PCO Private Hire Driver Safety During the Coronavirus

London is facing lockdown measures, but that does not mean there is not the potential to increase your earnings as a new or existing PCO private hire driver. If you don’t currently own your own vehicle, your vehicle is off the road, or running costs are becoming an issue you may want to consider looking at PCO private hire packages as a potential solution.

As PCO private hire specialists, we have put together this useful guide to help keep you on the move in these challenging times whilst staying safe during the Coronavirus.

New opportunities for PCO private hire drivers

Lockdown could mean a change in customers habits with regards to private hire services. With government restrictions and GOV.UK website advice, private hire drivers could see a loss in certain areas (airport runs, restaurant pickups and drop-offs, etc) but opportunities in others. With public transport an unattractive prospect, people will need transport to places of work, shopping, and medical appointments.

Is your vehicle off the road or in need of repairs? If you own or lease your vehicle and it is currently unavailable our vehicle rental products can have you back out on the roads taking advantage of the reduced number of other drivers in no time. The reasons for other taxi drivers being absent from the roads at present could include:

  • Individuals could be self-isolating
  • Childcare or family responsibilities may prohibit usual work patterns
  • Drivers might only work at peak times when jobs are more plentiful
  • Some PCO customers may adopt a secondary income (fast food delivery for example) to supplement their income during lockdown

How will lockdown affect the types of work available?

There is no doubt there will also be a change to the type of work available to PCO private hire drivers. Government guidance and customer behaviour mean that this will be a period of transition from one work pattern to another. As a vaccine becomes more widely offered and the infection rate decreases you will see a steady increase in the types of work available. This will be thanks to pubs, gyms, restaurants, and the tourism industry resuming business as usual.

Further encouraging opportunities worth consideration include:

  • Previously lucrative jobs such as airport or train station pickups have been replaced with shorter, more frequent vital journeys.
  • PCO private hire drivers can provide vital transport for passengers to and from the hospital, doctors, and dentist appointments.
  • Tourism is expected to rise in 2021 according to UK tourism website visitbritain.org providing more jobs for PCO drivers working in popular destinations like London.

Improving safety and customer confidence during Coronavirus

New guidance has been made available on the GOV.UK website for PCO private hire drivers to increase safety during the pandemic. Following this guidance can keep you on the road and ready when customers need you. Remember, for your own safety do not attempt to transport anyone who:

  • Displays a fever, new cough or suffers from loss of smell or taste
  • Has had a positive coronavirus test in the last 10 days
  • Whose family members in their household are self-isolating

Preparing your PCO private hire vehicle

If you are a new or existing PCO private hire driver here are some suggestions for staying safe during the pandemic:

  • Ventilate your vehicle fully before beginning work. Open windows and doors for at least 5 minutes to lower the risk of aerosols contaminating the air inside the vehicle.
  • Sanitize all parts of the vehicle that may have come into contact with passengers. This includes but is not limited to exterior/interior door handles, seats, seat belt fixtures, floor mats, headrests, and payment devices.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with antibacterial handwash or soap and hot water.

Safe conduct during the journey

FACE MASKS AND PPE

For up to date guidance on face masks and PPE during lockdown please consult the GOV.UK website. Your licensing authority or operator may ask you to wear a face-covering as part of their best business practice.

All passengers must wear facemasks during their journey unless they are exempt. Details on who is exempt from wearing PPE in public can be found here.

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE WHERE POSSIBLE

You should advise passengers that they need to sit as far away from you as they can to adhere to social distancing guidance. Where possible try and prevent passengers from using the front passenger seat.

CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SUPPORT

You can still offer premium quality PCO private hire service to your customers during lockdown. This means you can still help passengers with groceries or luggage, support disabled passengers to safely enter and exit the vehicle or with mobility equipment. Just make sure that once they reach their destination and have left the vehicle you wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and hot water or hand sanitiser.

CONTACTLESS PAYMENT REDUCES THE RISK

Where possible consider using contactless payment methods to reduce the risk of infection. Contactless is a quicker, more hygienic, and secure form of payment for both parties. If you are not able to utilise this payment method, we recommend washing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and hot water or hand sanitiser if you have recently handled money.

Further cleaning tips for PCO private hire drivers

Cleaning your vehicle regularly will also reduce the risk of infection. Whilst cleaning personal protective equipment should be worn. These include but are not limited to:

  • Disposable face mask
  • Disposable gloves
  • Protective/disposable apron

It is recommended to use a bleach-free household disinfectant to clean your vehicle. Remember:

  • Do not to use cleaning products that can potentially damage the interior/exterior of your vehicle.
  • Avoid products that contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide when applying to paintwork or upholstery.
  • All waste (including disposable PPE products) should be double-bagged in a bin liner and left sealed for 72 hours before disposal.

THE KEY AREAS TO CLEAN ARE:

  • All seats
  • All door handles
  • Front and back door
  • Boot latch and interior
  • Steering wheel and control stalks
  • Touch screens
  • Seat pockets
  • Car keys

Once finished, make sure to wash all clothing at 60°C and wash your hands to remove any infectious aerosols.

Financial help for PCO private hire drivers

In the unfortunate event that you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you could be entitled to a payment from your local council under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. Click the link to see all information on payments and how to apply.

Want more PCO private hire rental information?

At Rapid Vehicle Management, we offer the best value all-inclusive PCO car rental product available, guaranteed! We are here to help you drive away in an affordable and desirable PCO car so that you can maximise your earnings as a PCO private hire driver hassle-free.

OUR ONBOARDING PROCESS IS SIMPLE AND FAST:

  • Obtain a weekly price immediately
  • Reserve your car today
  • Choose to take delivery or collect your car for up to 7 days

Click here now or call 01732 927 159 for more information on our great range of PCO private hire cars today!

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