Patons was founded in Glasgow by taxi drivers and an article about what it takes to be a taxi driver in our home city today reminds us why we love what we do.
The taxi insurance company was established by the Patons in 1957 and remains a family business today. Whether it is vehicle sales, taxi insurance or other related services, we continue to look after customers as if they are part of the family.
Like the fantastic black cab street art painting, the Taxi Point article reminded us of our roots and the essential things you have to get right in order to make a success of a taxi business.
Finding the right vehicle is key, as Taxi Point demonstrates. In Glasgow, hackney carriages – which can be hailed in the street or at a taxi rank, as well as being pre-booked online or by phone – are either London-style taxis or converted vans such as the Peugeot Euro 7 or Mercedes M8. They must have an illuminated taxi sign on the roof and black identification plates affixed to the front and back of the vehicle. Patons Vehicle Sales has more than 50 makes and models which are all carefully matched to the hackney and private hire fleets.
For anyone looking to start a career as a hackney carriage driver in the city, or who might be looking to make the switch from private hire work, they must be at least 21 years old and have held a full UK driving licence for at least 12 months.
They must pass a Disclosure Scotland check, medical examination and topographical test (also known as a “knowledge” test) to prove their knowledge of the city’s geography, landmarks, routes and regulations.
There is also a taxi driver training course to complete to prepare them for life working on the city’s streets. Glasgow is a busy place with a mix of industry and tourism so life as a cabbie can be a varied one.
The hackney carriage licence is valid for three years and for those looking to renew, they must apply at least six weeks before their licence expires.
They must pass another Disclosure Scotland check and medical examination to ensure they are fit to continue driving. Drivers only need to retake the topographical test or the training course if their licence has been revoked or suspended.
As well as completing the necessary licensing checks and documentation, obtaining public hire insurance for a hackney carriage is another vital step and one which Patons makes easy, as Glasgow cabbie Jackie Moran knows. He loves the personal touch and face-to-face dealings he has had with Patons for more than 30 years. These are the values we maintain across our taxi services to help taxi drivers focus on what they do best.
Jackie said: “I’ve been insured through Patons since day one of starting my taxi business and can’t imagine going anywhere else. They were taxi drivers and knew the industry and exactly what drivers need.
“I am old school and prefer face-to-face contact so it’s great I can go into the office and deal with them.
“I used to deal with Billy Paton and before that it was his parents for my insurance. It feels like part of the family and I have renewed every year because of they way they look after me.”
Thanks to Taxi Point for reminding us how much we love what we do!