Daily Life of Private Drivers in the UK – Discover More About the Jobs of PCO Driver

Those who join a ridesharing platform or work as a PCO driver in London might gain a proper perspective on life changes brought on by new employment. We tried to list the most typical activities associated with being a private driver, despite the fact that diverse lives can modify the routines.

Who drives a PCO (PHV-private hire) vehicle?

When you hear the name PCO, driving for Uber might be the first thing that comes to mind. Yes, that’s true, but there are other choices as well. Any minicab or taxi driver who is able to use one or more ridesharing apps is considered a PCO driver. In the UK, PHV drivers are required to have a PCO licence instead of a driving licence in order to work properly.

Responsibilities of a private driver

Taking passengers to their destination safely and on time is the primary duty of PHV drivers. This brief journey must be completed safely, and the client must feel completely at ease upon timely arrival at the location. A private driver may also transport people’s pets or deliver a specific package (such as food, boxes, etc.).

In other words, a PCO driver is responsible for transporting people (or people’s equipment) from one location to another in accordance with rideshare policies.

Daily schedule of PCO drivers

We looked into some PHV drivers’ interviews to ensure that the information we provided in this part was true, and the Here is a compilation of the reported routines:

A PCO driver can begin their shift at anytime, day or night! Because there are always many passengers looking to ride in a cab. Basically, PCO drivers are their own BOSS! This is one of the cool aspects of this work that drivers find incredible. As a result, you can see a PHV driver working the night shift while another works the day shift. One person may work for 5 hours a day, while another works for 9. The point is that lifestyle is crucial in this situation.

When the workday begins, drivers start looking for passengers on ride-sharing apps, either from their front door or after hours of stumbling around the streets looking for a suitable trip.

The vehicle is finally the most significant component of a PCO driver’s job. According to research, many private drivers choose not to use their personal vehicles for business purposes. They may believe that their vehicle isn’t up to the task at hand or that it could experience damage. In this scenario, PCO drivers search for PCO car rental companies.

With Uber-ready PCO vehicles, PCO drivers are now ready to join Uber or other ridesharing services.

Successful PHV driving skills

There are a few essential skills for success in every profession, and PHV driving is no exception. Whether you are resolute in your approach, you will succeed as a private driver.

  1. Always listen to your customer, make sure the route is what they expected, attempt to relax them during the ride, and gain their trust.
  2. Take little breaks in between trips to avoid getting fatigued while working.
  3. To improve your ranking, drive defensively. Better rankings increase the probability of picking up passengers.
  4. Drive in a courteous and social manner. Make the journey enjoyable for you and your client.
  5. Make an effort to develop a detailed work plan. Organize your clock to start when you are ready.
  6. Drive a reliable vehicle, as transportation is crucial in this field of work. You may hire the best PCO cars from Arrow Car Hire.

Shift’s food, drinks, and rest breaks

If your workday is longer than three hours, you’ll need to take breaks for food, drinks, and breaks to refuel. To avoid wasting time buying things while at work, always keep water and snacks in your car. However, be careful to take plenty of rest stops in between rides.

You may be unfamiliar with the takeaways and cafes on your journey during your first days of work, but you will gradually learn which ones are the best. Since you are the boss and this is your career, you should make it lovely by incorporating break flavours.

What does a PCO driver earn per day?

The most essential part of this post provided information on the average pay of a full-time private hire driver to help readers determine whether it would be beneficial to work as a PCO driver or not. The pay for private drivers varies according to the location you work in, your working hours, workdays, and the PHV company you choose.

Estimates indicate that a full-time PHV driver in the UK can earn more than the national average if they are able to locate better jobs. In other words, being a PCO driver is valuable. However, in order to make more than the average, you must be professional, and success in any field requires dedication, expertise, and hard work.

How to Become an Uber Driver in London: A Quick Guide

If you are a PCO driver, you’re probably wondering how to get started driving for Uber.

Because Uber is London’s largest PCO car supplier, with millions of passengers, this is the case. As an Uber driver, you may start earning money straight away by using the app.

