Ask For These 7 Things When Hiring a Driver

These days with just a click on an app someone can pick you up from one place to take you to another, 24/7. The temptation to want to cash in on the driver for hire business is especially high if you have a car or cars that sit around all day in the garage at home or the office.

Before you decide to hire a driver and register them with an existing company, for your peace of mind and the safety of customers do ask these 7 things

  1. Is the driver’s license valid? Some people will claim to have a driving license but, will neglect to tell you that it expired. So, always make sure the driver you hire has a valid Driver’s License. If they do, take a copy for your records.

Do remember to take a copy of their NRC at the same time. The front and back. And to have proof of where the driver resides. Take down their physical address and ask for a utility bill that shows this address.

It would be good at this time to also take down names of his next of kin.

  1. Does the driver have some pending issues with the law? These could be traffic offences, unpaid traffic tickets or civil and criminal cases in the courts of law. Do check for any of these things so that you do not hire a person that has legal issues.

You may want to enquire with the relevant authorities on how if the driver has serious violations pending.

  1. Do they have references? If not and they claim to have been employed as drivers before. Ask them to give you at least 3 references. Contact the people they list as references. Do meet them in person if you can and do not rely on a phone call.

If they are a first time driver, ask them to provide you with character references from respected individuals in the community they are coming from. This could be a college lecturer, a secondary school teacher, a high ranking civil servant that knows them well or a religious leader.

Check these references too. And do not rely on written testimonials without confirming that these people exist.

  1. Do they have a working mobile number? Do make ensure that you have the drivers correct cell phone number and that it is a number that has been registered to them by the relevant authorities.

The name that appears on the NRC should be the same that appears with the registered phone operators.

  1. Does the driver know what to do on the road? You might want to see how they operate on the road by going out with them. Try to do this at a very busy time of the day. And take them to as many different traffic scenarios as you can. Basically, give them a driving test.

Also, find out if they know the correct procedure to follow in the event of an accident. Do they know which papers to produce, how to report the incident and what to do if someone is injured?

These are all things that the driver should know before an incident occurs. You can even rehearse these scenarios with him, if you are not satisfied with their competence.

  1. Does the driver have a drinking problem? This is not always easy to detect but, you can ask a few questions to them that might indicate their attitude towards drinking. And more importantly, drinking and driving.

This is where the referrals they give you will come in handy as this is a question you can put to the people that will vouch for them. Later, when you hire them, do check them regularly for any signs of drinking whilst on the job.

  1. Does the driver know how to behave with passengers? Some passengers are friendly and do not mind a chat while others like to be driven in silence. Have a policy in place with the driver of how they treat passengers and what is acceptable behavior.

Please note that if your driver will be picking up children, yours or clients make it clear how the children should behave in the car. This means small children should not sit in the front of the car, should be placed in a seat belt if alone at the back and doors should have the child lock.

Leaning out the window and throwing trash should never be allowed. By children or adults. All passengers, should wear seat belts before the car begins to move.

TIP: For your peace of mind and if you have doubts about your driver going too fast when you’re not in the car, install a device in your car to ensure the driver is keeping within the speed limit. And if possible, one that logs where he is going.


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo