Christmas and New Year opening hours

Office Closure for Christmas Party


Jubilee Bank Holiday

Please note that our offices will be closed on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd of May for the Jubilee Bank Holiday

Art that moves: A guide to truck shows and truck insurance

Did you know that the art scene on lorries and trucks originates from South Asia? Drivers would decorate their vehicles with religious symbols to protect them on their long journeys. Additionally, the more decorative a lorry, the higher chance that a company would see it and want to hire it for their own use. Over the years, this type of art has become popular in the West with lots of festivals popping up to celebrate and appreciate the hard work that goes into creating this moving art. With 285,000 lorries driven in the UK each year the truck community is a pretty big one. Through their insurance of lorries and trucks, Quotax has built some close relationships within this community. Speaking to Gavin Hicks, we provide you with all the tips and information you need to get involved and be successful at one of the many UK truck shows.

How did you become interested in the trucking community and particularly in truck art?
I’ve worked in haulage for most of my working life and therefore spend a lot of time in my truck and around other trucks. Being on the road a lot, I wanted a hobby that would suit my lifestyle and which I could enjoy with my friends. After trying a few different ones first, and after seeing some of my friends show trucks, this became a natural interest of mine and has since developed into something I’m very passionate about.

How do you decide on the design of your show truck?
There are lots of different designs, some are more current themes such as the Minions, and others are more classic retro styles. Personally, I wanted something that would stay timeless, not aging, and would always be recognised and loved. As a massive James Bond fan, having a 007 themed truck seemed only right. Not only is it classically British but it’s iconic and something which everyone can appreciate.

How long is the process from first design to completion?
It’s difficult to say because everyone is different; some people have a really clear vision of what they want their truck to look like and then it’s just about how much time you have available to spend on creating it. For others, like me, ideas can change and evolve as you see other show trucks and get influenced by them. It is also an ongoing process. The more shows you go to, the more new ideas you get and want to upgrade your truck. That’s what I love about it- it’s an ongoing process and you can always better your truck.

Do you take your truck to shows and if so what is your favourite show to go to?
Yes, I love going to shows! Due to Covid, a lot of the shows over the last year and a half have been cancelled which means, now that restrictions are easing, there are lots going on this year- I’ve got one nearly every weekend. My favourite has to be the Retro Truck Show. It’s one of the main ones in the UK and has the best atmosphere. Every truck there is of such high quality, it really is impressive.

What would be some of your top tips for people wanting to place in a truck show competition?
I think deciding on a budget and then accepting you won’t stick to that budget, is key. You can create amazing trucks but they do require time and money. However, detail and presentation are easily the most important factors. A truck that has intricate design details always stands out. It’s also super important to have good friends. Going to these shows with other people who share your passion really makes all the difference and makes it all so much more enjoyable.

What are the best communities for people to join who are new to this?
There are so many amazing communities out there and lots of welcoming groups on Instagram and Facebook! I’m part of two Facebook groups and we are all lovely and happy to welcome new members to our community- @trucksthatshine and @southwesttruckers

What made you decide to insure your truck with Quotax?
There are not many insurance companies who will not only insure trucks, but insurance them at a good price. I am very lucky that I found Quotax and knowing that I have good insurance has definitely helped make the process of getting into truck art a lot smoother. Also, it has provided me with a sense of ease which has meant that I can enjoy my hobby without the worry or concern of insurance.

We know it can be difficult to find insurance that covers your individual needs but we also understand that everyone has to start somewhere. At Quotax, we offer a range of insurance policies from Classic Lorry or Truck insurance for those vintage vehicles, to finding you tailored cover for your HGV. For more information about our insurance policies or to get a quote, please contact us on 0208 691 9691 or visit the contact page for other ways to contact us.

From lost jobs to increased health burdens, COVID-19 has had many effects across the world. One of the pandemic's most notable effects is the shortage of lorry drivers, Quotax explores.

Jobs open up for lorry drivers

COVID-19 delayed over 30,000 tests for new drivers in the UK. Also, the government halted driving lessons to help control the spread of the virus, leading to a shortage of drivers in the country. 

