Although many taxi drivers may use average looking cars there are strict regulations that the drivers/owners of the vehicle have to adhere to when maintaining and having the vehicle serviced. As with buses they are providing a public service so there fore constantly have to be up to the standards or they are not legally allowed to function as a taxi, this is the case in Britain of course the maintenance standards vary in different countries. In Britain they have some of the stricter guidelines to follow for example they must carry a fire extinguisher, have enough boot space to carry a wheel chair, have no less than four doors etc.
The maintenance standards are just as strict as the vehicle specification but there are many garages around the UK that specialise in servicing taxis below are some of the checks that need to be done in the servicing of the taxis:
- The seat belts are a key component in ensuring the safety of your passengers so it is always advisable to check them regularly, and they will be checked fully with the inspection of the vehicle.
- The windscreen and other windows These are inspected for the strength and stability of the glass used they all have to ensure the windscreen is properly fitted and has no cracks or chips out of the glass as this weakens the glass dramatically. They also prefer it if you use safety glass as this shatters into pieces of glass that won’t cause any cuts if broken, meaning if you were to crash the passengers would be at less risk to severe cuts.
- The wing mirrors and interior mirrors These are checked as a safety measure and it is ensured that all mirrors on the vehicle inside and out are visible to the driver at all times while in the driving position. They also check the controls for altering the wing mirrors while inside the vehicle and check the rear view mirrors can be adjusted easily if knocked out of alignment. Also it is to be checked they are not cracked or chipped in anyway.
As well as these checks on safety parts there are also the standard MOT tests for the vehicles to pass, if not it will be put out of service until its problem is fixed. It is also checked for standard of appearance like the paint work not being chipped. American taxi firms also put their cabs through the American car service, and check for any faults with the outward appearance as well as inside as it represent the firm. These checks should be carried out regularly and the vehicle should be serviced at least once every six months. As well as the vehicle being serviced taxis require a different kind of insurance to normal vehicles as they have to have additional cover for the passengers. As there are many insurance companies for normal drivers there are now many companies that specialise in taxi firms insurance, making it quite a competitive market.