Starting a Business in the Motor Trade

If you have a passion for cars then you may have considered starting your own business in the motor trade. There are many advantages to having your own business but in order to be successful there are certain things you must consider. Below are some of the most important.

Business type

Of all the things you need to consider when starting your own business in the motor trade, perhaps the most important is the type of business you’re going to run. There are countless business type in motor trade, including courier firms, valeting services, garages, MOT centres, car showrooms, windscreen fitters, mobile mechanics etc. Which type of business you start will depend on your experience and skills as well as where your main passion lies.

One of the business types in the motor trade that has the lowest barrier to entry is car sales. Although technically you only need the money to invest in your first car in order to start making money buying and selling, you will need a good amount of knowledge in order to make it a profitable venture. Knowing where to buy, what things to look for and how to advertise are all key parts of buying and selling cars successfully.

Location

Choosing the right location for your business is another key factor in running a successful motor trade business. There are many factors to consider when choosing a location, not least of which is the premises itself. Ideally you will be able to find the ideal premises in the ideal location but this isn’t always the case. The thing to bear in mind is that a premises can be done up but if the location is poor then there’s not much you can do about it. Depending on the type of motor trade business you choose to start, then foot traffic might not be a huge deciding factor. For example, MOT garages get a lot of repeat business (providing they’re reliable) but a car showroom will rely heavily on being easy to find.

Insurance

When you run a business in the motor trade, you need to ensure that you’re covered for all risks. This means getting a special traders insurance policy that covers you for working on and/or transporting customer vehicles. Websites like traders-insurance.com make it easier than ever to get motor trade insurance quotes so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a policy at a good price.

Becoming a Private Hire Taxi Driver

If you like the idea of driving for a living and also enjoy working with the public then you might be suited to working as a private hire taxi driver.

Below are some of the main things you’ll need to take care of to work as a private hire taxi driver.

Getting a licence

The requirements for getting a taxi driver’s licence will vary depending on which part of the country you live in. Generally the requirements for most councils are quite similar, with London being the exception. The ‘Knowledge’ test you must pass in order to work as a taxi driver in London is notoriously difficult.

The basic requirements for applying for a taxi driver’s licence are as follows –

  • You must be at least 21 years of age
  • You must be able to live and work in the UK
  • You must have a full UK or EU driving licence

In addition to this you will also need to pass a medical test as well as a good character assessment to find out if you have any serious convictions and if you would be suitable for the job. Each council will also have their own competency test that tests your knowledge of the city you intend to work in.

Getting insurance

When you use your vehicle for profit or reward, it’s no longer enough to simply have a regular car insurance. You must instead get a special private hire taxi insurance policy. This will not only cover you for road risks but will also include cover for risks such as liability claims.

You can get private hire taxi insurance quotes very easily by using a site such as http://www.multiquotetaxiinsurance.co.uk/. Getting multiple quotes is one of the best ways you can save money on taxi insurance so it’s always worth doing.

Finding work

In order to find work as a private hire taxi driver, you will ideally have a good amount of previous experience working as a taxi driver or at least in some other kind of driving job. However this isn’t necessarily a requirement since everyone has to start somewhere.

The fact that Uber exists means that private hire taxi drivers now have other options than simply working for a mini cab or black cab company. You can get your own work through the Uber app, providing you meet their requirements.

 

Getting the Right Type of Cover For Your Van

If you own a van and rely on it for work then you want to make sure you’ve got the right type of cover to protect you for all the risks you face.

Below are some of the most common types of van insurance you can get as well as the typical cover options you can choose from when taking out a van insurance policy.

Types of van insurance

Below are some of the different types of van insurance you can get –

  • Van courier insurance – If you use your van to work as a courier then you definitely need to get a specialised courier van insurance policy. This will not only ensure that you’re protected for road risks but will usually also include things like public liability insurance and goods in transit insurance too.
  • Personal use van insurance – If your van is mostly for personal use then you can get a regular van insurance policy. Depending on exactly how you use your van, you can tailor your policy to include the level of cover you need. For example you might want to get breakdown assistance added to your policy.
  • Van fleet insurance – If you own a fleet of vans then the best way to get them covered is by getting a van fleet insurance policy. Getting your vans insured as a fleet is a great way to save time and money.

Cover options

  • Third party – A third party only policy is the minimum level of cover you need in order to drive your van legally. It simply provides protection for other road users in the event of a crash that you’re to blame for. This is the cheapest type of cover you can get.
  • Third party, fire and theft – This includes the same level of cover for collisions but will also now cover you for damage caused by fire and theft of your van.
  • Comprehensive – A comprehensive policy will provide the most protection for your van and will cover it for all kinds of collisions, even those that you are at fault for. Fire and theft is also included in a comprehensive policy.
  • Breakdown assistance – Breakdown assistance is always a must when you drive a van for a living. You may already have it from a company such as AA or RAC but you can sometimes get it cheaper as part of your insurance.

