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Some Tips For New Taxi Drivers

Updated on February 26, 2015

So the lure of working the hours you want, being your own boss and living a (relatively) stress free working life have drawn you into the taxi world. Who can blame you? You clock on and off on your own terms, there’s no angry manager and very little paperwork. All you have to worry about is keeping the car filled with petrol and picking up your next fare.

Whilst the life of a cab driver can indeed be a relaxed one, at the end of the day he or she still needs to put food on the table. New taxi drivers often have misconceptions about how to make the most money or who the best fares are. Here are a few tips that will dispel those misconceptions and hopefully guide you along the road to making a comfortable living.

1. Patience is a Virtue

Having patience is an absolutely essential part of driving a cab and without it your career is certain to be short lived. Whether that patience is tested waiting at the rank for the next fare or by an obnoxious passenger (they do exist, unfortunately), staying calm and committed is paramount. The fares will come and, with any luck, the ruder passengers will be in the minority.

2. Pick Fares Carefully

Often, new drivers are tempted into taking up passengers wanting to travel greater distances over shorter distance fares. Whilst on quieter shifts this is no bad tactic, if there are other passengers waiting it is actually more profitable to make more, shorter journeys than fewer, longer ones. This is because of the initial fare added onto the meter before the journey even begins.

3. Get to Know Your City

Not only will knowing your way around mean you deliver fares more efficiently, you’ll also be able to offer passengers advice and tips on where to go and what to see. This is particularly important when dealing with passengers who aren’t from the local area and may well want a recommendation for a place to eat or drink.

Friendly, useful advice will impress your customers and may well be enough to persuade them to leave a generous tip.

4. Make Friends with the Control Room Team

Most taxi firms have a central control room directing taxis towards different fares. If this is the case, it’s essential to make sure you do your upmost to get them on your side. These are the guys who are directing you towards work – do not rub them up the wrong way!

5. Treat Your Customers Well

…and they will reward you in repeat fares, tips and even recommendations to their friends, families and co-workers. A smile, friendly advice and calm, professional service goes a long way to ensuring your customers keep coming back.

Giving out your own number to regular customers or suggesting they ask for you in person when contacting the control room is also a way to ensure you benefit from your own hard work – it might even impress the dispatchers too.

So there you have it – five simple tips for new drivers on maximising the amount of money you make. There are others, of course, and you’ll quickly develop your own tactics and prowess. Until then, keep at it and you’ll soon be living the life of a stress free cabbie.

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