Starting a meter taxi business in South Africa is a lucrative venture for entrepreneurs looking to enter the transportation industry. With a diverse and growing population, a booming tourism sector, and an increasing demand for reliable transportation services, the market for meter taxis presents numerous opportunities for those willing to take the plunge. While the taxi industry in South Africa has its unique challenges and complexities, it also offers the potential for substantial rewards. With a nation that constantly crisscrosses urban and rural landscapes, the demand for reliable transportation remains ever-present. Meter taxis are vehicles authorised to carry between 1-9 passengers; are available for hire by hailing while roaming, by telephone or otherwise; and are equipped with a sealed meter for the purpose of determining the fare payable. This article will outline how to start the meter taxi cab business in South Africa, and the meter taxi business plan -PDF, Word and Excel.

Market Research

If you’re passionate about the transport sector then a meter taxi business can be the right business for you. However market research is essential before you venture into the meter taxi transport business in South Africa. You need to comprehensively know how the taxi cab industry operates. You must study the market to know which niche is best in as far as profitability is concerned. The possible niches to cater for are numerous so you must know which ones are strategic to you. There’s a lot of competition in the meter taxi cab industry so you must study your competitors. Note the types of clients they’re serving, the routes they’re serving, their marketing strategy, amongst many other things.  In studying your competition you’ll also be finding out general rates charged and operating frameworks.

There are some major decisions which you have to make before starting the meter taxi business in South Africa. These include target market, location of the business, and the number of vehicles which you will have. You should decide the location you are going to operate your meter taxi business in, and ascertain the demand for taxi cab services in that target area. A lot of research should be done before venturing in the meter taxi business. That’s why it is essential to have a good meter taxi business plan before you start this business.


Choosing the right location is a pivotal decision when embarking on the journey of starting a meter taxi business in South Africa. Your chosen location can significantly impact the success and profitability of your venture. South Africa’s diverse landscape offers various cities and towns, each with its own distinct demand for taxi services. It’s essential to conduct in-depth market research to pinpoint the areas with the highest demand. Major metropolitan areas like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria are often bustling hubs with a constant need for reliable transportation, making them prime locations for meter taxi operations.

Analyzing specific routes and transportation hubs is another crucial aspect of location selection. Identifying key areas such as airports, bus and train stations, and popular tourist destinations can provide valuable insights into where your services will be most in demand. Additionally, assessing the level of competition in your chosen location is vital. Understanding the market dynamics and the number of existing meter taxi operators will help you determine whether there’s room for new entrants and how to position your business effectively.

Moreover, compliance with local regulations and a focus on safety are paramount. South Africa has specific licensing requirements for meter taxi operators that may vary by location. It’s imperative to navigate these regulations diligently to ensure legal operation. Furthermore, considering the safety and security of the areas where you plan to operate, especially during nighttime operations, is essential for the well-being of both passengers and drivers. By carefully evaluating these factors and selecting the optimal location, you can lay a solid foundation for the success of your meter taxi business in South Africa.

Vehicles & Equipment

You will obviously require vehicles to start the meter taxi business in South Africa. Purchase of vehicles is the largest startup cost item when starting a meter taxi business in South Africa. You will have to decide on which type of vehicles to purchase, and where you are going to purchase them. The kind of vehicles which you need will depend on your target market. You may go for luxurious models if you are planning to offer luxurious premier meter taxi services for the wealthy. If you want to target the mass market then it will be better to buy fuel saver vehicles so as to minimise fuel costs. The meter taxi industry in South Africa is very competitive, so to offer competitive rates, you should have vehicles with a low fuel consumption rate.

The other important decision to make is whether to purchase brand new vehicles or second hand vehicles. Ideally it will be better to purchase brand new taxi cab vehicles as they are more reliable and efficient with low repair and maintenance costs. However, if you have limited capital, then you may start the meter taxi business with used vehicles which are cheaper. Ensure that the vehicles you buy have sufficient luggage space as some of the clients will have a lot of luggage. The equipment needed include garage equipment, repair tools, taxi meters, top lights, meter taxi partitions, and radio communication system for large meter taxi businesses. The costs of purchasing the meter taxis and equipment should be included in your meter taxi business plan.

Meter Taxicab Services

The services offered by your meter taxi business will depend on your target market and operational strategy. The common way is to use the taxi cabs as cash meter taxis. The meter taxis will be available at various points in the city. Clients may approach the meter taxi directly, or they can also call the dispatch centre to request for a meter taxi. The fee payable will depend on the amount of distance travelled. The meter taxi company will be having a rate per KM fee eg R11 per Kilometre. Meter taxis can also charge a waiting fee if a client is late.

Your meter taxis can also be used as contract meter taxis. The meter taxi company and the client will be in a contract. Such kind of clients are usually medium to large companies/organisations. The client eg a company will be issued a voucher book for authorised travel. Whenever the meter taxi is used, the meter taxi driver and the passenger will both sign the voucher book. Details on the voucher include time, date, distance travelled, cost, name of driver, name of passenger. After a set time, the meter taxi company will send all the vouchers to the client, and the payment will be processed. Meter taxis can also be used as prepaid meter taxis eg a personal contract to carry children to school everyday. The meter taxi business plan should include details of services offered and the pricing mechanism.

