The UK is a nation of animal lovers. Statistics reveal that approximately 59% of households own a pet. In 2020/21, 33% of UK households owned a pet dog; 27% owned cats; and 2% owned rabbits.
There may be times when an owner needs to arrange transport to take their pet to the vets, or perhaps to the dog groomer or a cattery or kennels.
This is where your pet transport business can step in – you can offer a pet taxi service and meet some great animals along the way!
If you are starting a pet transport business, you want to ensure that your business is protected with comprehensive Pet Taxi Insurance. Our cover includes Public Liability Insurance as well as cover for Care, Custody and Control (animal liability), which protects you in case you accidentally lose or injure an animal which is under your care.
One thing to consider before you embark on a new venture is to understand what experience you have. It might be a simple enough statement that you are a pet person but, are you good around animals? Do you know if they are sick or stressed? Have you worked with animals before?
Having some level of experience can go a long way to secure you more business and help you develop client rapport. (The cat, dog or other small furry being the actual client).
There are courses available to help you with being able to transport animals. For example, Animal Careers Direct run a Principles of Animal Transport certificate which can be studied online.
This has positioned itself as a course aimed specifically at people looking to start a pet transport business.
According to the GOV.UK website you will also legally require a type 1 or type 2 transport authorisation depending on how long or how far you are transporting the animal.
You may also need documented contingency plans to deal with emergencies that can arise during a journey. For example, animals falling ill or getting injured, unforeseen delays, breakdowns or accidents.
All domestic animal transports typically need to have animal transport certificates for every journey regardless of length and duration.
One thing you will need consider is how you will finance your business. Clearly you will need transport which might mean the purchase of a new or separate vehicle. You might also need finance to help with website and marketing costs as well as to fund any courses or accreditations you might need.
Simply put, there are two main types of pet transport business.
First there is the local uber for cats and dogs. So, travelling locally, taking pets to the vets, salon or grooming appointments. Or, maybe dropping them off at the kennels or cattery if the owners are going away on holiday.
The second type could be international transport for family moves abroad.
You need to make sure you understand the implications of each type of business.
You will need dedicated transport and so you need to decide whether you want to use a van or car for transporting. A car means less animals being transported at once but could be stress-free for the pet. Or you could use a multi cage van to pick up and drop off.
Remember, this is going to be a business. You will need a business bank account and may need to register with the HMRC as well to ensure you get off on the right foot.
A company survives or thrives on your ability to market your business. In today’s online world, you will need a website to showcase your service. You can also explore social media methods to drive traffic.
If you are looking at serving locally, you might want to consider local advertising in nearby vets and pet shops, newspapers and free directories.
Our Pet Taxi Insurance protects you and your business against the unexpected. Having this insurance will also give your customers reassurance that their pets’ well-being is front of mind.
Running any type of business is a big undertaking. This article highlights some of the things you need to consider if you want to start a pet transport business. It is highly recommended you do a lot more research before taking the plunge. But if you do decide to, it can be a very rewarding and fun business.