Uber drivers now have access to extra advantages as a result of recent changes. A minimum wage guarantee, holiday pay, and free personal insurance are just a few of the benefits.

Uber has a lot of participants, which you may compare in Arrow Car Hire’s Private Hire Operator Guide. Despite this, Uber is the only ride-hailing app that provides new drivers with practical assistance in order to help them obtain a PCO licence – and it is so popular that you should only use these new competitors in combination with the Uber driver app.

1. Verify that you are eligible.

First, you must determine whether you match the following Uber driving requirements:

  • Driver’s licence obtained in the United Kingdom
  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • No previous convictions for serious driving offences
  • Appropriate car and insurance
  • Private Hire Licence
  • You must have a bank account

2. Register with Uber

The first step is to fill out the short form to express your interest in becoming an Uber driver.

You just need an email account and a smartphone to do so. You won’t be able to drive for Uber until you have completed all of the necessary documentation however, this application will help you get started. After that, Uber will ask you to watch an online training video and schedule an appointment.

You have the option of submitting simple personal documents (such as bank statements) now or later.

3. Obtain a Private Hire Licence.

A PCO licence, also known as a Private Hire License, is the most significant document you’ll need to work as an Uber driver. TfL (Transport for London) issues these licenses.

This part of the Uber application procedure, which is divided into two portions – the checks and the testing – can take many months for new drivers. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Medical examination
  • Verification of your background
  • Verify your employment eligibility

Before you apply for a Private Hire Licence on the TfL website, these checks are usually performed. The tests can be completed when you have submitted this form. The majority of PCO drivers complete all three on the same day at TfL’s Baker St or West Kensington offices.

  • A speaking and listening test
  • Regulatory Knowing, Safety, and Equality
  • Test of topographical skills

Drivers who apply for a PCO licence before March 31, 2023, will be provided one and will have until March 31, 2023, to pass the two language examinations. From April 1, 2023, you will be required to pass these tests BEFORE your licence may be authorised.

TfL anticipated that applying for a PH Licence (i.e. PCO licence) will cost about £477, including the cost of the medical check, in May 2022.

4. Sign up with Uber.

You must enter your personal documents into the Uber app at its Greenlight portal once you get a Private Hire Licence. Uber will want you to complete additional online training before you can proceed.

Here’s a list of the documents you’ll require:

  • UK Driving Licence (original plastic card)
  • DVLA Electronic Counterpart Check Code
  • Proof of Identity (e.g. passport)
  • Private Hire Permit (i.e. PCO Licence)
  • A photo of yourself
  • Bank account statement

It takes around a week for your personal information to display as a new driver on the Uber app. It’s smart to wait until this happens before buying a PCO vehicle and insurance.

5. Find an Uber-approved vehicle.

You’re probably wondering what kind of vehicle you’ll need to drive with Uber.

Which vehicles are allowed to use the Uber driver app is subject to extensive restrictions. Some of these vehicle requirements are imposed by Uber (for example, no commercial branding or cosmetic damage), while the majority are set by the city’s licencing authority.

Private Hire Vehicles (i.e. PHVs) under 18 months old in London must be Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) and meet the Euro 6 emissions standard, according to TfL. This implies the vehicle must be fully electric or one of a select few hybrids.

This decision has become more complicated after Uber introduced its Clean Air Plan, which encourages PCO drivers to use electric vehicles.

You’ll need a PCO vehicle that complies with the rules and can be trusted to complete the task. This vehicle should be both inexpensive and enjoyable to drive so that you can earn a good living. After all, you’ll be working here every day.

Why not have the best team in the business help you along the way?

Arrow Car Hire is the UK’s leading provider of vehicles to Uber drivers and is an official Uber Partner. We can hand you the keys to a vehicle that will kickstart your career, as well as provide you with all of the support you’ll need to keep on track.

6. Upload your vehicle’s documentation

The final step in establishing your Uber driver account is to share your car documents. If you have your own PCO car, you can complete this step with Uber at the same time as submitting the personal documentation.

Arrow Car Hire is pleased to assist its drivers by assisting them in uploading their PCO car documentation at one of our own terminals.

