Side Business Ideas #3 – Cab Driving
If you love to get behind the wheel then you might consider cab driving to be the best possible side business idea for you.
There is certainly a lot to be said for it. For a start, you are likely to be your own boss and will get to drive around and enjoy some freedom each day. However, there are a number of important points to consider before going ahead and starting to make money in this way.
This varies according to the area you are looking to be licensed in but there generally isn’t too much to worry about for most people. Unsurprisingly, you need to be able to drive. You shouldn’t have any serious criminal convictions and you should be well dressed and presentable. You should also be in good health and meet the minimum age requirements (typically 21 in some parts and 25 in others).
The Start up Costs
The start up costs for new cab drivers vary from one place to another but are generally pretty high when compared to other side business ideas. Of course, you will need a vehicle to use and all of the costs that come with that. As part of the licensing process you will probably need to take a cab driver course, which can cost around $50-$60 in some parts of the US. You will also need to pay for carrying out the criminal and health checks covered in the prerequisites section. This just leaves us with the licensing fee. In San Francisco this is currently $155.50. In New York a 12 year license costs $50 but the crazily high cost of medallions means that hiring one or driving a boro taxi are the only sensible options once you’ve done this. In Florida the license costs $100 and in Washington State it’s $110. Issues such as drug costs and meter hire all make the cost vary even more in different places, as not every local authority asks for the same things.
The Good Points
As we saw earlier, driving a cab can be a great job for someone who loves to drive. If you have a full time job or other commitments then you can also work the hours that suit you. You might never become a millionaire driving a cab but you can enjoy a regular and fairly steady income. Cabs are expensive these days and if you work nights or holidays then the tariffs can be even higher. If you are a sociable sort of person then you can chat to people from all walks of life and find out a lot of interesting stuff from your passengers.
The Bad Points
The startup costs are quite high and you could be left with a financial headache if your cab needs repaired at some point. Another issue to consider is safety. Not every passenger is going to be ideal. You could be unlucky and receive abuse, threats or worse from a passenger. This is probably especially true if you work nights in a big city but cab drivers really need to be careful at all times and no matter where they are working.
Is It Right for You?
The effort and cost involved in becoming a taxi driver means that it is worth spending more time thinking about it than would be the case with some other side businesses. It can certainly be a very nice source of extra income but is it worth the effort? No one can tell you whether or not it is right for you buy maybe you could speak to some cab drivers and find out how much they enjoy the job. If you know someone who already does it then maybe you could even ask to ride with them for a few hours and see how it looks to you.
Have you ever considered becoming a cab driver?