However, COVID-19 is not solely to blame. Brexit has also contributed to the reduction of lorry and truck drivers in the country. Thanks to Brexit, companies have reported that over 15,000 European heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers left the country last year. 

Previously, drivers were required to have a community license and a standard international operator’s license to travel across EU and EAA countries. However, with the UK leaving the EU, HGV drivers could not use the EU Community License anymore. Some left the country to seek employment elsewhere, while others left the driver’s job. 

Regardless of the cause of the HGV driver shortage, the effect is being felt all over the country. Currently, there is a shortage of more than 65,000 trained drivers across the country, affecting the speed and cost of delivery of products. 

Some products are not getting to shelves in time. With driver shortage, it takes more time to transport some products from one point to the other. As a result, perishable goods are going bad, resulting in losses to farmers and other suppliers.

We expect to have some empty shelves in the supermarkets or food stores in the coming months. The problem is even becoming worse with the hospitality businesses having been opened recently. Also, the shortage of drivers is likely to affect the prices of certain products. 

What is the way forward?

In late June, the UK government held a meeting with logistic groups, retailers, and wholesalers. The main aim was to discuss the driver shortage and find solutions to the impending crisis.

Following the meeting, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) outlined several potential solutions, including:

  • Prioritise driving tests for HGV drivers
  • Add HGV drivers on Government’s Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation List
  • Minimise the restrictions on HGV drivers’ working hours
  • Introduce other training schemes
  • Give seasonal visas to qualified HGV drivers
  • Launch better working conditions for drivers. 

The country is currently facing a summer of food shortage, and the government will do everything possible to solve this problem.

What does this mean to lorry drivers?

Increased pay

Although it is a nightmare for most UK citizens, the shortage of drivers could be a jackpot for the current and upcoming HGV drivers. Currently, HGV driver’s earnings range from £18,500 to £35,000. If the shortage persists, drivers would undoubtedly receive a pay rise to help lure more drivers into the sector. Some companies have already begun increasing the drivers’ pay across the country.  

Better working conditions

Drivers are also likely to receive better working conditions under the country’s reformed rules. As stated by Defra, the restrictions on HGV drivers are likely to be minimised in the coming months. 

There is a job opening for foreigners

 If you’re an HGV driver and have always dreamed of working in the UK, this could be the chance for you. Among the suggested solutions includes putting the drivers on the official shortage occupation list to make it easier for foreign drivers to come to the UK.

The driver shortage is becoming a norm in the UK – and that is a problem. The number of empty shelves in supermarkets is increasing, and the cost of products is going up. The UK government understands this, which is why it held a meeting with wholesalers and retailers to discuss potential solutions. Defra suggests enhancing the HGV drivers’ working conditions and making it easy for foreign drivers to work in the UK in a bid to entice new drivers.

Get in touch

Here at Quotax, we offer an extremely broad range of insurance policies, including various truck and lorry policies, which you can view here.

Need black cab insurance for a short trip, or are you in need of long term cover? We have you covered here at Quotax Insurance. Take a look at our various insurance options here.  Quotax are committed to bringing you the best and most competitively priced in the market, offering a 5-star service to all of our customers. 

Why minibuses are a great transport option

With the latest lockdown restrictions continuing to ease, the British public now have more freedom with activities which include: Overnight stays, weddings of up to 30 people, indoor adult sporting events, small indoor and outdoor events and more.

For groups of people who are now looking to travel to different areas around the UK, a minibus may be the perfect mode of transport, especially during the pandemic.

Avoiding public transport

Using a minibus service means that your group has less risk of coming into contact with someone with Covid-19 than if they were to use public transport. Not only that, it also protects others on public transport from potentially catching the virus and passing on to further people. 

Having your own minibus to travel with also allows you to sanitise surfaces in the vehicle, therefore, reducing the risk of the virus being transmitted to passengers. With public transport, even with sanitisation products in use, the chances of catching the virus from touching surfaces will be much higher than when hiring your own minibus for a trip. Additionally, with Covid-19 aside, public transport can often be unreliable and a lot less convenient!

