Types of personalised transport driver agreements

The type of driving that you do in the personalised transport industry may depend on whether you:

  • own or lease a vehicle
  • rent a vehicle
  • bail a vehicle.

Ride-booking drivers

If you want to provide booked-hire services in a vehicle other than a taxi or limousine, the agreement will depend on whether you have your own vehicle.

If you have your own vehicle, you will typically require a services agreement.

If you don't have your own vehicle, you will typically require a services agreement and a rental agreement.

Services agreement

After the provider of a ride-booking application has reviewed the documents lodged by a prospective driver, the provider will send a prospective driver a copy of its services agreement.

You must accept the terms and conditions of the services agreement before you can access trip requests.

Services agreements may cover:

  • how fares and cancellation fees are calculated
  • when payments to you will be remitted
  • how the service fee payable to the ride-booking application provider is calculated
  • service standards that you must satisfy, and where those standards can be found
  • your responsibility for maintaining:
    • insurance to satisfy the minimum requirements to operate a private passenger vehicle in Queensland
    • workers' compensation insurance as required by Queensland law.

Rental agreement

Some companies rent vehicles to drivers who do not have an eligible vehicle or don't want to use their own car. This arrangement is generally captured under a vehicle rental agreement.

Key features of a rental agreement include:

  • the trade-off between the insurance premium included in the rental amount and insurance excess. You should consider whether you can afford the out-of-pocket excess amount in the event of a claim
  • unpaid rental fees are minor debts. If you owe money to a rental company, they may seek to recover the debt in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

Taxi and limousine drivers

If you take and return a vehicle at the start and end of each shift, you will typically require a bailment agreement.

If you take a vehicle for a longer period, or until a specified date, you will typically require a lease agreement.

Bailment agreement

A bailment agreement allows you to take possession of a vehicle and use it to provide passenger transport services, while ensuring the owner of the vehicle retains legal ownership and right to have the vehicle returned. There are 2 common forms of bailment agreements:

  1. Fee paid to operator based on percentage split of fare revenue
    You agree to pay a percentage of the chargeable fares to the operator. The amount paid to the operator is based on a percentage split of total fare revenue.
  2. Fee paid to operator based on set pay-in
    You agree to pay a fixed amount to the operator. The amount paid to the operator is based on a set amount paid up-front, regardless of the amount taken in fares.

Other important terms in a bailment agreement

You can also be asked to contribute money towards some of the other costs of operating a taxi or limousine, such as:

  • fuel used per shift
  • vehicle insurance
  • personal injury insurance.

A bailment agreement does not have to be in writing. However, a written agreement may provide greater certainty regarding the terms of the agreement. You should seek independent advice about which type of agreement (written or verbal) best meets your circumstances.

If you are unsure about the bailment fee, contributions to expenses or any of your other obligations, speak to the operator you have an agreement with.

Lease agreement

A lease agreement allows you to take exclusive possession of a licensed taxi vehicle and use it to provide passenger transport services during the period of the lease.

Under a lease agreement, you will pay a fee to the lessor based on the lease rate for a particular period.

Unlike a bailment agreement, it is unlikely that a lease will allow you to end the agreement without reasonable notice. A lease agreement will usually contain a minimum notice period – the amount of time between one person telling the other that they would like the agreement to end, and the agreement actually ending.

Different types of lease agreements

Whilst both fall under a lease agreement, the lease of a vehicle is not the same as the lease of a licence (sometimes referred to as a 'plate') by a licence owner to someone operating a taxi business or limousine business.

More information on bailment agreements

Department of Transport and Main Roads model taxi service bailment agreement

The Queensland Government no longer regulates the requirement for mandatory written bailment agreements between taxi operators and drivers.

We have published a model bailment agreement which may be used by operators and drivers.

Taxi Council Queensland standard bailment agreement

Taxi Council Queensland has published a standard bailment agreement which may be used by operators and drivers.

The standard bailment agreement covers general terms and conditions for bailment. It covers topics such as what payment will be given by the driver to the operator for the right to bail their vehicle for a period of time as well as any other entitlements or obligations agreed to.

Employment agreements

In some limited circumstances, a taxi or limousine driver may receive a wage or salary in return for providing services for the benefit of an operator. This type of agreement is an employment agreement.

Employment agreement

An employment agreement is an agreement between an employer and an employee that sets out the rights and obligations of each party.

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, an employee usually:

  • works standard or set hours
  • has an ongoing expectation of work
  • is paid regularly
  • is entitled to received paid leave (for example, annual leave, personal/carers' leave)
  • has their tax and superannuation handled by their employer.

Visit Fair Work Ombudsman for more information.

Employment agreements are unusual in the personalised transport industry. Most drivers perform their work in a way that is similar to an entrepreneur with their own small business. Drivers manage the vehicle during their shift and agree to share the fares received with the operator in return for use of the vehicle.