Driver Silvana talks good earnings, flexibility and safety
Last week, The Mirror interviewed our very own Silvana Prado on why she loves driving with Addison Lee, and what has kept her with us for over 15 years.
From the great flexibility, to driving state of the art vehicles, there are a range of industry-leading benefits that come from driving with Addison Lee. But you don’t need to take our word for it, read Silvana’s full account here:
What does it involve on a day-to-day basis?
The work is quite varied. One day you could be collecting someone from the airport after their holiday, the next you could be driving out of London to an entirely different city.
The number of journeys I do depends on how long the trips are, and you never know what type of passenger you’ll get. Some will be really chatty and talk to you about anything and everything, others will be heads down getting their work done quietly while travelling.
One thing is consistent – the passengers are almost always charming and polite.
What do you love about it?
I love how flexible it is. As a single parent it has always allowed me to balance my family and work life. My daughter is now 17 years old, and I’ve been working with Addison Lee for 15 years – in that time I’ve never had any problems balancing my work and getting to spend quality time with her.
Even when she was very little, I was able to juggle taking her to school and picking her up in the afternoon while working. I don’t have any family locally so that’s always been the most important thing to me. It’s so easy to log on and log off, I work when it suits me and my lifestyle – not a lot of other jobs offer flexibility like that.
What do you earn?
Earnings can vary depending on the hours you choose to work but I’ve always been very happy with the amount I make.
To spend as much time with my family as possible, I choose to work between Monday and Friday and that sees me earning up to £1,500 a week gross. I know that you can earn even more by working on the weekends when it’s particularly busy, but I choose to spend that time with my family while earning a good wage during the week.
What are the other perks?
The stability is great. There’s no shortage of work meaning you are guaranteed a steady stream of jobs and income. There are also benefits on top of the money you make from driving.
I get a pension and holiday pay, and have loads of support at my fingertips. There’s a great driver liaison team on hand for any questions you may have. I feel very secure and well looked after.
The same goes for safety. As a female driver, being able to pick my working hours – and knowing the quality of Addison Lee’s customers is a huge plus.
Do you own your car?
I rent the vehicle from Eventech, part of the Addison Lee group of companies. It’s one of their new electric vehicles – the Volkswagen ID.4. I really love it, it’s very smooth and quiet. I seem to get more tips from passengers in this vehicle too – they love the amount of space in the back. And it’s great to be positively contributing to London’s air quality and the environment too, I’m very proud of that.
Are there any challenges?
The main challenges are things that are beyond anyone’s control, like the traffic can sometimes be a nuisance, but that’s just part of city life. And when you first start it can be tricky finding precise locations, but you get used to that and the technology provided really helps.
What do you need to start?
The main thing you need to become a private-hire driver is the PCO Licence, which in London is issued through Transport for London. The PCO licence ensures minicab drivers have been thoroughly checked so passengers get a safe, quality journey.
If you’re looking to obtain a licence, Addison Lee has relationships with a number of training colleges and will offer you work once you have it.
Also, Addison Lee will help you with training on courses you have to take to maintain your licence, such as the new SERU test which covers safety, equality and regulations.
If you’re interested in driving with Addison Lee click here
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