Cheaper mode of transportation

Taking a number of cars to get an entire group to an event will result in a much larger fuel cost. Using a minibus to transport all passengers is much more cost-effective, whilst reducing the headache of trying to arrange to meet each other when you arrive. This will also have a negative impact on the environment due to the extra pollution caused by multiple vehicles being used to travel.

Using public transport can also be very expensive, especially if there is quite a distance to travel. Train, taxi and bus fares can all add up to make a very expensive trip! Rail fares, for example, have risen an extra 2.6% in England and Wales recently, meaning that ticket costs have gone up by more than RPI (Retail Price Index) inflation for the first time since 2013. So overall, a minibus may be a much cheaper alternative.

Convenient for small groups

One of the stand out benefits of hiring a minibus is their convenience. You can have a group all together in one vehicle, you’ll have plenty of room for luggage and you can ride in comfort. 

Groups and organisations that hold sporting events, for example, will often hire minibuses or coaches as it takes the stress out of the journey as there will only be one designated driver and not several. As mentioned previously, public transport can be unreliable, therefore for sports events that are timely, minibuses are extremely convenient to get everyone there on time.

Here at Quotax, we offer an extremely broad range of insurance policies, including minibus insurance for sports groups, clubs and teams, which you can view here.

Need minibus insurance for a short trip, or are you in need of long term cover? We have you covered here at Quotax Insurance. Take a look at our minibus insurance options here. 

Quotax are committed to bringing you the best and most competitively priced in the market, offering a 5-star service to all of our customers. 

What cab drivers should expect coming out of lockdown

In line with the government’s roadmap, there are steps that we must take to help ensure we come out of lockdown and ease restrictions safely and with caution. Children and teachers went back to school on 8th March after being homeschooled for three months and, so far, evidence suggests that there has been only a slight increase in positive tests carried out during the second week back at school, ending 20th March.
The next step was the 29th of March (when most schools start to break up for the Easter holidays). Evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors due to covid particles spreading and being blown away by the wind. So from the 29th March, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens), of either six people or two households, were also allowed. Additionally, the England wide ‘stay at home’ rule ended on 29th March but many restrictions still remain in place. The latest easing of restrictions will make it easier for friends and families to meet outside.

The upcoming step to take place on 12th April is the opening of non-essential retail, personal care and public buildings. Indoor leisure facilities will also reopen as well as most outdoor attractions including outdoor zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas. In line with the ‘outdoor’ rule, hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors (either six people or two households). But, there will be no need for customers to order a ‘substantial’ meal with alcoholic drinks and there will be no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated with table service. In addition, events will be allowed to go ahead too – the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15, while funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners.

With a significant amount of businesses opening up on this date, cab drivers should expect to see a sudden demand for their services to help passengers get around London.

So what should you expect in terms of travel?

There are a few rules surrounding public transport that need to still be followed and obtained by the general public. TFL requires these rules to be followed at all times:

  • Plan your journey in advance and, where possible, travel when it is quiet.
  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth, unless you are exempt for age, health or accessibility reasons.
  • Maintain social distancing where possible.
  • Follow signs, listen to announcements and pay attention to staff.
  • Wash your hands before and after your journey.
  • Carry hand sanitiser or use sanitiser points at stations.
  • Use contactless or Oyster to pay for your travel.
  • Follow government advice for safer travel and check the safer travel information sheet.
  • Make sure taxi or bus windows are kept open to ensure a good supply of fresh air into the vehicle at all times.

In addition to TFL rules, the Government advises that you should:

  • Try not to touch anyone or anything when you get in the car.
  • If you own the car make sure you clean it after every use.
  • Do not share taxi rides with people outside of your bubble, household or people (rule of six) you are with. Although, sometimes you are allowed to share a taxi with others if it is for work.
  • Listen to any instructions the driver gives you.
  • Make sure you have enough time as your journey may take longer than usual.

Are you prepared?

Whether you’re a driver who needs to fix new perspex or plastic shields for covid safe regulations and protection or you’re a passenger who is raring to get into a pub garden, make sure you follow all instructions. The government and TFL have put these rules in place to ensure we all do our part and continue to stay safe.

