Different taxi services decide to set up their driver and car systems differently based on a variety of factors. This might include the size of the company and the size of the area that they provide services to. Usually, someone that works for a taxi company will either own their car, or lease one from the company that they work for. However, the lease option is by and large the more common of the two.
So why is it to the benefit of the drivers and the company to offer a lease option rather than having all of the drivers own their own cabs? The number one reason is that it would be very difficult for most taxi companies to get enough drivers if they only allowed people that owned their vehicles to work for their company. Buying a car expressly for work purposes is a very large investment, and many people starting out in the industry would not have either the desire or the financial resources to make such an investment.
Driving a taxi, like many other careers, is one that may not be for everybody. Many people try it for a few years, or an even short period of time, and decide that they don’t like it. Dealing with strangers all day, having to drive intoxicated people around after the bars close, and the threat of potential muggings often tends to turn people away from the profession. They may not realize that they will feel that way until they have tried it for a while, which is why the vehicle lease option is preferable.
On the other hand, someone might start driving cab and realize that they love it. For these people, it then makes more sense to invest in their own car. Once they realize that this is a lifetime career for them, they can increase their profit margins by owning their own car rather than leasing it. Although most taxi companies lease their vehicles, many will have a plan that will allow drivers to also own their own car if that is how they prefer to do business.
Even if you own your own car, you will still have to rent certain equipment from the company that you work for. Things like a radio and a meter are all usually owned by the cab company themselves. If you want to work for them, they will usually charge you a small fee to rent the required equipment to install in your own vehicle.
by Paul McDuffy