What is PCO car insurance?
Anyone working as a London taxi driver should be familiar with the Public Carriage Office, or PCO. The PCO issues licence for all London taxis, whether public or private hire.
Who needs London taxi insurance?
London taxis fall into two categories. The iconic London black cabs, the TX4 or TX5 can be hailed on the street or in a taxi rank by members of the public.
Private hire cabs or Uber taxi can be any type or model of the vehicle and must be pre-booked.
Both types of taxis will need to ensure they have the right PCO insurance in place, to protect drivers from any claims brought.
What type of PCO taxi insurance do I need to drive in London?
London is a very busy city, with many risks. As a London taxi driver, you’ll be spending many hours on the roads, in congestion, across diverse areas of the city. There are three main levels of PCO taxi cover available:
The cheapest and lowest level of cover is third-party only. This type of cover only pays out for damage to third-party vehicles if you’re involved in an accident.
Third-party fire and theft offer slightly more protection, with fully comprehensive PCO car insurance offering the highest level of coverage.
How much does it cost?
Every taxi and driver is different. There is no ‘one size fits all’ way to estimate the cost of your PCO insurance. Your premium will be affected by things like your own driving history, whether you have any points, what type of taxi your drive and how regularly it is serviced.
In general, you can expect your PCO taxi policy to cost more than a private car insurance policy. This is because of the greater risks associated with transporting passengers and the higher annual mileage and more time on the road London cab drivers spend.
How to get cheap PCO insurance UK?
Insuring any vehicle in London can be expensive. There are common-sense steps to take if you want to save money on your taxi insurance:
- Keep your taxi serviced regularly: Ensuring your black cab or minicab is well maintained could reduce the risk of an accident due to mechanical failures.
- Keep your taxi secure: Parking your taxi off the road if possible and fitting up-to-date security features like steering locks and alarms can reduce the risk of theft, and mean lower premiums
- Drive safely: Drivers with fewer points on their licence can get cheaper premiums. Many London cabbies consider fitting black box technology, which can demonstrate safe driving and bring PCO insurance costs down.
- Shop around: Compare quotes with trusted insurers and brokers like Zego, Acorn, and Haven to get a competitive price
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get London PCO insurance if I am under 25?
Most insurers will only offer taxi insurance cover to drivers over 25. This is because younger drivers are seen as higher risk.
Does my London taxi have to be wheelchair accessible?
The PCO licence London public hire taxis on the condition that they must be accessible for wheelchair users. Failing to comply could mean up to a £1000 fine.
For London minicabs operating on a private hire basis, there are some exceptions. The TFL website has a full list of cars the PCO designated as wheelchair accessible.
Are there any exclusions for PCO taxi insurance?
As with most taxi insurance policies, you will not usually be covered if you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, leave your taxi unsecured, or if the taxi is being driven by someone else not named on the policy.
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