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Taxi Driver/​Chauffeur

Kaitaraiwa Waka Pāhihi

Alternative titles for this job

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs drive vehicles to transport passengers from one place to another.

Pay

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs usually earn

$18-$25 per hour

Source: New Zealand Taxi Federation, 2018.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a taxi driver/chauffeur are good due to steady industry growth and high workforce turnover.

Pay

Pay for taxi drivers/chauffeurs varies depending on where they work, the time of day, and how many hours they work.

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs usually earn between minimum wage and $25 an hour.

Source: New Zealand Taxi Federation, 2018.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs may do some or all of the following:

  • drive a taxi, limousine or luxury vehicle
  • collect passengers and safely drive them to where they want to go
  • collect fares and give change
  • look after passengers' luggage
  • keep records of rides and fares
  • maintain their vehicle and keep it clean and tidy.

Skills and knowledge

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs need to have:

  • excellent driving skills
  • knowledge of the Road Code and relevant transport regulations
  • good map reading skills, and knowledge of local places, street names and the fastest routes to take
  • a First Aid Certificate
  • an understanding of basic car maintenance, so they can care for their vehicle.

Taxi drivers who are owner-drivers need to have business skills.

Working conditions

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs:

  • may work regular hours or work shifts including nights and weekends. By law they can only work 13 hours and then must have at least a 10-hour break
  • spend most of their time in their vehicle.

What's the job really like?

Hermant Kumar

Hermant Kumar

Taxi Driver

What do you love most about being a taxi driver?

"Meeting people! I’ve been in customer service with banking and a few other jobs and I’ve always loved meeting people and talking to them. It’s quite nice having a chat with people and finding out what they do. It’s amazing how many people discuss personal things with me that they might not discuss with anybody else."

What do you find most challenging about the job?

"The most challenging thing about the job is probably getting the timing right. For example, you could go out to the airport on Sunday morning and be sitting there with no customers for two hours, but the next Sunday you might have 10 jobs by lunchtime."

What skills do you need to be a taxi driver?

"You’ve got to be a people person. 99.9% of customers would love to talk with you, and they hate it when they get in the cab and the taxi driver just goes, “What address are you going to?” and they take off and don’t say anything else."

Entry requirements

To become a taxi driver/chauffeur you need to:

  • hold a Class 1 (full) driver licence with a Passenger (P) endorsement, which includes police clearance
  • be employed by either the holder of a passenger service licence (PSL) or hold your own PSL
  • pass a medical exam every five years (or more often if you have a medical condition that may affect your driving).

Some chauffeurs may need to pass security checks.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children. 

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a taxi driver/chauffeur. However, English and maths are useful.

Personal requirements

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs need to be:

  • punctual
  • able to communicate in English
  • honest, friendly and polite
  • responsible
  • alert and patient
  • reasonably good at maths to calculate change.

You’ve got to be a people person. 99.9% of customers would love to talk with you.

Photo: Hermant Kumar

Hermant Kumar

Taxi Driver

Useful experience

Useful experience for taxi drivers/chauffeurs includes:

  • customer service work
  • any work involving driving.

Physical requirements

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs need to have good hearing, reflexes and eyesight (with or without corrective lenses), so that they can drive safely in busy areas.

Registration

Taxi drivers need to obtain and display a current driver identification card issued by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Job opportunities for taxi drivers/chauffeurs come up regularly

Opportunities regularly become available due to:

  • many taxi drivers taking up the role towards the end of their working lives, so retirement rates are high
  • some people staying in the role for a short time only
  • the easy process of becoming a private hire or ride-share driver through services like Uber
  • the cost and licensing process of becoming a taxi driver putting off casual job seekers.  

Drivers have different employment options

There are different options for drivers:

  • owner-operators – self-employed taxi drivers who own their own vehicle
  • contract drivers – self-employed contract drivers who drive someone else’s car and pay a set weekly amount to the owner
  • private hire drivers – drivers who use their own vehicle and set their own hours, and may connect with customers using an application such as Uber
  • chauffeur drivers – chauffeurs are mostly employed by limousine rental companies, but may also work for tourism operators, large companies, the government or the military.

Sources

  • Hart, J, executive director, New Zealand Taxi Federation, careers.govt.nz interview, January 2018.
  • Nichol, T, 'More Kiwis than ever taking Uber to and from work', New Zealand Herald, 22 January 2018.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs may progress to buying their own vehicle and working as an owner-operator, or may start their own taxi business.

A taxi driver collects a passenger.

Taxi drivers/chauffeurs collect passengers and drive them to where they want to go

Last updated 1 April 2019