All taxi companies and drivers are being asked by TFL to put protective measures in place. This includes ensuring face coverings are worn by drivers and letting passengers know that they must wear theirs too. The latest Government advice is that, although face coverings are unlikely to prevent you from getting the virus, they could help prevent you from giving it to others – which is why we all must do our part to keep everyone safe and protected.

With the sudden increase in demand for cab services, it’s imperative that the safety guidelines are met by cab drivers and their passengers to reduce the spread of covid.

How can we help with your taxi insurance?

At Quotax Insurance, our promise is to provide London black cab taxi drivers with friendly and efficient service, helping owner-drivers and fleet proprietors find a competitive taxi insurance quote.

Our very competitive rates, along with our relationships with a wide-ranging number of specialist insurers mean that we are well placed to provide the perfect taxi insurance for London’s taxi drivers.

We also understand that your taxi is your livelihood – if it’s not working then neither are you. Find out more about our taxi insurance policies here, or give us a call to speak with an expert on 0208 691 9691.

What being a London Black Cab Driver is like

Black cabs are an iconic part of London, providing essential transport for people all around the capital.

Whether day or night, you can rely on black cabs to get you around London extremely efficiently. As a service many of us rely on, have you ever wondered what it’s like being a black cab driver?


Now, some people may believe that becoming a black cab driver may be a walk in the park. Thanks to sat navs, many of us can get around the capital with very little knowledge of the area. However, black cab drivers do not use sat navs and are held to very high standards to know their way around London. Before drivers can become licensed, they are put through a very difficult test called ‘The Knowledge’.

This test requires black cabbies to study some 320 routes and 25,000 streets, knowing them all by heart… so if you have a fantastic memory, becoming a black cab driver may be ideal for you!

There are 7 main stages to becoming a London taxi driver:

Stage 1 – Initially a self assessment of the first 80 runs in Blue Book (runs are effectively the list of streets from one point to another following as straight a line as possible).
Stage 2 – Written Exam – Based around landmarks (points) in the city and runs.
Stages 3-5 – Appearances – One on one interviews based around 4 runs.
Stage 6 – Suburban examination – Learning the streets surrounding London and routes from London too.
Stage 7 – Licence application and pre-licencing talk.

They also memorise roughly 20,000 landmarks and places of public interest, from tourist destinations to museums, parks, churches, theatres and schools.

Due to this, the test can typically take between two and four years to complete. This knowledge of London significantly sets black cabbies apart from private hire taxis. This allows passengers to safely travel around London as drivers do not need to rely on technology to get around, finding the most efficient and safest routes to reach the destination.

Due to this process, there is a great deal of appreciation for black cab drivers. Their dedication to the job shows that there is a lot of hard work that is put into what they do, in order to officially become a licensed black cab driver.

If you are interested in becoming a Licenced London Taxi driver, contact TFL to apply here.

General public

Black cab drivers will come across many people in their lifetimes and will have many stories to tell. Many drivers love to chat and get on very well with the majority of their customers, allowing them to make some decent tips!

However, it is also important for these drivers to know how to deal with the general public in certain negative situations that many of them may face. Drivers need to be wary of who they allow in their cabs for their own safety, as well as others.

So although they may come across some very friendly passengers they can get along with, like any job, there will be moments where they will need to be prepared to deal with any problems.

Your own boss

Many join the cab trade to become their own boss. Becoming self-employed in this trade means that there is no-one above you to dictate your hours. You choose your own working schedule.

Of course, taxi drivers have rules to follow but, most of the time, it is just their vehicle and their customers to manage. This sense of freedom is great for those who desire this independence, allowing you to find the best routes around the city, customising your cab how you like and deciding how many hours you need to work to make a living.

Although cab drivers work independently, there is a strong community of drivers across the taxi trade where you can always receive plenty of support and advice from fellow cabbies.

Working hours

For many cab drivers, ‘unsociable’ hours are part of the deal. Before the pandemic, their busiest times were during the evenings and weekends when other people are off work and out and about socialising. This may not be for everyone, but it can mean taxi drivers can spend more time during the day with their family or catch up on other jobs!


Being a black cab driver comes with many advantages and disadvantages, however, it can be very rewarding for those who are willing to put in the hours.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for the taxi trade. It has been tough for the industry due to travel restrictions and road closures across the capital. However, we are hopeful that non-essential retail can open back up again on the 12th of April, massively increasing the demand for black cabs for transport.

