Cave Wall Media – Articles » The Working Costs and Car Gumph » Very brief intro to the base costs of working as a private hire driver

Very brief intro to the base costs of working as a private hire driver

picture of drivers back of head with left ear visibleWork when you want / need / can. Just login and logout via the computer in your car, to the mobile job allocation system, anytime, any day, for as long or as little time as you decide.
With the open-shift arrangement you get flexible access to the constant operating, 24/7 running, taxi system, with the company you have signed up with.
Then… When you have the money, cash-flow, to pay overheads and personal needs…. go back to college studies…. or, more usually….. don’t do the study bit….. and have-a-life….. but for me, for now, it is the former.

For the above driver flexibility to work, the company to offer an open-shift arrangement, needs a fair number of cars, of which the majority will run on round-the-clock, set hour shifts (allowing the stability of service for the customers and the company controllers).
If the company is small, then set hours on set shifts only, are more the usual. Also, if a small company, the system is more likely to be a basic press-to-talk, two-way radio banter set up…. then you’ll need a good memory, or a little quick-to-hand notepad.

Costs and overheads bring any attraction of the flexibility of hours, or swift access to cash-flow, to a far more serious business structure issue.
You are fed jobs, nearest car, first in any area-queue, by the system and all the payments you collect. Payments may be dockets if on an account, but are mostly cash paid at end of each job.
If you drive a company owned vehicle, you have no worries on car costs and get an agreed percentage of the takings for your working time.
If you are required to be self employed, then the fares you collect, the total takings, are yours for the keeping….. by keeping, I mean initially, collecting….. by collecting, I mean gathering….. by gathering I refer to time and effort to reach around £410 in a week….. to give away as business overheads, just to stay in the job.

Car rent (or owner repair/depeciation) with insurance can be around £165 / week. Office rent around £175 / week. Fuel to burn in order to raise those two values is around £70… = around £410.
Once you have gathered that money, you can then continue working to gather for your own usual living costs.

As owner driver, there are wear and tear average cash-flow payouts on tyres, brakes and servicing. Then the occasional chunky cash-flow bills such as when the cars dual-mass flywheel needs replacing, clutch n all, to which the bill is around £750. A breakdown due to injectors or fuel pump, is an instant off road, no income and a possible bill up to £1000. A short term, ready to go hire vehicle and insurance comes in at between £150 to £195 a week to continue in business.

If your car is off the road, you are not earning, yet there still are/can be, serious costs flying at you….. the weekly office payment (up to £180 a week), the passenger grade insurance (around £30-£60 a week), the immovable dates of car tax, MOT test, compliance test, plate renewal, lalala.
Even on weeks that the car incurs no bills, the reality is that money needs setting aside for your next, newer and not so worn out car.

Take all that into account and note the fuel costs of around £130 each week…. near on double from not so many years ago and a savage dent in profit margin.
This dent in profit margin, means more hours driving to get same income as a few years ago…. that’s the wrong way around… with more years you are supposed to get an increase in income… up with inflation… the real world… but not so… welcome to the saga to stay in business with a job as a private hire driver.


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