A guide for new Uber Drivers
If you’ve just gained your PCO license to become a driver for Uber, or any other private hire company, first of all, congratulations! But once your head stops spinning from all of the paperwork, from your PCO card and paper to a DVLA check code and PHV licence, it’s time to knuckle down and get to work.
First and foremost, you’ll need a vehicle. Maybe you’ve been able to buy one yourself, or perhaps you’ve used our affordable PCO car hire services. Regardless, once you’ve got your car, you’re going to need the basics.
The rules of the road are a little bit different for PCO drivers, with passenger etiquette considered almost as important as the way you should drive. So before you begin earning money with Uber, or as an independent operator, have a read through our handy list of what new PCO drivers need to know.
Rules of the road for PCO drivers
It’s understandable that PCO drivers would think they are subject to the same regulations and limitations as other public transport providers when it comes to where you can drive. Here are Hirebrid’s PCO FAQs.
Can PCO drivers stop at bus stops?
Since PCO cars aren’t given the same freedom black cabs or buses, you will not be allowed to drive in the bus lane as an Uber driver. This also means that you will not be allowed to drop off or pick up any passengers on the bus lane either.
Are PCO drivers allowed to stop on double yellow lines or red lines?
Double yellow lines—and, in central London, double red lines—both mark out spaces on the road where cars are forbidden from stopping at any time. Particularly on roads with double red lines, which account for around 30% of the capital’s traffic, it’s crucial for traffic to be allowed to flow with minimal levels of disruption.
The only exception is on single red lines which have specific signage to denote when the no stopping rule is in effect. Outside of these hours, PCO drivers are allowed to stop on these lines to pick up or drop off passengers.
Do PCO drivers pay congestion charge?
Although London black cabs are exempt from the fine, PCO cars will still have to pay the fee when going into the London congestion charge zone during its hours of operation—between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. However, if your PCO car is registered as wheelchair-accessible, you will not have to pay the congestion charge, provided you are transporting a passenger.
Best Practices for PCO drivers
First and foremost, remember that your passengers are also your customers and you should, therefore, be as polite and courteous to them as possible. Poor manners or a rude demeanour can affect the rating that the customer gives you, which will affect your wider Uber rating.
During the trip, try to be considerate towards your passengers. Keep some water in the car and offer them some when they get into your vehicle. Likewise, give them the option to tune into a different radio station from the one you’re currently listening to. And, of course, keeping your car clean is a must. Gestures like these can make the difference between a good rating from your passengers and a great one.
Take a ride yourself
Particularly if you’re a brand new PCO driver, consider making use of Uber or another private hire provider yourself. This not only gives you a feel for what your passengers will expect from you, but will allow you to ask your driver any questions you might have about working for their PCO provider, as well as what it’s like to drive in your city, and other more general advice.
Keep a record of your journeys
While your passengers are the lifeblood of your work as a PCO driver, it’s critical to think about the journeys you make on a larger scale. This is important because you’ll be able to claim back expenses like parking and petrol based on your mileage. However, this can also be beneficial for identifying your driving habits and deducing how much you earn in any given night, week, or month. This can help you get a better idea of how often you need to work in order to earn your desired salary.
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