How can we help with your taxi insurance?

At Quotax Insurance, our promise is to provide London black cab taxi drivers with friendly and efficient service, helping owner-drivers and fleet proprietors find a competitive taxi insurance quote.

Our very competitive rates, along with our relationships with a wide-ranging number of specialist insurers mean that we are well placed to provide the perfect taxi insurance for London’s taxi drivers.

We also understand that your taxi is your livelihood – if it’s not working then neither are you. Find out more about our taxi insurance policies here, or give us a call to speak with an expert on 0208 691 9691.

Old London Black cab in black and white

ZEC Vehicles and the history of black cabs in London

London can always be associated with red buses and the iconic black cabs. These taxis are a true symbol of London, but how did they emerge?

The famous London taxis (black cabs) have an extensive history. They started as horse-drawn carriages called ‘Hackney carriages’. The earliest record of this method of transport dates back to 1662!

When motorised cars became popular, the design of the taxis changed. After 1945, the infamous black cab design became routine.

But in recent times, black cabs haven’t necessarily been ‘black’ as many cabs now feature different colours and are often covered in advertising. See below for examples:

Traditional London Taxi Cab of different colours. UK

Typical London street with a blue taxi in the middle, UK









The history of the ‘Hackney-carriage’ was approved by parliament in 1654, described as a remedy to: “Many inconveniences that do daily arise by reason of the late increase and great irregularity of Hackney Coaches and Hackney Coachmen in London, Westminster and the places thereabouts”. The first Hackney-carriage licence dates back to 1662, where there was an Act of Parliament to establish the Commissioners of Scotland Yard to administer them. Since then, they have been a significant part of transport within London. Black cabs are essential for people to travel to work. Not only that, they are fantastic for tourism.

Becoming a licensed black cab driver is quite a difficult process. Each driver needs to pass a test before they can drive the famous black taxi, called ‘The Knowledge’. In this test, they need to memorise every street in London within six miles from Charing Cross, meaning they have to learn 320 routes, 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks! The average time to pass the test is three years.

With many other vehicles on the road, black cabs have evolved to become much more eco-friendly over the years, helping to reduce emissions within the capital. Most recently, in London, there are plans to implement a low emission zone, to help improve air quality in and around the capital. As a result of this, the government is encouraging drivers, as well as cab drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles instead.

The government is providing plug-in taxi grants to help taxi drivers purchase electric cabs, such as the LEVC TXE. Vehicles like these are great to not only reduce harmful emissions but can also significantly reduce fuel costs for drivers. Over 3,500 taxi drivers now drive zero emission capable (ZEC) electric vehicles.

How can we help with your taxi insurance?

At Quotax Insurance, our promise is to provide London black cab taxi drivers with friendly and efficient service, helping owner-drivers and fleet proprietors find a competitive taxi insurance quote.

Our very competitive rates, along with our relationships with a wide-ranging number of specialist insurers mean that we are well placed to provide the perfect taxi insurance for London’s taxi drivers.

We also understand that your taxi is your livelihood – if it’s not working then neither are you. Find out more about our taxi insurance policies here, or give us a call to speak with an expert on 0208 691 9691.

1950s Red Leyland truck

Case Study: Vintage Truck Insurance

How often do you see a 1950s vintage truck, in great condition, driving around on the roads? Not often at all!
We had the pleasure of speaking to Christopher, the owner of a 1950s Leyland truck, who had recently taken out an insurance policy with us. In this article, discover how and why he purchased this vehicle, what his favourite features are and why he decided to use Quotax to insure his pride and joy.

Tell us a little bit about your background and the truck you own.

1950s Red Leyland truck

1950s Leyland truck

I’ve been a lorry driver for over 40 years and, in March this year, I decided to treat myself to a vintage truck to use for leisure.
In my search, I found two trucks that caught my eye – one on eBay, and one in an auction in Skegness. Initially, I visited the truck I saw on eBay which I really liked the look of; I took the truck for a little test drive to discover how it ran and enjoyed the experience. Although I liked the vehicle, I did decide to see the other truck the next day before making a decision.
After visiting the auction, I realised my heart was set on the first vintage truck I visited the previous day – a 1950s Leyland Beaver BRS truck. I went down the next Friday with my son to take it home – it was just under a 6-hour drive! The truck made it home safely and I haven’t looked back.

