We know that private hire companies can work in very different ways.  Some might charge their drivers a circuit fee or rent, whilst others might have employed drivers driving company vehicles, whilst others might want to pay their long serving drivers a loyalty rate for long service.  Chances are a company will also have different rates for the different types of vehicles too!  In addition, a company might have different rates for different account customers and different rates again for cash customers.  However your company works Navigator can cope because it offers a fully scalable rating system allowing you to set-up a customised flexible system that works for you.
However, there are a few rules when it comes to setting up rates and it’s important that you adhere to them…
There are two types of rate in Navigator, rates charged to the customer and rates applied to drivers.  To prevent confusion, let’s refer to customer rates as customer rates and driver rates as driver rates!

Customer Rates
There are always at least two customer rates, Rate 1 and Rate 2.  Here’s the most important rule about rates:

  • Rate 1 is always the CASH rate and is zero rated for VAT
  • Rate 2 is for account customers and if your company is VAT registered, VAT will be charged at 17.5%

Account jobs are charged at a higher rate than cash jobs, for example, cash jobs with a normal car might be charged at £1 per mile whilst account jobs with the same car might be charged at £1.20 per mile.

Rates will also differ for the different types of vehicle, for example, for cash jobs you might charge £1 per mile for cars, £1.25 for estates and £1.50 per mile for 7 seaters.  Whilst you might add 20p to each of those rates for account jobs.

You might also charge different amounts per mile depending on the length of journey, for example, the first mile might be charged at £3.00, the second mile and up to the 19th mile might be charged at £2.50, whilst miles thereafter might be charged at £2.00 per mile.

Waiting rates must also be set-up.  Waiting rates are just like mileage rates but are counted in minutes rather than miles.  We’ll take a look at Waiting Rates a little later.

Driver Rates
Again there can be many different types of driver rates.  You might have one rate for owner/drivers, another rate for drivers who are keeping a % of their takings, another rate for loyal drivers who are rewarded with a higher % of their takings for long service with the company and another rate for PAYE drivers.  There will also be different driver rates depending on the vehicles being used.

Navigator will also cope with Top & Tailing (creative accounting!) where the company charges £10 for an account job but tells the driver that they are only being paid £8!  There are no hard and fast rules for driver rates, it’s pretty much up to you as to how you set them up, but try and keep it simple.

Fictional case study – ABC Taxis
There’s no getting away from the fact that rates can get quite complicated and for the purposes of this User Guide we’re going to use a fictional private hire company operating in a fairly typical way as an example…

ABC Taxis have a combination of company vehicles and owner driven vehicles.  Some of their drivers are owner/drivers who keep all their takings but pay a circuit fee or rent, whilst others are contracted drivers who drive the company vehicles and keep a percentage of their takings, and others who are PAYE salaried drivers.  ABC Taxis also reward long serving loyal drivers with a higher percentage of the takings.

ABC Taxis also have a variety of vehicle types, they have cars, estates and 7 seaters.  They also scale the mileage charges, so the first mile is charged at a higher rate, the next 19 miles are charged at a slightly lower rate and subsequent miles at a lower rate again.
They also have three different customer rates, one rate for cash jobs, another for account jobs and the third for night jobs.
It’s worth setting up a rate for PAYE drivers so you can see how much each PAYE driver is earning the company.
Let’s look at the way in which they might set-up the rates…
Example Rate 1 Cash

Example Rate 2 Account

Example Rate 3 Night

Still with us?!  Ok, now that we'’ve looked at the way in which a company might charge, let’s now look at how we set this up in Navigator.

Setting up rates
Before you start you need to map out all your rates for customers and drivers much like the example in the above table.   
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to set the rate up so let’s get into the Navigator Rates screen…
1. Click on the Pricing menu and choose Edit rates
2. The Rates window will appear.  If there aren’t any rates set-up on your system yet, this window will be empty, if there are already rates use the plus signs in the left-hand window to expand the lists.  

Let’s just take a look at the window and all the fields…

Adding a new rate
To add a new rate just follow these instructions…
1. Right-mouse click on the Rates folder
2. Choose New rate from the shortcut menu

3. Type a name and description for the rate and click OK

Adding a vehicle type
Now you’ve got a new rate, you need to add the first vehicle type for this rate…
1. Right-mouse click on the Rate
2. Choose New vehicle type from the shortcut menu

3. Choose the type of vehicle from the list and click OK

4. Enter the units (miles) and cost per mile, choose the VAT rate remembering that for cash work the VAT rate is zero, choose whether this will be rounded up or down, and whether your rounding up on price or distance, enter a minimum price and extra drop charge

There aren’t any vehicle types listed?
If there aren’t any vehicle type listed it means you need to go and set-up the vehicle types!  See Vehicle Types for information about setting up vehicle types.