 

The Benefits of Owning a Minibus

If you’ve ever thought about buying a minibus then you’re not alone. Although minibuses aren’t for everyone, they do come with some unique advantages that make them a worthwhile investment. Below are some of the major reasons to consider purchasing a minibus.

A lot more room

One of the most obvious advantages of owning a minibus is that you have plenty of room. This is great if you have a large family or often need to take your kids and their friends to different places. Being able to transport more passengers and having more space is never a bad thing.

You have the option to work as a minibus taxi driver

A lot of taxi firms are looking for minibus owner drivers so if you’re planning on becoming a taxi driver then getting a minibus can be a great way to stand out from the competition. Although taxi driving sometimes get a bad reputation for being a dangerous job, there are many advantages of doing it and you can make a good wage if you put in the hours.

You can work as either a public or private hire minibus driver. Public hire tends to come with more risks and means that your vehicle will usually cost more to insure. Private hire vehicles can only be booked by phone and therefor it tends to be safer for drivers.

Help out your local community

If you’d like to get involved in your local community then there’s plenty of ways that owning a minibus helps you do this. There are some advantages that come with using your minibus as a not-for-profit service too, such as being able to get discounted insurance rates. You just need to ensure that you have the correct permits in order to be eligible.

Getting the right cover

When you own a minibus, you must ensure that you have the right cover. This is particularly important if you rely on your minibus to make a living. It’s necessary to get minibus insurance from a specialist provider. Luckily there are many sites now where you can get minibus insurance quotes from specialist providers, such as http://www.insureminibus.co.uk/

Getting multiple quotes is always important when looking for minibus insurance since it will enable you to ensure that you get a good deal on it.

How To Protect a Very Valuable Car

If you’re lucky enough to own a super car or other type of valuable vehicle then you’ll no doubt be aware that it can attract unwanted attention. If you own a very valuable car then you need to take the right precautions in order to lessen the risk of theft and vandalism.

With this in mind, below are some of the best ways you can keep your vehicle safe. 

Always park safely

This one should be obvious. Whether you’re at home or you’re out and about in your car, you should ensure that it’s parked safely at all times. You should always look for indoor car parks since they are much more secure than outdoor car parks. Never park your car on the street; it’s just asking for trouble.

Don’t advertise it on social media

When you own a beautiful car, it’s tempting to show it off and while this is OK with family and friends, you should avoid posting about it on social media. It’s always worth remembering that criminals use social media too and will often specifically search for posts on Facebook and Twitter from people who are going on holiday or who have very expensive possessions that could be stolen, particularly cars.

Don’t leave valuables in view

When you own a valuable car, it’s likely to be the vehicle itself rather than what’s inside that attracts attention. However you still shouldn’t leave any valuables, such as a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, jewellery or expensive clothing on display. This could easily lead to your windows being broken, even if the car itself isn’t stolen. Always taken any valuables with you or lock them in the glove box or boot.

Always keep your keys safe

The security systems that are used in modern cars, particularly high end cars, are very sophisticated. This means that the easiest way for a thief to steal your car is by getting the keys from you. For this reason, you should always ensure that you keep your keys in a zipped pocket when out and about and that you put them somewhere safe when you’re in the house.

Take out the right cover

Getting the right level of cover is essential when you own a very valuable car. If you own a vintage or classic are then it’s definitely worth getting cover from a specialist provider in the form of an agreed valuation policy.

When Will Self-Driving Cars Become The Norm?

Many motor industry professionals believe that self-driving cars will become the norm in the future as more and more people realise the unwanted expense that comes with owning your own vehicle. The ever-rising cost of insurance and fuel means that people are becoming disillusioned with the traditional way of purchasing and owning a vehicle. Self-driving vehicles could prove the solution to this problem since they have the potential to be used similar to how public transportation is now. Instead of owning your own car, you would simply use a self-driving car as and when you need it.

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Pros and Cons of a Self-Build Motorhome

Owning a motorhome can open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. The UK has some of the best places to camp of any country in the world and owning a motorhome will enable you to explore the country in a whole new way.

When it comes to owning a motorhome, you can either buy one that comes ready to use or you can build your own. Below are some of the pros and cons of the DIY route.

Pros

  • You can design to your exact specifications – This is perhaps the biggest advantage of a self-build motorhome. Unlike buying new or used; with a self-build motorhome, you can decide on exactly the size, dimensions and features you want it to have. It’s important to know that with any motorhome there is some degree of compromise involved. Generally the more features your motorhome has, the less space there’ll be.
  • A big sense of satisfaction – There’s nothing like satisfactorily completing a large and demanding project. When you stand back and can admire your work on your self-build motorhome, the sense of satisfaction you get is not comparable to buying a ready-made vehicle.

