Four Traits to Look For When Hiring a Taxi or Limo Driver
Thanks to the booming rideshare economy, companies like Uber and Lyft have used technology to help everyday self-employed drivers disrupt the transportation industry. Studies now show that the number of licensed taxis and limos on the road have dwindled rapidly over the last several years.
But with ride-hailing apps running into legal trouble in some American cities and abroad, for the foreseeable future at least, there is still a definitive need for professional hired drivers to be on the road. And, in order to compete with ride-sharing apps, taxi and limo companies should employ drivers who go above and beyond just taking riders to their intended destination. If you are in the market to hire your next taxi or limo driver, be sure to look for the following traits:
Professionally Licensed or Endorsed
It’s every passenger’s worst nightmare to be subjected to a rage-fueled, panic-inducing car ride through bad traffic. Worse, imagine having to pay for such an unpleasant experience. Professional drivers are professional for a reason — they meet specific requirements, such as having a clean driving record, passing a criminal background check, passing a licensing exam and completing on-the-job training which includes mastering safe driving practices. In other words, they are trained to know how to handle the road.
Knows Location Inside and Out
One disadvantage of using a ride-sharing app is that drivers are unfamiliar with certain areas. They are sometimes forced to follow directions provided by the app or use Google Maps, which can be buggy or suggest inefficient routes. The best taxi drivers, however, don’t need to rely on maps or technology to get to a desired destination. In addition to being able to comfortably navigate the city, they are familiar with shortcuts and alternate routes, and can also predict impending traffic.
Customer Service Oriented
Some passengers prefer silence while they ride, while others want to engage in small talk. Drivers need to be able to quickly adapt to the needs of every rider in a polite fashion and not take things personally. Similarly, drivers should keep their vehicles clean, odor free and avoid controversial or offensive paraphernalia or music. In a cab or limo, it’s the driver’s job to make riders feel at ease, safe, and comfortable — not the other way around.
Has Basic Mechanic Skills
When you’re on the road, anything can happen — this includes accidents, flat tires, and battery failures. No doubt handling these situations is challenging, but when you add an irate or panicked passenger to the equation, stress levels can further escalate. That is why it is ideal to hire a driver who has some knowledge of basic vehicle repair and is familiar with car parts. For instance, by being able to change a flat tire himself, a driver saves time and money for both himself and his passenger.
As you go through the hiring process, it is important to remember that many applicants may talk the talk — but can they drive the drive? Before you offer employment, you may want to consider a trial or a temporary job to make sure that your driver is the best fit for your fleet. At the end of the day, you want to hire a taxi driver who offers such a positive experience that next time, their riders will opt to hail a cab instead of using an app.