Here’s a list of the documents you’ll need for your vehicle:

  • Private Hire Vehicle Licence
  • Logbook (or New Keeper slip)
  • Certificate of Private Hire Insurance
  • Vehicle Layout
  • MOT
  • Hire Agreement or Permission letter

7. Sign in to your account and start work.

After the final documentation is verified, your status will change from “signed-up” to “active,” and you will be an official Uber Driver. This is when you may start earning extra money with Uber as a PCO driver.

Uber’s team will explain how to make the most of its driver app. Once you’ve downloaded the app to your phone, all you have to do is swipe ‘yes’ to accept rides, drive to each pick-up location, and then drop off Uber riders at their desired location.

You’ll Need the Skills Required to Become a PCO Driver

Working as a PCO driver requires more than simply taking passengers from point A to point B. However, it’s a much more. To succeed in this field and profession, PCO drivers must possess special talents. Of course, one of the most important PCO skills is learning how to drive your PCO car properly. Your effort, however, does not end there.

Other abilities you’ll need to improve include excellent geographic knowledge, awareness of your PCO vehicle, communication skills, professionalism when dealing with passengers etc. To put it another way, you’ve got your hands full. You do not need to be worried, however, because we are here to assist you.

Autonomous Vehicles Expertise

While you don’t have to be a professional mechanic to replace a tyre, learning what to do so can certainly save you money and time. After all, rather than paying a mechanic to fix a flat tyre or a loose bolt, you should be able to manage simple problems yourself. The latter will take into the time you could be earning money by driving passengers around.

Moreover, your PCO car will certainly travel hundreds of kilometres each year. So, another thing you’ll have to do on your own is car maintenance on a regular basis. This will help you to keep your PCO car in excellent shape all year long and avoid unnecessary service appointments.

Outstanding Mathematical Ability

To become a professional PCO driver, you must have excellent numeracy skills as well as a thorough understanding of how to operate your PCO vehicle. One of the most crucial PCO skills is required of every driver.

Of course, we don’t require you to have a degree in mathematics.  You’ll be OK as simple as knowing your numbers and can perform elementary multiplication, subtraction, and addition. In fact, you can double-check numbers using your smartphone or a specialized calculator.

When working as a PCO driver, basic math will come in useful in a number of ways. For example, it will enable you to keep accurate records of monthly income, taxes, fuel expenses, and passenger fares.

Ability to Manage Time

As a PCO driver, one of the most important PCO skills you’ll need to master is time management. Every private hire driver knows that some days are busier than others. So, depending on the kinds of passengers you usually transport, working intelligently instead of hard can help you earn more money.

After all, if you can reduce your shifts from twelve to nine hours while still making the same amount of money, you will have more free time to do whatever you desire.

Finally, being organised and effectively managing your time will involve some experience and dedication. However, the advantages of doing so are limitless.

Excellent Geography Skills

You won’t be a successful PCO driver until you acquire this ability. As a result, it’s a no-brainer to have excellent geographic knowledge of the city or town in which you’re traveling. For example, knowing all the shortest paths or highways with the minimum traffic will save you a lot of money.

This will save your time, and your customers will appreciate you when you arrive at their preferred location faster. Moreover, when you take shortcuts, you will save a lot of money on fuel prices. For both you and your passengers, it’s a win-win situation!

Top-Notch Driving Tips

While it may appear to be self-evident, becoming a PCO driver requires more than just obtaining your driving licence and buying a car. However, when working as a private hire driver, having good driving skills is essential, particularly considering the number of miles you’ll cover every day, month, or year.

To become a proficient driver, you must first respect all traffic laws and take no needless risks. Furthermore, unless you’re a good PCO driver, you’ll be able to benefit from lower insurance prices. As a result, the number of insurance claims you make each year will be reduced, able to take benefit of no-claim discounts.

A Friendly Attitude

Without even a doubt, every customer wants to travel in a private rental car driven by a kind and accessible driver. As a result, it’s essential to show your passengers that you’re friendly and pleasantly embrace them, especially if you really want additional return reservations.

