Taxis have been around since the days of horses and carriages, but their popularity is as strong as ever. As the world transitions into an age of environmental awareness, swapping personal transport for a taxi is increasingly desirable. What’s more, with the popularity of Uber and Lyft, taxis have become fashionable again, which makes it a fantastic time to become a taxi driver.

Not only are taxis enduringly popular, but you can set up your own business easily and relatively cheaply. Aside from the price of a taxi, there isn’t a huge amount you need to start collecting passengers. Moreover, you can set up a taxi business from wherever you like. As long as there is demand for your services, you don’t have to move house or uproot your family.

In fact, if you enjoy traveling, then you could start a taxi business in a dream location, which will allow you to explore the local area and immerse yourself in a different culture. However, at this point, you may wonder how you can qualify as a taxi driver. What do you need to do when you are just getting started? This is what it takes to be a taxi driver:

You need a cab:

The most obvious place to start if you want to become a taxi driver is to purchase a taxi. While taxis can be pricey, you only need to purchase a vehicle once (at least at first, before you start scaling your business). 

When choosing a taxi to buy, you need to consider the type of service you are going to buy. If you are looking to specialize in airport runs or big group trips, then you may want to source a minibus. 

Alternatively, if you want to provide a luxury service, then a large saloon or limousine is more appropriate – such as a Mercedes S Class or Jaguar XJ, for example. However, for most purposes, you can find a standard saloon or MPV taxi for sale online. 

You need a driving license and a specialist taxi license:

To officially become a taxi driver, you need a driving license to legally drive the vehicle on public roads. If you don’t have a driver’s license (or a license to drive in a foreign country if this is appropriate), then concentrate on this stage before progressing further.

After this, you must apply to become an officially registered taxi driver in many cities. The requirements you need to meet to register as a taxi driver will differ depending on the city or country you are based in, but it is primarily a background check to ensure you are experienced enough to drive the taxi. 

You need strong navigational skills:

Lastly, you need to have a strong sense of direction and an encyclopedic knowledge of the area you are operating in. Although smartphones make it far easier for taxi drivers to navigate using satellite navigation apps, these cannot always be relied upon for the fastest or most comfortable routes. Therefore, you should practice your regular routes and get accustomed to the usual traffic behavior of the town or city you operate in.