Where did your passion for vintage trucks come from?

My father was also a lorry driver, so the passion has been passed down to me from him. Also I love driving, and having the privilege of driving a 70+-year-old truck makes driving even more exciting!

With the truck you insured with us at Quotax, what were the main reasons for purchasing this vehicle? What would be your favourite feature?

I initially liked the look of the truck, as well as its heritage, which is why I wanted to view it in the flesh – when I liked what I saw, I purchased it! The truck can also be worked on to adjust and personalise aspects which really appealed to me, as I see this an on-going project that I can work on as and when I please.

Is this the only truck you own or do you have any others?

This is my first, and only, vintage truck.

Do you attend any rallies or special events with your truck?

I do plan to attend special events with my vintage truck at some point as I’d really enjoy that. Once the Covid-19 pandemic settles down, there may be many events that will be held where I can share my new vintage truck with other enthusiasts.

Did you modify your truck after purchasing it?

I’ve been doing the inside of the cab up, as the interior had a dirty brown colour to it. I have now managed to clean it up and I’m in the process of rubbing it down and repainting the metalwork to bring some life back into the vehicle.
When I purchased the truck, there were a number of stickers on the bodywork, which I’ve since had removed, which has made it look much cleaner, and I believe brought it back to its original look.

Unfortunately, as the seller explained to me, my Leyland truck had been stood unused for 5 years, so it ended up with an oil leak in the gearbox which needed to be fixed, but I’ve sorted that now. The mechanic I chose was a big fan of the truck and he managed to replace the part really quickly, so that gave me one less thing to worry about!
After the oil leak was fixed, I had to order a special thick gear oil, which is quite difficult to get hold of, as synthetic oils are mostly used nowadays. Purchasing synthetic oil for older vehicles, such as my Leyland vintage truck, can cause detrimental damage but luckily I found somewhere local that supplied it, so I can ensure it runs properly.

Do you think you’ll purchase any more vintage trucks in the future?

Yes I would – I found one in Preston I liked but, unfortunately, the seller didn’t get back to me about it so I decided to stop pursuing that vehicle in the end.

When looking to have your truck insured, what did you feel was important to consider?

As it’s such an old, unique vehicle, I wanted a top-notch insurance policy for it. Due to its age, there is a much higher chance that things will go wrong, so I wanted to find a policy that would provide me with a fully comprehensive cover with breakdown recovery.

So how did you discover Quotax?

Somebody I know actually mentioned Quotax to me as an insurance option, and recommended them, so that promoted me to Google the name.

Tell me about your experience with Quotax, from when you initially contacted them.

Once I found the Quotax website, I rang up to enquire about my vintage truck. From the very beginning, the sales representative was extremely understanding and listened to my needs. Due to my unique requirements, they explained that the correct policy would need to be put together for me, and Quotax came back within a couple of days with the policy details and quote.

The representative found me a policy that I was very happy with, providing the cover I needed at a great price. So, without hesitation, I took the policy out.

Would you recommend Quotax for vehicle insurance? Tell us why.

I would fully recommend Quotax Insurance. The level of service was something I very much appreciated, and I was happy to take a policy out with them before even knowing what the quote would be as a result.

Unfortunately, I did have some unpleasant experiences with other insurance companies when I was looking for someone to insure my truck with, either showing no interest in helping me or simply not being able to provide me with the policy I needed. However, I did find my experience with Quotax very refreshing, as the representative was really pleasant and not at all pushy.

Was there anything else you would like to add?
I am very happy with my purchase, I love taking the truck for rides on late Saturday afternoon. People around me have shown such an interest in the vehicle and they take pictures of it – one person even asked to take a look inside!

We agree that this is such a fantastic vehicle and we are thrilled that Christopher is now a customer of ours.
Are you looking for an insurance quote? No matter how old or unique your vehicle is, we are here to help. Speak with our friendly team for a competitive quote.