Taxi drivers have the pleasure of driving people around all over the city – and beyond.
When you work as a taxi driver, you may be driving a sedan, an SUV, or a minivan.
Regardless of what you drive, it can be entertaining and give you incredible views of the city.
Knowing both the pros and cons will make it easy for you to weigh them to decide if it’s the kind of job that you want to work.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being a Taxi Driver
- Cons of Being a Taxi Driver
- Pros and Cons of Being a Taxi Driver – Summary Table
- Should You Become a Taxi Driver?
Pros of Being a Taxi Driver
While a taxi driver may not be the most luxurious job out there, it can offer quite a few pros.
By exploring the positive aspects of the job, you can decide if it’s a job that you’ll want to have, even if only for a little while.
1. Meet New People
When you work as a taxi driver, you’ll end up meeting a lot of people.
Each fare will be someone new – it may be a businessperson, someone on vacation, or a local who just wants to get to or from work.
All of these new people can be exciting, and it’ll ensure that you can continuously have social interactions.
2. Earn Tips
In addition to the base amount that you’ll earn for every fare, you will have the potential to earn tips.
When you can provide exemplary service, such as helping people with their bags and giving them ideas on how to spend their time in the city, they’ll tip you.
This can add up to a lot of money at the end of every week.
3. Set Your Own Hours
You can set the hours that you want to work.
A taxi company will often work 24/7.
However, you will be able to tell them when you are available so that you can work another job or have a social life.
Of course, working full-time will be what will provide you with the highest earnings.
4. Learn All About Your City
You might be surprised by how much you can learn about your city as you drive all over as a taxi driver.
You will learn about all of the different neighborhoods, find out about top restaurants and entertainment venues, and more.
You’ll get so used to certain routes that you may not even need to use GPS on the regular.
5. No Real Training is Needed
There’s not a lot of training that goes into being a taxi driver.
Most companies simply require that you are at least 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license.
It means that you can work as a taxi driver even if you don’t have a college degree.
The only training you might need is how to work the meter.
6. Avoid Student Loan Debt
Many people go to college and end up with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.
Meanwhile, they earn a degree that they can’t even use.
You can avoid all of that debt (and the four years of school) by choosing to work a blue-collar job such as a taxi driver.
7. Avoid Staring at a Computer Screen
While people working in offices are staring at a computer screen all day, you’ll be checking out the sights.
Fares will take you all over the city, so your landscape will be constantly changing.
It can be much more invigorating – and staring at a computer screen is usually a recipe for a headache.
Avoid the blue light by being behind a wheel instead.
8. Play a Vital Role in the Community
Taxi drivers are necessary in today’s world.
Not everyone has a car, and some people choose not to get a car for costs or because of traveling.
You will be an important mode of transportation for the people who live in and visit your city.
Even if people don’t say “thank you,” know that you are appreciated.
9. Avoid Working Outdoors
Many jobs require you to work outdoors, under the hot sun, and in other inclement weather.
It can lead to sunburns and exhaustion.
You’ll have the ability to work in an air-conditioned taxi with some of your favorite music or podcasts playing.
The only time you’ll have to get out is if you’re opening the door for a fare or helping someone with their baggage.
10. Engage in Exciting Conversations
The conversations that you can have as you drive people around are endless.
Some people may tell you about their personal lives while others will tell you about their jobs, the places they’ve traveled, and more.
You can learn quite a bit just by listening – and when you are a good listener, it can end up paying better, too.
Cons of Being a Taxi Driver
Being a taxi driver may not be a long-term career as many people experience burnout after a while.
Much of it will depend on whether it is a full-time or part-time job for you.
Knowing all of the cons can help you make a well-educated decision.
1. Have to Deal with Difficult People
There are always going to be fares that are difficult – either because they want to tell you about a different route to take or who want to complain about your driving.
Depending on the time of night, you may also encounter intoxicated people.
These fares can make it hard to get up and do it all over again the next day.
2. Pay Can Be Irregular
The pay is not consistent from day to day or week to week, which can be hard to budget.
Some days may include longer routes or more fares.
It all depends on the day and how many people need a taxi to get to where they are going.
It’s why many taxi drivers have a second job.
3. Spend Time in Traffic
You may spend a significant amount of your day sitting in traffic.
Depending on the city you are driving in, there can be traffic delays of an hour or more.
The bumper-to-bumper traffic can be frustrating.
You may also have to listen to a fare in the backseat complain about the meter running during all of the traffic chaos.
4. Drive in Inclement Weather
Your job is to drive, no matter what the weather may be.
As such, you may find that you’re driving in the rain, snow, and on icy roads.
It can be stressful to be on the road when there is inclement weather, so you have to be sure that you are confident behind the wheel.
5. Work Nights, Weekends & Holidays
In order to earn a decent living as a taxi driver, you need to be available when people are more likely to need a taxi.
This means working nights, weekends, and holidays.
It can cut into your social life considerably – and you may find that you have to work more than 40 hours a week or at least be on call regularly.
6. Work is Sedentary
You will be sitting for most of the day because you will be driving people all over town.
If you spend eight hours behind the wheel, that is eight hours sitting.
You may only get a chance to stretch your legs when it’s time to fill up the gas tank or help a fare with bags.
A sedentary lifestyle can take a toll on your health after a while.
7. People Will Look Down on You
The job of a taxi driver is not the most glamorous.
There will be people who will think less of you because you are “only” a taxi driver.
It is a blue-collar job without the ability to grow – unless you actually own the company and drive periodically.
Many drivers also report that it is difficult to find love because the job position doesn’t have much social standing.
8. It’s Not Always Safe
It isn’t always safe to be a taxi driver because you never know who is going to get into your taxi.
The person who gets in could be mentally unsound or even be carrying weapons.
They could attack you while you’re driving or try to rob you.
Additionally, there will be times when you have to drop off or pick up in unsavory neighborhoods where crimes can be committed.
9. The Job is Becoming More Competitive
Being a taxi driver is more competitive than ever before because there are so many options for people to get to where they want to go.
In addition to public transportation, there are also ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft.
You may find that some people would choose another route over a taxi when given the choice.
Pros and Cons of Being a Taxi Driver – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Taxi Driver||Cons of Being a Taxi Driver|
|1. Meet New People||1. Have to Deal with Difficult People|
|2. Earn Tips||2. Pay Can Be Irregular|
|3. Set Your Own Hours||3. Spend Time in Traffic|
|4. Learn All About Your City||4. Drive in Inclement Weather|
|5. No Real Training is Needed||5. Work Nights, Weekends & Holidays|
|6. Avoid Student Loan Debt||6. Work is Sedentary|
|7. Avoid Staring at a Computer Screen||7. People Will Look Down on You|
|8. Play a Vital Role in the Community||8. It’s Not Always Safe|
|9. Avoid Working Outdoors||9. The Job is Becoming More Competitive|
|10. Engage in Exciting Conversations|
Should You Become a Taxi Driver?
If you love to spend time behind the wheel and meet new people, becoming a taxi driver can be fun and rewarding.
While the pay isn’t always consistent, there are plenty of opportunities to make money depending on where and when you want to work.
Talk to other taxi drivers as you weigh the good and the bad to see if it’s a career move that will make you happy.