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Guide to Cheap PCO Car Insurance

By Eamonn Turley
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Eamonn Turley Insurance Expert

Eamonn Turley has a wealth of experience within different insurance sectors. Through hard work and over time, he has gained expertise in digital marketing and user interface design. Elements that are crucial to any successful online business. The key aim is to develop websites that are intuitive, fast to load and provide insurance quotes tailored to your needs.


Expertise: Digital Marketing, Insurance, Home Insurance, Vehicle Insurance, UI Design
from the MultiQuoteTime Editorial Team - Fact checked

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July 2024

London taxi and people carrying insurance made through the public carriage office (PCO) covers metered cabs and taxis that have been licensed through the PCO, as well as gig economy private hire like Uber or Lyft.  All London taxi drivers should be familiar with the PCO or the Public Carriage Office. They are responsible for the issued of licences for all London taxis, whether public or private hire.

Most Uber and Lyft drivers will veer toward the standard private hire taxi insurance (PHV), which is cheaper and available to young adults at 23. 

Interestingly, a key difference between the two types of transport, is that the PCO drivers can be flagged down without booking, while a PHV must be pre-booked. This reflects in the increased cost of insurance for PCO vehicles. 

2022 Update on PCO Insurance Requirement

New TFL (Transport for London) have amended a regulation that gives a break to part time private hire drivers in London. Prior to the amendment, any PCO licence holder also needed hire and reward insurance for the whole period of their PCO licence. This was the case even if you were not using the car for private hire as you only worked part time or when you need extra earnings.  The TFL has now stated that private hire cars are no longer required to have insurance covering the passengers they transport for reward or hire for the whole term of their PCO licence.  At the moment, and things could change, PCO insurance is only required at the time of licencing and while the vehicle is being used as a PCO car.

Private hire Insurance London pay Monthly

Private hire Insurance London insurance can be bought monthly, quarterly, or annually and per month will cost you a little more than annually. Starting at around the region of £100 per month, compared to £1,000 per year, the difference is only slight and offers more flexibility. 

Average Private hire Insurance London Cost

An average comprehensive Private hire taxi Insurance London insurance policy for a standard vehicle will usually be between £1,500 and £3,000. 

To get a deal that’s less than the average, you’ll need to have lots of experience, a good no claims bonus, and no or few points on your licence. It’s also always worth checking out quotes from lots of different insurance companies to get the full picture and a fair price.

PCO Insurance Levels

Like taxi and private hire insurance, PCO insurance is available at three different levels, from basic third party to full comprehensive cover.

Third party

Third party cover provides the minimum level of cover required by law. This type of cover will only pay out to cover the repair or replacement of other peoples’ vehicles, damage to other people's property, including injury. This basic PCO cover does not even provide cover your own PCO taxi for fire or theft.

Third party Fire and Theft

This level of cover provides minimum third party cover, but will pay out for the repair of your own PCO vehicle if it’s damaged by fire or for the cost of replacement if it’s stolen.

Comprehensive

This level of cover includes all of the above but also, importantly, for any damage to your own taxi cab even if you were at fault. Fully comprehensive policies may also provide minimum third party coverage to a trailer or caravan being towed. 

London PCO taxi insurance: Ways to reduce your premiums

Insurance of any road vehicle is based on the perceived risk to the insurance provider, more risk the higher the premium or in some cases they will not even offer you insurance.  Below, we have highlighted some steps that you can take to help lower your taxi insurance risk profile, which will be reflected in cheaper taxi insurance quotes.

  • Regular Servicing : A vehicle that is looked after is less likely to develop issues that may lead to traffic ancient. Fewer accidents/claims against your PCO insurance policy will lead to lower insurance premiums
  • Switch insurance providers frequently: Gone are the days of loyalty, it is also advisable to check what new options are available in the marketplace a few weeks before renewal time. The list of specialist taxi insurance providers is growing with names like Acorn, Haven and Collingwood taxi insurance leading the way in providing cover for London cab drivers   
  • Taxi Vehicle Insurance Category : If you are currently driving a car in a high insurance category, consider swapping to a lower category
  • Get multiple taxi insurance quotes from specialist providers of taxi insurance
  • Increase your liability : Agree to a higher excess amount, but do remember this will be your responsibility should an accident occur, and you are found to be at fault.
  • Named Driver : If you need to add additional drivers, opt for named drivers and avoid an any driver policy
  • Reduce Claims : Practice safe driving, which should lead to no actual insurance claims. A history of no or very low claims will enable you to find cheaper quotes.
  • Voluntary Excess : Increase the minibus excess, taking more responsibility, should help lower your annual premiums.
  • Overnight Parking : If able to park your black cab or minicab on a private driveway when you’re off duty, agreeing to safe night parking will likely be rewarded with cheaper public or private hire taxi insurance than if you are obliged to park your cab on the side of the road on a busy London street. 

