Cost to be a taxi driver in South Africa

There are many taxis on the road, and it is a profitable business if run correctly. Taxis are the main form of transport for many South Africans and, therefore, a service in need. The transport industry extends to Uber, Bolt, and even food delivery services such as Ubereats and Mr Delivery. This creates many jobs for South Africans and foreign nationals coming to South Africa to find work. 


What do you need to become a taxi driver in South Africa

To become a taxi driver in South Africa, you need to obtain specific requirements:

  • A valid driver's license.
  • A professional driving permit. This permit allows the taxi driver to transport the public, and you can apply for it at The National Transportation Commission or The Local Road Transportation Board. 
  • A route license. This is given by the taxi association and is an essential certificate as it allows the taxi driver to transport the public legally. This license shows the driver's route, which ensures that only a few taxi drivers are on a specific course.  
  • The vehicle used needs to be clean and in good working condition. 


If you adhere to all the requirements, you can be a taxi driver in South Africa. 


The costs to become a taxi driver in SA.

The taxi industry is a lucrative sector in South Africa, but there are substantial costs involved when starting the taxi journey. 


A taxi permit in Gauteng is estimated to cost around R1,120 and R1,300 in the Western Cape. However, it depends on the type of permit. There are 3 different types of permits: an operator's permit, an owner's permit, and a driver's permit. The operator's permit is the most expensive and can cost around R3300. 


The operating license costs about R300 and is valid for 7 years.


Now that we know the estimated costs, let's look at the taxi industry's income and profits:


The average taxi driver's salary in South Africa is around R 144 000 per year or R 73.85 per hour. However, a starting salary is around R 132 000 per year, while a more experienced driver will make up to R 222 000 per year.


What do you need to become a taxi driver in South Africa

To become a Bolt driver in South Africa, you must obtain specific requirements. 

  • A valid driver's license 
  • Motor Vehicle License Disc with Operating Card
  • A professional driving permit (PrDP) service provider card 
  • Vehicle Certificate of Registration 
  • Vehicle Inspection report TRA
  • A vehicle year model 2013 and above, 4 doors, luggage capacity 350L, AC
  • Clean criminal record
  • Smartphone (Android device Operating System (OS) 6 & Apple iOS 8 and newer)


To become a Bolt driver, you go through training that is done remotely and then you will have to pass a 10-minute test. 


The costs to become a Bolt driver in SA.

Bolt takes a 20% commission from each trip, with a booking fee of 5%. Trip charges average R7 per kilometre, depending on the city you work in. The cheaper form of Bolt, known as Bolt Go, charges riders an average of R5. 50 per kilometre. So, the average Bolt driver earns a monthly amount of R 6 601, which is 20% below the national average.


There is no monthly or hidden fee. A driver's average commission is 23%, which includes 3% in VAT, which gets paid to SARS. 


Added costs for taxi drivers in SA

The taxi industry spent R40 billion on fuel in the 2022 financial year. South Africa's petrol price is above R20 per litre and constantly changes. The amount of petrol a driver will spend depends on their working hours. It is beneficial to consider that there will be maintenance costs to ensure the vehicle is always in excellent condition. Furthermore, many taxi drivers opt to get vehicle insurance to ensure they are covered in the event of vehicle damage. 


Many taxi drivers need to send money home to their families worldwide. The Mama Money app helps these drivers send money home safely and securely and saves them added costs of using alternative services.


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