Sure, we understand that being a PCO driver is a demanding job that might leave you frustrated at the end of the day. A smile, on the other hand, is cheap, and a positive attitude is necessary for maintaining your passenger’s satisfaction with your service.

Interpersonal and communication skills

While it may seem obvious, most PCO drivers are lacking in even the most fundamental interpersonal and communication skills. Being a competent communicator, on the other hand, is among the most important PCO skills a person may have when working in this profession.

After all, establishing that you comprehend your passengers’ inquiries ahead to, after, or during the journey will set you apart. Keep in mind that efficient communication has nothing to do with having a bigger vocabulary in English. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what the other person is attempting to communicate.

However, it’s important about proving to your passengers that you understand what they’re asking for and that you’re responding appropriately.

The Benefits of Telematics and Cameras in Protecting PCO Drivers

Telematics, cameras, and CCTVs can all contribute to improving the quality of protection for any work. Using a CCTV camera in PCO vehicles to protect PCO drivers in London and assist PCO car hire companies in the UK is a great concept that has suddenly become popular.

What is the purpose of CCTV on a PCO vehicle?

Telematics and cameras on a vehicle employ a mobile data network to share real-time data and movies between the car (driver) and the centre that receives them. If we wish to look into it further, a CCTV will inform the centre about the PCO driver’s present conduct and position. In this way, if the driver or a passenger is in danger, other people are alerted and can respond as quickly as possible.

To summarise, telematics and cameras can be beneficial in the following ways: 

  1. Increasing safety and preventing accidents
  2. Keep threats like robbery at bay.
  3. Identifying PCO drivers’ idle time and allowing them to be more productive

In what ways may a CCTV benefit PCO drivers in the UK?

It can be useful in avoiding dangers and enhancing the efficiency of PCO drivers in the UK, as briefly described. But first, let’s take a closer look at the features of a CCTV system and see how it might help with some examples:

Less Deceptive

While a PCO vehicle is equipped with a CCTV camera, a badge indicating the existence of the camera is usually present. As a result, possible scams should be avoided. Pretending to be a simple customer, some scammers bring the PCO driver to a less crowded area and try to steal important items with the driver. While the CCTV can either replace the false concept or notify the centre, which will provide assistance.

Except for these instances, when an incident happens, the CCTV can clearly state who is to blame, and no one can lie. The accident’s explanation is, in reality, self-evident.

More self-assurance

Riders will have more confidence in PCO cars equipped with CCTV because they know the driver is being viewed and will be more attentive. Moreover, the same thing that happened between the driver and the rider in the preceding part can happen the other way around. There are several con artists who pose as PCO drivers and easily kidnap or rob passengers. By using telematics and cameras, you are ensuring the rider that you are a legal PCO driver.

Identifying the driver’s requirements

A PCO driver might be either skilled or inexperienced. The PCO car rental company can determine whether or not the driver requires any specific training by using CCTV. The performance of the driver will be carefully reviewed, which will assist the PCO vehicle rental firm in determining whether or not to enter into a new agreement with the driver.

An insurance company’s provider

As previously mentioned, using a CCTV system makes determining who is responsible for any potential incident much simpler. Insurance companies will benefit greatly from this, as it will allow them to spend less time on investigations.

What portion of the car should the camera be installed?

Depending on whether you and the firm intention to declare that the vehicle is equipped with CCTV or not, you can install the camera in various locations. Keep in mind that the place must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide a wide range of views.
  • Sources from afar are available.
  • Receive notifications about new footage by mobile, email, and desktop.
  • Provide a better sight of both the roadways and the PCO driver’s activities.

The best option is to employ two multiple cameras on the vehicle’s front glass, one for recording inside the vehicle and the other for recording the road.

How do I get a CCTV-equipped PCO car in the UK?

You can simply request that the private car rental firm install CCTV cameras in the rental PCO vehicle, making it a safer alternative for you to choose. It’s worth noting that not all PCO car rental firms offer this service, so if you’re thinking of renting a PCO car with telematics and cameras, make sure the company recognizes this problem first. To find out if the company accepts this technology, send them an email and wait for a clear response.


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