How Many Passengers Can Travel In My Taxi If I Have PCO Insurance?

The insurance on a PCO cab doesn't restrict the number, but the number may affect the resulting premium.

A standard max capacity of passengers for a black cab in London is 8 not including the driver. This is the case with any private hire vehicle. Vehicles with 9 or more passenger seats are classed as public service vehicles (PSV), which require a different licence to drive. 

However, it’s noted that it is not illegal for a PCV driver to take a PSV to carry more passengers, so long as the party making the booking is made aware of the situation, the difference between a PSV and PCV driver and gives consent that the PCV driver will be adequate in lieu of a PSV driver. 

Accessibility

All black cabs in London must ensure that their vehicles have wheelchair access. If caught failing to give wheelchair users a ride, the fine can be £1,000 as well as a possible revoking of licence. 

The same attitude is shown toward those with assistance dogs; they must not be discriminated against and should be allowed to ride with no exception.

How Much Does a PCO Car Application Cost?

Getting a PCO licence can cost different amounts depending on the way that you go about it. The base cost of the application itself is £250 to TFL, however there are other boxes you have to tick, which always cost more. That includes a medical test, DBS check, a topographical test and an English test. 

All of this combined can cost up to £700, however if you have a recent DBS and an English GCSE, you should be able to get it sorted for considerably less. 

PCO Car Age Requirements

The restrictions on what cars can be put forward to be PCO licensed are surprisingly strict. The cars must be within 5 years of manufacture to be put forward initially, and after 10 years from manufacture the vehicle will lose its licence. 

As well as this, a vehicle has to meet EU standards for carbon emissions to be eligible. The current standard is Euro 6, which only accepts electric or the most fuel efficient petrol and diesel hybrid cars. The PCO standards will only be getting greener from this point. 

Useful Links: 

PCO Driver Meaning

As well as getting your car licenced with the PCO, a prospective cab driver will also need to get themselves a PCO licence. This makes them a PCO driver. They’ll be trained to navigate the roads, and certified as a minicab or taxi driver. 

This licence also allows them to work for various zero hour private hire companies such as Uber, Lyft, or Bolt. The majority of people paying the extra for PCO licences will be aiming to work independently or for a taxi or chauffeur company. 

If you live outside of London, you may be interested in private hire insurance for Uber drivers or Monthly taxi insurance to spread the cost of taxi insurance.

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Compare Taxi Insurance Cambridge

Black cabs, Minicabs, Minibuses, MPV's, Part-time and Full-time, One short form – Multiple Quotes

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Guide to Cambridge Taxi Insurances 

For taxi drivers in Cambridge and near Cambridge, we understand your taxicab is your job. Making sure that your taxi insurance is tailored to your needs is essential – as your income depends on it!.

We can provide you with access to a range of quotes from a panel of specialist Cambridge taxi insurance providers. These insurance companies are able to tailor polices to meet your taxi or private hire business model and requirements.

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Cover for all categories of taxi vehicles 

Cover is available for all vehicle types that are used within the taxi and private hire sector and include :

  • Mini Cab : When you need to compare quotes online quickly for your minicab insurance premium.
  • Public hire insurance is one of the main categories of taxi insurance, also referred to as PCO car insurance in London
  • Electric Taxi Insurance
  • Chauffeur : chauffeur insurance is available for those that offer a chauffeur or limousine service. If you have more than one, then consider a chauffeur fleet insurance policy. 
  • A rapidly growing sector is the private hire taxi sector. Private hire drivers can not be flagged down as they must be prebooked. They have a slightly different risk profile and a range of polices exits including PHV insurance that can be paid monthly. Taxi Fleet Insurance
  • If you operate a fleet of taxis in Cambridge or private hire vehicles, it may be time to look at taxi fleet insurance policy. 

