When buying a vehicle, whether it be new or used, it’s extremely important that you carry out all the necessary research to ensure you make the right purchase. Afterall, it is likely that you will be investing a significant amount of money. This is even more crucial for private hire taxi drivers as they will be spending most of their working day inside the taxi, making it essential that every aspect is considered before the big decision is made.
Depending on what taxi a private hire driver chooses, his/her job could be made a lot easier, or there may be a number of compromises that must be dealt with on a daily basis, which can cause a lot of stress. The type of vehicle you choose also has an impact on your private hire insurance policy too, and you will certainly want to save money on your premium by comparing cover at Utility Saving Expert, a free to use online comparison site.
Some local authorities insist that taxi drivers choose a new vehicle, whilst others don’t. Ensure you check your local authority’s guidance on this matter before proceeding. If these restrictions don’t apply to you, you have a lot more options in regards to buying new or used. Here are eight key insurance considerations when choosing a new or used private hire vehicle.
Your own private hire vehicle
Buying a brand-new taxi can arguably be the best way to make the car your very own. You’ll be the first owner, and be able to choose the colour, specification, and extra add-ons that suit your needs best. Your taxi is essentially your office, so why not make the most of it, especially if you expect to be using it day in day out.
Extra safety and security
New models always include the latest safety and security equipment as standard, although some may require you to pay extra for certain features. This reassurance can give you peace of mind when you’re behind the wheel. Your driving behaviour will largely be responsible for any roadside incidents, extra safety and security features can reduce or in some instances completely eliminate the chance of being involved in an accident. This will help you retain your no claims bonus and help you save money on private hire insurance year after year.
Newer taxis are less likely to break down. This benefits you in a number of ways. If your vehicle isn’t breaking down when transporting passengers, your chances of being involved in an accident are also reduced. You will save money by not having to pay for as many repairs. In the first few years, you won’t even have to pay for these as you will likely receive a manufacturer’s guarantee. This all helps you reduce your total premium and minimises the time your taxi spends in the garage.
Cheaper running costs
Aside from obtaining cheaper private hire insurance from the above examples, you will also have lower running costs with a new taxi. The latest models will offer greater fuel efficiency to help you cut long-term running costs and reduced emissions which will lower the amount you will have to pay for road tax. Furthermore, less maintenance, servicing and repairs will be required.
It’s useful to remember that newer cars, while great, will cost a lot more initially and depreciate in value at a faster rate. For this reason, the following considerations highlight the benefits of choosing a used private hire taxi.
Used taxis are cheaper
By buying used, you can save a lot of money on the recommended retail price. Not only will you save thousands of pounds, it may even allow you to upgrade to a much better model that your budget may not have otherwise accommodated for if you were to choose new. Your choice will ultimately depend on your preferences and circumstances but with so many expenses to consider, including private hire insurance, fuel, road tax, repairs and servicing, buying used will be the smarter choice for many.
Car sales have slowed down in recent years, taxi drivers can take advantage of this. There is a much larger variety of vehicles to select from when buying used, and by carrying out your own research, there are some great deals to be found. More choice means more factors to compare. You can choose a lower insurance group, lower mileage, improved security features such as alarms and immobilisers, all of which will reduce your private hire insurance premium.
Retaining the value
Taxis, like any other cars, depreciate at their fastest rate in the first two to three years. By choosing a top-quality used vehicle, you can reduce this rate of depreciation. This essentially means you are not losing as much money on your purchase as your total cost of ownership (TCO) will be lower.
One factor many buyers often forget is that buying used doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. Many used vehicles from reputable car manufacturers will often be more reliable than new cars from their competitors. German cars such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen are considered to be some of the most desirable choices for this reason alone. Look for a vehicle with a full-service history and only buy from a trusted source. Some dealers may even offer a limited warranty to give you added peace of mind.
In summary, there are both advantages and disadvantages when choosing to buy a new or used taxi. It’s important to make the choice based on your individual circumstances and consider the impact it will have on your next private hire insurance policy. Before you make the final decision, you can even compare cover for different types of vehicle models beforehand.