Cons

  • Getting insurance can be harder – One fairly big downside of a self-build motorhome is that it can be more difficult to get insurance for. Your self-build must adhere to strict safety standards in order to get cover and it could cost more compared to insuring a regular motorhome. However there are specialist self-build motorhome insurance providers who can offer cover at a reasonable price, providing your motorhome is built well.
  • You’ll need the right skills – Building a motorhome isn’t just a case of buying a van and adding a few pieces of furniture. In order for it to be road worthy and have the feautures you want, you’ll need a range of skills, including carpentry, plumbing and designing in order to get the best results. Not many people have all three of the skills so don’t be afraid to sub-contract certain parts of the build to professionals. It’s also important to choose a good base vehicle to start with.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a self-build motorhome can be a great way to design the motorhome of your dreams. However you must take into account the skills needed to build one successfully or you could end up with something that’s poorly built, or even dangerous.

 

Driving a Van For a Living – FAQ

Many people in the UK rely on their van for work. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that people who are thinking about driving a van for a living have.

Where to buy?

Where to buy a van to begin with is obviously an important thing to know. Buying a van is not really much different than buying a car in this respect. You can buy new or used and which you opt for will depend heavily on the budget you have available. Buying new is obviously ideal since you’re getting a brand new vehicle that has less chance of developing problems and will come with guarantee.

If you decide to buy used from somewhere like Auto Trader or eBay then be sure to do your research and you know what to check for in order to avoid problems.

What type of jobs can you do?

Although there are many skilled trades that rely on the use of a van, if you’re just wanting to get started immediately then the most obvious type of work available to you is deliveries. You can work as a courier, either for a large courier firm or set up as a freelancer. Freelance work might seem appealing but it does mean you’ll have to find your own clients, which can be a challenge when you’re first starting out.

Are vans expensive to run?

Vans are generally more expensive to run than cars. Tax and fuels costs can be quite expensive depending on the type of van you own. However you need to consider the money that owning a van allows you to generate and think of it that way. Although vans are more expensive to buy and run than a car, the investment is usually worth it, providing you know you’ll have steady work.

What about insurance?

Van insurance is another part of owning a van that can be quite expensive. Vans come with their own unique risks, such as in increased chance of theft from the vehicle or of the vehicle itself. For this reason it’s always a good idea to get van insurance from a specialist insurance provider. A specialist provider will be able to provider you with a fair price considering your van and its use. There are many excellent insurance comparison services where you can get van insurance quotes now.

 

Buying a Car When You Live in the Countryside

Although the UK has many towns, cities and villages; much of it is made up of rural areas too.

There are many upsides that come with living in the country, with people tending to be happier away from the hustle and bustle of a major city.

For example if you live in the countryside then purchasing a car comes with different considerations. Below is a guide to help you make the right decision.

Requirements

If you live in the country then there’s a good chance that you might have special requirements for your car. For example if you own horses and you need to transport them then you’ll need a car that’s powerful enough to pull a horse trailer. You do have the option of buying a separate horsebox but you’ll need to get horsebox insurance if you do, which is an added expense.

You should also think about your size requirements. If you have a large family then you’ll of course want to opt for a spacious vehicle with plenty of boot space.

Fuel costs

Another key consideration when choosing a new car is the cost of fuel. A lot of people who live in the country are now investing in electric vehicles. This is because the driving conditions in the country enable you to benefit from the cheaper fuel costs over longer distances. If you do decide to get an electric vehicle then you’ll probably want to have a charging port fitted at your home, unless you have a petrol station with a charging port nearby.

If you don’t want to go full electric then you can get a hybrid vehicle as a compromise. There are many excellent hybrid models available now so finding one that suits your needs and budget shouldn’t be too difficult.

Insurance

Insurance is another key consideration when buying a car. The way you use your car and the area you live will impact insurance costs so living in the country should work in your favour where this is concerned. If you want to keep insurance costs to a minimum then you should ensure that your car is always parked securely and that you don’t leave any valuables in it.

 

 

Things to Consider When Buying a Car as a Taxi Owner Driver

If you work as an owner driver taxi then making sure you invest in the right car is vital. There are many things to consider when purchasing a new car for your business. Below are some of the most important.

Fuel costs

Image result for petrol

Since you spend all day (or night) on the roads, fuel costs are obviously a primary concern. Cars with smaller engines are cheaper to run but you want to ensure there’s enough room for passengers and that you’re happy with how the car drives too so you have to strike the right balance between economy and comfort. www.petrolprices.com is a great site for finding out about fuel costs for different types of cars as well as more general information about why fuel costs what it does.