Levels of taxi insurance available

Similar to taxi insurance in Cardiff, taxi cover in Cambridge is available at different levels as we have detailed below:

  • Comprehensive is the highest level of cover that is available. This schedule covers damage to not only third parties, but also damages to your own property and self.
  • Third party is the minimum cover required by UK law. This cover does not provide any protection for damage to your own vehicle or any injures to oneself resulting from an accident.
  • Third party with Fire and Theft  In addition to third party cover is also provided for for and theft.
  • Break Down Cover : Taxi breakdown cover for private hire owner drivers and can save you many hours that would otherwise be lost had you not included it within your policy.
  • Europe : Taxi insurance for driving abroad may be added as an extra if required.

Key Names for UK Taxi Insurance 

Many insurance providers offer taxi insurance, some like Haven taxi insurance specialises in only providing taxi and private hire insurance, we have complied a list below of the top names in this insurance sector.

ProviderWorthy of Note Get Free Multiple Quotes
Towergate Taxi InsuranceComfort insurance includes personal effects and belongings and generators (up to £5,000)Compare Now
Haven Taxi InsuranceCompare Now
A 19 Taxi InsuranceCompare Now
Motorcade Taxi Insurance
Compare Now
Zego Taxi InsuranceCompare Now
Nelson Taxi InsuranceCompare Now
Freeway Taxi InsuranceCompare Now
Bells Taxi InsuranceCompare Now
markerstudy taxi insuranceCompare Now
DCL/Headway Taxi InsuranceCompare Now
Acorn Taxi InsuranceCompare Now
InsureTAXI InsuranceCompare Now
Penk Taxi InsurancePublic liability cover for taxi drivers (included free on some policies)Compare Now
Riviera completely committed to providing a personalised service Compare Now
CabsuranceCabsurance claims app allows you to quickly and efficiently report any claimsCompare Now
Flag Taxi InsuranceFlag only offers Haven Taxi InsuranceCompare Now
Collingwood Taxi InsuranceCompare Now

Tips towards cheaper Taxi Insurance in Cardiff

Insurance companies work out the cost of Cardiff taxi insurance based on a number of factors. Below we have highlighted some factors and any possible steps to consider to help lower the costs of Cardiff taxi driver insurance, but is applicable to all taxi drivers

  • Comparing quotes:  Comparing is the first step in the process of finding cheaper taxi insurance in Cambridge. Please be aware that some brokers may not offer their rates on some of these sites, so it may pay to visit individual broker sites. Different companies work out the insurance cost based on a number of factors, but the weight they apply can and odes vary, so it's always wise to get a range of quotes.
  • Pay your policy yearly: If you are currently paying monthly, consider paying your policy as a one-off payment should bring down the cost of your annual premium.
  • Taxi Security: If you have fitted any safety / security items from Thatcham, please insure you advise your broker, as this could result in savings on your premium. If not, adding extra security devices can bring down the costs of cover
  • Consider Fleet Cover: If you have a fleet of cabs as a business, it is generally more cost-effective with less administration task to purchase a taxi fleet insurance cover. Fleet policies will provide protection for all your vehicles under one easy to administer policy.
  • Black Box: Even for taxi drivers, adding or complying with the insurance company telemetric request can help significantly lower the cots of Cardiff taxi or private hire insurance( if the data is favourable ) 

Get started with your Cambridge Taxi Insurance Quote

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Taxi Insurance Cambridge FAQ's


Does my taxi insurance cover me for driving other cars?

Taxi insurance provides cover only for the vehicles listed on the policy, not for other vehicles. For other vehicles, you will need to either get them included or take out a separate policy.

Can I pay my taxi insurance monthly?

Most brokers are flexible when it comes to arranging payment terms. However, choosing monthly payments may include extra interest charges.

Is public liability insurance included?

Most taxi policies will include public liability as standard, but exceptions do exist, so check your policy wording. It can always be added or taken out as a separate item.

Is Taxi breakdown cover available as a standalone policy?

Yes, this can be bought as a separate policy or bundled into your taxi insurance policy.

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