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London Taxi Insurance for Black Cabs

According to Transport for London’s Public Carriage Office there are more than 23,000 black cabs currently operating in London…and each of those London cabbies has a legal obligation to take out a dedicated public hire taxi insurance policy before they begin ferrying passengers around the British capital.

If you’re planning to become a London taxi driver yourself then those 23,000 black cabs may look like a lot of competition, but with more than 8 million people in the Greater London area the UK’s capital is the busiest and most populous city in the country, which means there should be more than enough passengers to go around for that growing army of London taxi drivers.

Unfortunately London also happens to be the most heavily built-up city in the UK, and that generally translates into higher insurance premiums when you’re taking out London taxi insurance.

That’s why the savviest London cabbies know to compare black cab insurance quotes from a range of different insurance providers, and to run the comparison again each time their taxi insurance is due for renewal.

That way they can be confident that they’re getting a fair deal on their London taxi insurance, and sure that they’re signing up for a PCO insurance policy that is specifically designed to meet their needs.

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Black cab insurance: London…and beyond

Of course, while tourists from all over the world recognise the black taxi as an iconic symbol of London, the London Taxi Company’s range of TX2, TX4 and TX5 taxicabs, as well as their competitor’s Metrocabs, are increasingly common in other large UK cities too, including Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh.

The good news is that black cab insurance in those other metropolitan areas might be a little cheaper than an equivalent London taxi insurance policy…the bad news is it’s still likely to leave a sizable hole in your wallet.

Black cab insurance quotes

So whether you need Birmingham black cab insurance or Glasgow black taxi insurance, it’s always a wise move to compare insurance quotes before deciding on which taxi insurer to go with.

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Cheap black cab insurance: other ways to find cheaper insurance quotes

Comparing numerous quotes from a wide range of taxi insurers is a critical step when it comes to taking out a London taxi insurance policy (or a black cab insurance policy in another UK city, for that matter), but there are other steps you can take to help reduce the cost too.

Opt to pay your black cab insurance annually: As with car insurance, many taxi insurers will give cabbies the option to pay for their taxicab insurance on either a monthly or an annual basis. While monthly payments may be more convenient, particularly if cashflow management is an issue, opting to pay for your policy annually should result in cheaper insurance premiums.

Park your black cab in a driveway or private garage: Taxis that are parked on busy London streets while the cabbie is off duty are more likely to be involved in an accident or targeted by criminals. So if you have the option to park your taxi in a private garage or driveway when you’re not working you should be offered cheaper black cab insurance quotes.

Consider a black box for your black cab: While it is most commonly associated with young drivers and those that have only recently passed their driving test, if you’re a relatively inexperienced cabbie and you’re keen to cut the cost of your London taxi insurance you could consider black box insurance, which is a type of car insurance where a tracking device is installed in your vehicle in order to monitor your driving habits. This type of insurance policy can cut your premiums by as much as 20%.

Still have questions about black cab insurance? There’s a good chance we’ve covered them in the FAQ section below.

How much does black cab insurance cost?

Taxi fleet insurance for multiple taxis

Cost of black cab insurance use a wide range of variables in order to determine the premium for your black cab insurance, so the only way to find out how much it’s likely to cost is to compare a range of quotes from different providers.

You can be reasonably confident, though, that you’ll pay more if you need London taxi insurance and less if you drive your black cab in a smaller town or city.

Can I become a London taxi driver if I’m under the age of 25?

In theory, yes, because the Public Carriage Office’s minimum age requirement when issuing a London taxi or PHV licence is 21.

However, many taxi insurers have a minimum age limit that is above the PCO’s threshold – you’ll need to be 25 years old in many cases, although some insurance providers may offer you black cab insurance if you’re younger than this. You should also note that you’ll likely face higher premiums if you are under the age of 25 even if your insurer is willing to cover you.

Can I opt for cheaper private hire taxi insurance if I drive a black cab?

No, private hire taxi insurance is specifically intended for minicabs, which must be pre-booked by customers and cannot be hailed on the street or at taxi ranks.

Since black taxis are metered taxicabs that have been specifically designed to be hailed by passengers on the street, public hire taxi insurance is required if you drive a black cab.

Not properly disclosing the use of your taxi cab can lead to your insurance being made void as well as future issues with securing cover from other insurers.

What’s the cheapest level of insurance cover I can get for my black cab?

