Taxi drivers can’t risk buying an unreliable car. Time off the road means losing money.
For most people, a lease car is the cheapest way to get a brand new car that you won’t have to MOT for 3 years.
Unfortunately though, taxi drivers can’t use a conventional lease for their work. As a taxi driver, you’re (highly) unlikely to be offered a personal contract hire or business contract hire (whether it be self employed lease or limited company lease) deal because of the financial risks involved.
If you’re driving all day, the mileage you put on the car will be astronomical in the lease company's eyes.
In fact, it’s rare to see a lease of even 20,000 miles per year, while the majority of taxi drivers do over 35,000 miles in a single year!
If a finance company gives you a lease car, it will lose its value tremendously by the end of the contract. You probably know how car leasing works (or how business car leasing works) already, but in short, the cost to lease a car is equal to amount it depreciates during your contract - the more you rack up the miles, the more the car depreciates, so the car may be worth next to nothing at the end of the contract. This finance format would have no benefit to the driver or the leasing company.
Even if you were to be offered a lease, you'd be faced with some pretty hefty excess mileage charges because you are very unlikely to be able to stick to your mileage limit - even on a high mileage lease!
What about using a lease car for Uber/Lyft?
While these apps are officially called ‘rideshares’, they’re still effectively private hires. No matter whether you’re a Hackney driver in London or an Uber driver in Liverpool, you’re not going to get a personal lease deal. Sorry!
Unfortunately, you can’t do this with a Personal Contract Purchase either as there’s no guarantee that you’ll make the balloon payment at the end (you have the option to opt out and hand the car back with a PCP deal).
Where can I get a finance deal for private hires?
Don’t lose hope! There are specific finance deals made just for private hire vehicles.
If you’re in need of a new taxi vehicle, it’s worth going to one of these specialised brokers. These specific taxi finance deals have extremely high mileage limits and know your car will get more wear and tear than average. This is reflected in the monthly cost of the deal.
Companies like CabDirect are worth checking out.
Due to the amount of miles taxi drivers do, as well as the large amount of wear and tear, it’s impossible to get a personal or business lease deal as a taxi driver. The car would be highly unlikely to pass the BVRLA guidelines for fair wear and tear so the leasing company would need substantial payments to recoup their losses.
You can get non-leasing finance deals for taxi cars from a specialised broker, or you can buy a new/used car outright.