12 months, compare your renewal quote with other market-leading companies.
Be a safer taxi driver
You can actually lower your premium by being a responsible driver. This can be achieved by maintaining a clean driving license without any penalty points. You should always follow road safety guidelines, for your own benefit and that of the general public. If an insurer can see that you’re not driving recklessly, you’ll be rewarded with cheaper cover.
Ensure your minicab is in good condition
You should regularly service your vehicle to ensure it’s in tip-top condition. Not only will this help you be a safer driver, but you’ll also reduce the chances of having a mechanical failure, which could cost you a lot more to fix with repairs. This will also mean that you won’t have to pursue a claim.
Make sure your vehicle is secure
You should park your taxi in a safe location when it’s not in use. This will make it difficult for thieves to steal or damage it. Having a car alarm or immobiliser will also deter thieves. Some drivers also install dash cameras.
25 and up
A number of taxi insurance policies will require you to be at least 25 years old. It can be a challenge to find a quote if you’re a younger driver. For this reason, it’s a good idea to wait until it’s your 25th birthday, that way you won’t have to pay over the odds for specialist cover.
Hopefully this simple guide has given you a good understanding of PCO insurance. Before buying your next policy, we recommend that you carefully read the terms and conditions so you are fully aware of what you’re actually covered for, as well as any limitations and exclusions that may be applicable.
Give them a tip
This is one of the first things which will allow you to understand that you can tip your driver. The drivers are not sure about the things which is appropriate to behave, but you can be assured to tip the driver. You can also make sure that you are tipping according to the behaviour of the driver, which will encourage him to do better.
Tip at least 10% or not at all
If you decide that you want to tip the taxi services and want to leave a tip, you need to make sure that you are tipping at least 10%. Anything less is something which can be offensive. Try to make sure that you are living a full dollar rather than 50 cent tip, which can also be a hassle.
Tip more for unloading your luggage
If the taxi cab driver is being helpful and helping you pick up the luggage and also unload when you reach your destination is being friendly. It is important that you consider tipping them up to 20%, which can work for any ride.
Do not ask for change
One of the easiest ways to tip them is by making sure that they are going on their way. Try to make sure that you are giving them the money and not asking for a change if the change is around $1. This can be embarrassing, and also, most taxi drivers do not carry change and will not be able to break your dollar.
Know the size of the tip
Your tip needs to reflect the ride quality as there are many places which involve tipping culture. It is important that as a customer, you know the gauge ride and tip accordingly. Try to make sure that you are tipping the right percentage for the poor. Tipping is a form of rewarding behaviour which will allow them to behave well in the future. Make sure that you are tipping them around 20%, especially when they are helping you with your luggage.
Pay attention to the route
Taxi driver takes up the quickest possible route which can allow you to take the right steps towards the traffic. Try to make sure that you are looking to the route one is taking and their extensive knowledge about the area which will help you reach your destination faster.
Ask your hotel first
When you book for accommodations for your travels, you need to be sure that you settle on the right options. There are some hotels and guest houses which offer free airport transfer which can allow people safe options from stress-free transportation on a flat rate—choosing accommodations with the free airport shuttle which could allow you to save a few bucks on travel.
Take a shuttle van
A shuttle van can cut the airport travel expenses roughly by half by travelling in a shared shuttle van. Try to make sure that you are asking the airport employees to where the shuttle van will wait outside, which will allow them to speak about the destination. The driver will make sure that you have a spot saved and can also drop you at the right location.
Drive into your destinations with public transit
You can use public transportation like trains or bus systems to help ensure that you have the right travelling history. It can be very expensive and can also dive into the culture of the surrounding of your destination. You can also save a few bucks as well as learn how to use the public transit system. You can reach the spot and ask the airport information to reach the right direction.
Do your research
It is important that one understand the ballpark range can have the right transportation from your destination to the airport. Try to ask your friend about the best ways to reach the airport. You can also start by doing some google search which can allow you to find the destination you are most interested in. You can also lookup the price which might cost from the city to the airport.
Share a taxi
When you are standing outside the airport, you can try to choose the right transportation which can allow you to have company if you are heading towards the popular hotel, tourist destination to the city centre. It is important that you are travelling right and travelling with a company can allow you to be occupied and also be able to cut the travel cost for half. Before you share look into the measure, they are taking to keep you say during the travel.
Look at their experience
This is one of the first things ones need to do while trying to find the right airport transportation, where one can check the experience and reputation. You need to make sure that you are looking into the transportation services of a particular area. This will help you find the right one which can be put into the research allowing it to be very beneficial.
This is the next step in the process where you need to consider the best airport while choosing transportation in the level of availability. The last things that you want to do is to transport without booking anything. There are many services in the area who are visiting which can be found with the available dates. This type of information is vital when people are trying to get the right services booked. There are many services which can allow you to have the right dates when they are flexible.
When you are trying to book airport transportation which will help you figure out the amount it will cost you. For the most part, people who are on vacation are always looking into ways to keep their budget to the minimum. It is important that one takes everything very seriously and can allow one to find the most cost-effective airport transportation.
Contact them beforehand
This is one tip which will allow you to be sure about your trip to the airport without any last-minute changes. Contacting the airport transportation services will allow you to provide the information that you want them to follow to help enhance your travelling experience. This is also one way to find about their services as this will allow you to be in control of the situation.
It is important that when you are travelling via air transportation, you have the plan set right always. Look into the services and follow the criteria, and you will be able to find the right services in your area for on-time reach to your destination. You also need to find about their security features as this will help you take the right flight and enjoy the rest of the vacation in peace.