As with ordinary car insurance policies, black cab insurance policies offer London taxi drivers three levels of insurance cover to choose from:

  • Third party black cab insurance – This is the minimum level of car insurance required under UK law, and is essentially intended to protect other drivers when you take to the roads. To that end third party insurance covers the cost of damage to a third party’s vehicle if you’re involved in an accident and you were at fault, but it isn’t always the best car insurance policy (even if it is occasionally the more affordable car insurance option) because it will not cover the cost of repairing or replacing your own vehicle.
  • Third party, fire and theft – This is similar to third party insurance, but will also pay out if your own car is stolen or damaged by fire.
  • “Fully comp” black taxi insurance – As the name suggests, fully-comp is the most comprehensive level of cover a driver can take out in the UK, and as such it’s generally the best car insurance option. This type of policy includes everything that’s covered by TPFT, but will also cover the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle of an at-fault driver. This type of insurance will also pay out if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, which isn’t covered by lower levels of cover.

As the name suggests, “fully comp” will provide you with the highest level of insurance cover for your taxicab, but the insurance premium will reflect that.

The cheapest level of cover is third party black cab insurance, which is the minimum level of cover required under UK law.

Should I take out public liability insurance in addition to London taxi insurance?

Many London cabbies make the decision to take out public liability insurance, which covers them should a passenger make a claim for injury or damage to their belongings.

However, you don’t necessarily need to take this out in addition to London taxi insurance; many taxi insurers will allow you to add it on to your black cab insurance policy as an optional extra instead.

Is telematics insurance an option for cabbies?

Telematics insurance, or black box insurance, is a type of specialist insurance policy where a ‘black box’ device is installed in your black cab in order to monitor the driver’s driving habits and adjust premiums accordingly.

Telematics insurance can benefit cab drivers if they know they adhere to the road rules and are responsible drivers.

However, irrespective of your age or how long you’ve held your driving licence, if you are a newly qualified taxi driver you might want to consider taking out a telematics insurance policy for your taxicab, at least in your first year, since it could reduce your insurance premium by as much as 20%

How can I save on my black cab taxi insurance?

There are some practical steps that you can take to reduce the costs of your black cab insurance:

  • Invest in security measures – Installing dashcams, CCTV and an immobiliser can reduce the risk of theft. This means you’ll be able to reduce one of the factors which typically increases your premiums. 
  • Only select appropriate add-ons – Add-ons can range from breakdown-cover to cracked windscreen cover, but opting for add-ons which will ultimately not give you extra value for money is a waste. Keep your premiums down by only electing for coverage which you will actually need.
  • No claims bonus – Building up a no claims bonus takes time, but once you’ve accumulated years of driving experience without making a claim, most insurers will offer you significant discounts.  
  • Pay you insurance annually – Paying annually is a great way of reducing the your premiums. This is due to the interest charges that accumulate with monthly payments.
  • Increasing voluntary excess – By increasing the amount of voluntary excess you are willing to pay, you can effectively reduce your premiums. This is because higher voluntary excess is a good indication of a less risky driver.

It is important to remember that the factors which influence your premiums are unique to you. Whilst you may be able to reduce these premiums through some of the methods mentioned above, the final cost will ultimately come down to your own requirements.

What are the exclusions of back cab insurance?

Exclusions will vary from provider to provider, but many insurance policies will not cover your claims under the following situations:

  • If your black cab is driven by unauthorised drivers
  • Deliberate damage to your cab
  • Drunk/drug driving
  • Your cab is stolen as a result of negligence, such as leaving keys in the ignition
  • Operating outside of your area of coverage

Many drivers a surprised to know that certain non-prescription medications can in fact cause a drug driving offence. One in four brits also suffer from hay fever, with many requiring medication to elevate symptoms. This can pose problems for your insurance coverage however along with potential fines and penalty points. Many hay fever medication promotes drowsiness and can qualify as drug driving when under the influence. It is highly recommended that you opt for non-drowsy alternatives and always check your medication before driving.

If you have certain medical conditions that may impact your driving, you will need to declare these to the DVLA by law. To find out if you have a medical condition that needs disclosed, check here.

What our experts say:
Taxi insurance premiums can be costly, as insurance providers consider cab drivers a higher risk because of the greater amount of time they spend on the roads compared to other drivers, but our site can help keep premiums competitive.  It’s just one short online form then we match the details with a select few suitable providers who then phone the drivers, when it suits them, to discuss the specifics – this helps keep the policy as accurate as possible – incorrect details can void the insurance premium – Ian Wilson, Price comparison expert at Quotezone.co.uk