February 13, 2020

Buying a Black Cab: The Alternative SUV


Buying a Black Cab: The Alternative SUV Header Image

Own a decommissioned London cab

People all over the world automatically think of a “black cab” whenever London is mentioned. This vehicle is as iconic an image as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben when it comes to England’s capital. While you may have admired these historic cabs that have been a British institution since the 50s, it may never have occurred to you that you could buy one when it’s been decommissioned. Why not follow in the footsteps of the likes of Stephen Fry, Noel Edmunds and Kate Moss who have owned a black cab for their own private use?

Buying a Black Cab

There are many appealing aspects of black cabs that make this vehicle a popular choice for everyday driving.

Anyone who has ever been in a London black cab will be able to confirm they’re spacious. A licensed black cab can carry five passengers in comfort, and when decommissioned it’s possible to add an additional front passenger seat – totalling six seats altogether. Black cabs boast good headroom and legroom, plus plenty of space for shopping.

There’s also the option to use the driver’s partition – a truly quirky feature that could definitely come in handy. The partition is left installed following decommission, so the buyer can choose to keep it and use it anytime . . . maybe when the kids are being noisy while you have to concentrate driving in a new area!

Another consideration that many people don’t know about is that the cabs don’t actually have to be black in colour. It’s possible to buy white, green, red or blue cabs too. There’s no denying that a disused black cab would certainly be a unique answer to an SUV, and would be an unusual sight in any school car park.

Driving a Black Cab

As well as pleasing aesthetics, London black cab’s have great driving appeal. They’re highly manoeuvrable with an 8-metre turning circle – compared to 12metres in a Range Rover. This means that they’re far easier to turn in a multi-storey car park or on the congested school run roads.

Partly due to regulations, originally being a licensed vehicle, London black cabs are regarded as being particularly safe and robust. Built for city centres they don’t go too fast simply because they rarely need to. The top speed is near to 80mph; another attribute making a black cab an ideal family car.

Insuring a Black Cab

It’s also worth knowing that insurance for a black cab is likely to be cheaper than many SUVs. That said; these cabs probably won’t appear in any drop-down list of vehicles on an insurer’s website. This is where a specialist broker, like Keith Michaels, can help. We source excellent rates for specialist vehicles.

As well as for personal use, at Keith Michaels we are also able to find insurance for black cabs that will be used as a company car. As notoriously eye-catching vehicles, black cabs make great marketing tools as a mobile poster for local businesses.

What else you need to know if you’re buying a black cab

PRICE: A common question for anyone considering buying a black cab will be the price; this will primarily depend on its mileage. It’s worth knowing, however, that as a black cab was a working vehicle, it’s likely to have been well-maintained – expect a full service history.  

MAINTENANCE: Should you require any parts for your black cab in the future, these will be much cheaper than they would be for a normal SUV. Again, because it was designed to be a working vehicle, its design allows all body panels to bolt on and off easily. This makes repairs much quicker and cheaper should you have a small mishap.

LEGALITIES: Once a black cab is decommissioned you CANNOT use it in bus and taxi lanes – it is illegal to do so don’t be tempted. Also, the “For Hire” signage must be removed or be made inoperable. Such signage is misleading to pedestrians, and will potentially get you into trouble because you’re not a licensed cabbie.

Keith Michaels provide cover for all sorts of vehicles from supercars to superminis, and just about everything in between. So, if you do end up buying a black cab, contact us to discuss finding the right private use insurance for your needs.