Maintenance & Repairs

In the world of meter taxi operations, the careful management of maintenance and repairs is more than just a routine task—it’s a fundamental pillar of success. Ensuring the safety of passengers and the long-term profitability of your business heavily relies on the proactive maintenance and timely repair of your vehicle fleet. An essential aspect of this involves implementing a structured maintenance schedule for your vehicles. Regular tasks such as oil changes, tire rotations, brake inspections, and other routine maintenance activities not only extend the lifespan of your vehicles but also help prevent breakdowns that can disrupt your service and lead to unforeseen repair costs.

Equally important is driver training. Properly trained drivers play a vital role in vehicle maintenance. They should be instructed on how to conduct pre- and post-shift vehicle checks and encouraged to report any issues promptly. Quick reporting enables the identification and resolution of problems before they escalate into major, costlier issues.

Furthermore, having clear repair protocols in place is essential. Designate a trusted repair facility or mechanic to address breakdowns or accidents promptly. Swift action minimizes vehicle downtime and helps maintain a reliable service for your customers. Additionally, budgeting for repairs is a prudent practice. Allocate a portion of your revenue to cover unforeseen repair and maintenance costs, ensuring you can address issues promptly without compromising your ability to serve customers. Lastly, consider a vehicle replacement strategy as your fleet ages. Older vehicles may become less fuel-efficient and prone to breakdowns, leading to increased maintenance expenses. Replacing aging vehicles with newer, more reliable models can be a strategic investment in the long-term sustainability and profitability of your meter taxi business.

Meter Taxi Licences and Insurance

To operate a meter taxi business in South Africa, there are some legal requirements you have to adhere to. All your vehicles should be registered and have a valid vehicle licence which is renewed annually. Any person that transports passengers in South Africa must obtain a public operating licence, this applies also to meter taxi drivers. A  public operating licence is a permit or document giving drivers permission to transport people for public gain. All your drivers should also have drivers license. It’s important that you adhere to all the regulation otherwise you risk getting fined and losing your operating license.

When operating a meter taxi cab business in South Africa, it is important to protect all of the assets of your business. Appropriate and adequate insurance coverage is an important part of protecting your meter taxi business. It is better to take out comprehensive insurance policies for all your vehicles. This is the most extensive form of insurance and covers you in the event of theft, hijacking, loss and/or damage caused by an accident, fire and natural disasters, and claims made against you by third parties where you are responsible for the damage to their vehicle. The costs of insurance and licences should be catered for in your meter taxi business plan.

Meter Taxicab Business South Africa

Branded Meter Taxi


Staff And Management

This is always a function of your intended scale of operations. If you’re starting off as an owner-driver then you can effectively run and manage the taxicab business alone. This is usually a wise market entry approach that’ll enable you to acclimatise yourself with the dynamics of the trade. Actually most people tend to do this as it eliminates a lot of possible operating costs thus widening the profit margins. However, a well-run business grows and with scaling comes the need to have more cars and more drivers. Once the business grows like that it becomes necessary to have staff and management.

One of the key things to be on top of is close monitoring of how drivers are conducting their trips. Having to ensure that daily revenue targets are being adhered to by the drivers, responsible vehicle handling and many other things will require some full-time staff. Management can always effectively be done by the owner if the business is relatively small to medium scale. When the business grows to huge proportions you might end up needing to have call centres, team leaders, managers and even a workshop or garage. Necessary staff for a medium to large scale business include marketing staff, operations staff, finance and accounting staff. Operations staff includes drivers, mechanics, supervisors and operations managers. Your meter taxi business plan should include costs for the wages and salaries of all your staff.

Meter Taxi Business Model

The meter taxi business operates on a relatively straightforward yet crucial model that hinges on several key components. First and foremost, you start by purchasing vehicles, which are the backbone of your taxi fleet. These vehicles are then manned by employed drivers who are responsible for providing transportation services to customers within your targeted location. Customers seeking meter taxi services are charged a specific rate per kilometer, which serves as the basis for revenue generation.

In terms of expenses, the major cost categories include fuel, driver salaries, vehicle repairs and maintenance, marketing efforts, as well as licenses and insurance. Profitability in the meter taxi business largely depends on achieving a high volume of trips per day. This is critical because a consistent flow of trips translates into revenue that can effectively cover the significant operational expenses, particularly fuel and salaries. By efficiently managing your business, you can achieve not only sustainability but also the potential to reinvest profits to purchase additional vehicles, thereby expanding your fleet and solidifying your position in the market. The success of your meter taxi business ultimately hinges on striking a balance between generating sufficient trips and effectively managing expenses to achieve profitability.

