Keeping your taxi running costs down
It goes without saying that when it comes to your vehicle, getting the best deal out of it is paramount. If you’re spending most of your time inside your taxi, let alone depending on it for your livelihood, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money.
In recent years, we’ve seen buzzwords like “fuel efficiency” and “hybrid vehicles” entering our atmosphere, although the actual impact of these on the taxi market has been relatively quiet. So what is the best way of keeping running costs down?
Used petrol-engine vehicles
If you’re looking for a quick and cheap way to get a first or replacement taxi on the road, you may be considering a used car. As long as it’s in a decent condition, a used vehicle could be a good bet. However, there’s always the risk that it may not be as reliable as a new car.
Breakdowns, servicing costs and part replacements could become a regular occurrence, which might ultimately counter-act the savings made on buying the car in the first place. Also, it’s handy to remember that a lot of older petrol or diesel engines may come with higher rates of road tax due to their CO2 emissions.
Efficiency in mind
Finding a new car with low CO2 emissions will help you to keep on top of those ever-increasing tax costs. However, it’s undeniable that public trust in emissions rates of newer vehicles has been shaken since news of the Volkswagen emissions scandal broke in September.
With regards to fuel efficiency, newer vehicles are better at delivering more miles to the gallon. Your fuel efficiency can always be improved by your driving habits, though. Maintaining steady speeds and avoiding harsh braking are simple but effective for making your fuel go further.
The weight in your vehicle often makes a big difference, but is difficult to keep on top of due to the nature of varying fares – for each single-rider, there’ll be a family of four with a boot full of luggage. Checking your tyres on a regular basis is strongly advised, though. Keeping your tyres at the correct pressure and noticing wear and loss of grip can help to improve your overall fuel economy.
The number of electric or Hybrid vehicles on the UK’s roads has steadily increased over the years, but they haven’t greatly taken off in the taxi industry. Hybrid vehicles excel in constant stop-start traffic, making them ideal for big cities. For some, having an electric battery as a main fuel source can be a cause for concern.
However, one Austrian cab driver has reportedly clocked up a million kilometres (that’s over 621,000 miles to you and us) in his Toyota Prius, using its original battery and without a single breakdown. Such vehicles have been praised for their longevity and reliability by motorists that it makes sense for more taxi drivers to adopt Hybrid vehicles.
Toyota has been leading the charge on Hybrid vehicles, with Prius, Yaris and Auris models available as Hybrids. On top of that, Hyundai also offers its own Blue Drive technology with several of its models to offer more efficient driving. Of course, Hybrid engines come with a significant price tag, but in the light of their consistent reliability and greatly reduced emissions, they can ultimately prove to be cost-effective in the long-term.