Distance & Price Test Forecast
There is now a test button in the Rates window which displays a distance and price forecast for the rate you’re currently looking at.  This is exceptionally handy when setting up a rate because you can now test it without having to create dummy jobs!
1. Click on the Pricing menu and choose Edit rates
2. Expand the rates branch by clicking on the plus (+) signs and choose a rate to look at

3. Click on the Test button to reveal a forecasted distance and price for that rate

Fixed Price Interval
The new Fixed Price Interval feature in the Rates window allows you to do nonlinear rounding on rates.  So rather that the price going up incrementally on each mile, you can create a block of the same price for a chunk of miles.
Let’s look at an example:
1. Click on the Pricing menu and choose Edit rates
2. Create a new test rate and enter the details as below…

3. Click on the Test button and look at the results and click Done when finished – notice the incremental increase in fare

4. Now let’s see the same rate but with fixed price interval applied.  Place a tick in the Fixed Price Interval check box and then click Test

5. Notice the difference in the pricing…

Edit rate description
A rate has a name and a description, for example Rate 15 might have a description of West End / City.  The rate description can now be edited…
1. Right-mouse click on the rate and choose Edit Description

2. Change the description and click OK

Copy from Cash rate
It is now possible to use the Cash rates as templates for all the other rates.  For example, you will probably have a different Cash rate for each different vehicle type you operate.  There’s every possibility that all your other rates (e.g. rates for account customers, night rates, bank holiday rates etc) will also have a slightly different rate for each vehicle type.  Historically this was very tedious to set-up because you would have to create the rates for each rate and then again for each vehicle type within that rate!    
There is now a new feature called Copy From Cash Rate that allows you to duplicate each rate for each vehicle type.  You’ll probably still have to change some of the details but at least the bare bones are there for you to work from.

1. Create a new vehicle type rate by right-mouse clicking on a rate and choosing New Vehicle Type from the shortcut menu

2. Choose the vehicle type from the list and click OK

3. Click on the Copy from Cash Rate button and then click Yes to confirm that you wish to overwrite rate details

4. The Cash rate details for that vehicle type will be copied onto the Rates window where you can modify the details as necessary

Driver rates
Next you’ll need to add the driver rates for this rate…
1. Driver Rate 1 should already be listed so just enter all the information pertinent to that driver rate

2. To add another driver rate, click on the Add button
3. The next driver rate will automatically appear in the list, select the new driver rate and enter the appropriate values

4. Continue for each driver rate and then continue to add the different vehicle rates for this rate!

Copy Account details
There’s also a facility to copy the account rate details from the Account rate to the driver rate, so if the driver rate are exactly the same as the account rate just click on the Copy Account Details to replicate the same details down to the driver rate.

1. Click on the Copy Account Details button and then click Yes to confirm that you wish to overwrite rate details
2. Modify the details as necessary

It’s important that you also set-up waiting time rates.  Typically private hire companies charge about £12 per hour (20p per minute) for the first hour and £6 per hour (10p per minute) thereafter.  
The waiting rates are set-up in exactly the same way as the normal rates, just click on the Waiting tab on the Rates window.

Fixed price on school runs
School runs are generally done as a fixed price and often involve several “vias” and an escort.  The majority of private hire companies that do school runs have to do them for a fixed price regardless of the number of vias, also more and more local authorities are expecting the private hire companies to provide the escort and include this in the quoted fixed price. 

So how do you set this up in Navigator?  Well, its actually very easy…
All you have to do is set up a rate for each fixed price - most companies that do school runs will probably have several at the same price, £30 is the price used in the following example:
1. Click on the Pricing menu and choose Edit Rates
2. Right-mouse click on the Rates folder
3. Choose New rate from the shortcut menu

4. Type a name and description for the rate and click OK

5. Enter the rate details as follows…

6. Continue setting up a different rate in the same way for each fixed price school run.
The following screen shot of an invoice, shows that all jobs have the same price regardless of the number of vias…
The following screen shots of the Booking Screen show a booking to Moorbrook School with various permutations in the Vias field…
All six jobs have the same price regardless of the number of vias

Include a passenger assistant/escort in the price
Including the price for a passenger assistant or escort is very simple.  Most local authorities don’t pay waiting time on school runs so we can utilise the Waiting Time rate for the passenger assistant price.
1. Click on the Waiting Time tab and then set the waiting rate as follows…

This allows the company when pricing the job to simply enter a 1 unit of waiting in the account price and the resulting amount is the cost of the passenger assistant…

Coping with different passenger assistant/escort prices
Some of your school runs might be the same rate but the passenger assistant/escort price might be different, for example, a £30 run to Moorbrook School might pay £10 for the escort, whilst a £30 run to Thornden School might pay £15 for the escort.
In this situation, set up a £30 rate as above with the “Waiting” unit of £5.  Then whilst pricing the job for Moorbrook, set the Waiting Time unit to 2 and for Thornden set the Waiting Time unit to 3.

Fixed price on airport runs
Exactly the same theory can be applied to airport runs because most companies have fixed prices for these too, e.g. an airport run costs £25 with £2.00 per extra drop.  The rate would be set-up like this…

Then create an account for each airport and tick the box Treat as Cash Account