Market & Marketing for Meter Taxi Business

Despite the competition, the market for taxi cabs is vast and inexhaustible. The trick is in figuring out your niche and establishing yourself there. Types of clients can vary from corporate ones, academic, leisure to business logistics ones, just to mention a few. In this day and age you have the internet and social media to leverage on. So you must have a robust online presence because most people now look-up services online. Always carry out far-reaching digital marketing campaigns. Also bear in mind that your vehicles are in themselves the most effective marketing tool. They are more strategic in that they’re mobile and get exposed to many people as they move about. The cool thing about that is that it’s virtually free marketing so invest into having your vehicles branded and laden with all pertinent details about your services. Potential areas of operations include city centres, hospitals, airports, shopping centres, residential areas, universities, night clubs, tourist centres, hotels and lodges. The meter taxi transport business plan should include a proper marketing strategy for your business.

Keys to Profitability

Achieving profitability in the competitive meter taxi business in South Africa necessitates a multifaceted approach that encompasses several critical factors. Firstly, efficient fleet management is paramount. Maintaining your vehicles in top condition not only reduces repair costs but also minimizes downtime, allowing you to maximize the number of trips your fleet can undertake each day. Effective scheduling of drivers and vehicles is equally vital to boost revenue potential.

Pricing strategy plays a pivotal role in profitability. Striking the right balance between competitive rates and profitability is essential. Regularly monitor and adjust your pricing to remain competitive within your market. Flexibility in pricing during peak and off-peak hours can help attract a broader customer base. To ensure success, invest in marketing and branding efforts tailored to your specific location. This may involve local advertising, partnerships with nearby hotels and businesses, and establishing a strong online presence. Building a recognizable brand image can help set your service apart in a crowded marketplace.

Exceptional customer service is a powerful tool for both attracting and retaining customers. Train your drivers to be polite, professional, and to provide a safe and comfortable experience for passengers. Implement a feedback system to address customer concerns promptly and foster positive word-of-mouth. Cost control is another critical aspect of profitability. Vigilantly manage operating expenses, with a particular focus on fuel costs, which can be a significant portion of your budget. Explore options such as fuel-efficient vehicles and driver behavior monitoring to reduce fuel consumption. In addition, regular vehicle maintenance can help prevent costly repairs. By embracing these key principles and continuously seeking ways to enhance your service, you can navigate the challenges of the meter taxi industry and build a profitable and sustainable business in South Africa.

Advantages of Meter Taxi Business in South Africa

Commencing a meter taxi business in South Africa presents a range of compelling advantages for entrepreneurs seeking to enter the transportation industry. One of the primary benefits lies in the consistent demand for transportation services throughout the country. Whether it’s daily commuting, airport transfers, or leisure travel, there’s an ongoing need for reliable and safe transportation, ensuring a steady customer base. Moreover, South Africa’s diverse population, encompassing local residents, tourists, and business travelers, offers the opportunity to serve a wide spectrum of clients, enhancing the business’s revenue potential.

Flexibility is another key advantage of meter taxi services. These businesses can operate 24/7, providing the adaptability to cater to customers at any time, day or night. This versatility not only accommodates varying customer needs but also allows operators to tap into both daytime and nighttime markets effectively. As the meter taxi business grows and establishes a strong reputation, there’s potential for expansion into new locations or cities within South Africa’s urban landscape, offering room for gradual scalability.

Furthermore, meter taxi services often boast competitive pricing, making them an attractive choice for cost-conscious customers when compared to other forms of transportation, such as ride-sharing services. Additionally, the local knowledge advantage possessed by meter taxi operators allows them to navigate traffic efficiently and provide passengers with valuable insights about local destinations. Overall, the meter taxi business in South Africa offers a combination of stability, flexibility, and growth potential that can be harnessed with the right strategies and commitment to service excellence, making it a promising entrepreneurial endeavor in the country.


For an in-depth analysis of the meter taxi business in South Africa, purchase our meter taxicab business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the taxi cab business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.

Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a meter taxi transport business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the taxicab transport business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the meter taxi business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The meter taxi transport business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your taxicab business
  • As a meter taxi project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the meter taxi business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation


The business plan includes, but not limited to:

  • Market Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • 5 Year Automated Financial Statements [ Income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, monthly cash flow projections (3 years monthly cash flow projections, the remaining two years annually),break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortisation]
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the meter taxi business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your meter taxi business in South Africa

The Meter Taxi Business Plan package consist of 4 files

  1. Meter Taxi Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 76 pages)
  2. Meter Taxicab Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 76 pages)
  3. Meter Taxi Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 42 pages)
  4. Meter Taxi Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the pricing rate per KM, number of trips done etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.


We decided to make the business plan affordable to anyone who would want to start the business, and the price for the pre-written business plan is only 500 Rand.

We have several payment methods which you can use.

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The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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Click Buy Now below to purchase. After you have purchased, you will instantly see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. We will also email you the download link. Get instant access to the business plan now!

If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Instant EFT then  click here: Business Plans Store

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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