Reliability

Reliability is of course important when you rely on your car to make a living. The last thing you want when you’re in the middle of a shift is for your car to break down. There are many excellent cars on the market that are known for their reliability. Generally German and Japanese models are very reliable, as are cars made by Ford.

Insurance

Insurance is another thing that you need to think about as an owner driver. Sites such as Multiquote Taxi Insurance

Some of the factors that affect the cost of taxi insurance are –

  • Your age – Age is always a big factor that affects cost when it comes to taxi insurance (or vehicle insurance generally) simply because younger drivers are more stastically likely to be involved in an accident. Providing you’re over the age of 25 though, your age shouldn’t make your insurance prohibitively expensive. 
  • Your driving experience – Your driving experience will of course affect the amount you pay for insurance too. If you have a lot of driving experience, and particularly as a taxi driver then you can expect to pay less, especially if you have little-to-no claims and a clean licence. 
  • The value of your vehicle – The value of your vehicle is another crucial factor that impacts the price of taxi insurance. While the thought of driving a luxury vehicle can seem appealing, it will cost a lot more to insure so this is something you have to consider.

Insuring a Fleet of Vehicles

If you have multiple vehicles that need to be insured, then fleet insurance is an excellent way to do this. Fleet insurance enables you to insure multiple vehicles together under one policy rather than getting separate policies for each.

Below is a guide to fleet insurance, including the types of people who can benefit from it and the most compelling reasons to consider getting a fleet policy.

Who can benefit from fleet insurance?

  • Families – Family fleet insurance is perfect for families who have 3 or more vehicles that they’d like to insure together. Even if the vehicles are of varying values and the drivers of different ages, it’s still possible to ensure all the vehicles together on one policy.
  • Businesses – Fleet insurance is very popular with businesses for obvious reasons. There are many business types that can benefit from fleet insurance, including truck firms, taxi firms and courier firms to name just a few.

Why get fleet insurance?

Below are some of the biggest benefits of getting fleet insurance –

  • It’s usually cheaper – Car insurance has become so expensive now that people are always looking for new ways to save money on it. One of the best ways you can cut down costs when insuring multiple vehicles is to get a fleet policy. Fleet insurance nearly always works out cheaper than getting separate policies so it’s an incredibly useful way to keep car insurance affordable.
  • It’s more convenient – Convenience is always high on the agenda considering how hectic most peoples’ lives are nowadays. Having a fleet insurance policy is much easier to manage than getting separate policies for each vehicle you need to insure.
  • Insure multiple vehicle types – With fleet insurance, you can also insure multiple types of vehicles. This makes it incredibly useful for business such as taxi firms, that might have a range of cars and minibuses that need to be insured.

Where to get fleet insurance

Finding fleet insurance at a good price is now easier than ever thanks to the internet. There are countless insurance comparison services online that enable you to get quotes from different providers in a quick and easy manner. Many mainstream providers offer fleet insurance but it can sometimes by useful to go to a specialist provider since you could save money.

 

A Car or a Van – Which is Best for You?

Cars and vans make up a huge portion of the traffic that’s on UK roads. Many people will simply opt for a car when looking for a new vehicle. It’s understandable since cars are generally cheaper to buy and run. However there are some compelling reasons to consider investing in a van. Below are some of the pros and cons of each to help you decide which type of vehicle is right for you.

Cars Pros & Cons 

Pros

  • Wide selection of models to choose from – One of the big advantages that cars have over vans is that there’s a huge selection that you can choose from. There are car manufacturers all over the world who produce models of all shapes and sizes so finding a car that suits your personality and practical needs will not be a problem.
  • Affordable to run – How much a car costs to run will depend on factors such as the engine size and the value of the vehicle. However if you’re looking for something that’s economical to run then there are now a good selection of electric and hybrid cars that have zero tax and lower fuel costs.

Cons

  • Not practical in every situation – Cars are very good all-purpose vehicles but sometimes they’re not suitable, particularly if your job requires you to have a vehicle with a lot of space.
  • Limited room – The limited room that cars provide can also be a problem for people with large families who need a lot of space.

Vans Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Opens up career options – An extremely useful benefit that comes with owning a van is that it opens up your career options. One very obvious job you’re able to do when you own a van is working as a courier. Once you have your own van, you just need to get courier insurance (and of course customers) in order to start making a living at it.
  • More room – The extra room that vans provide are another big benefit. The spacious cabin and storage space is a big benefit for many different types of jobs, which is why vans are so popular in the UK.

Cons

  • Can be expensive to run – Vans are not particularly cheap to purchase and run. Fuel costs can add up but providing you’re able to ensure you get regular work, it’s not an issue in most cases.