“Tank taxi” offers fun and unique rides — though not the smoothest

FAN Editor

There are plenty of taxi services to choose from these days, but a British man has cornered the market when it comes to “heavy” lifts. Merlin Batchelor rumbles down the streets of Norwich, England in a “tank taxi.”

It may not have the smoothest ride, but it offers “pure entertainment. As you drive along the street, there’s so many people smiling, laughing, pointing,” Batchelor says.

And it isn’t actually a tank.

“Technically it isn’t — it’s an armored personnel carrier,” Batchelor says. But “tank taxi” just rolls of the tongue better and they look similar.

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Merlin Batchelor’s “tank taxi” is actually an armored personnel carrier. CBS News

Batchelor bought it online “as you do with everything these days,” he says. The purchase and repairs set him back about $35,000.

Then requests for rides started rolling in.

“First, I had neighbors, then friends asking, then friends of friends, and then people I didn’t even know asking me can I take them to, mainly asking about proms,” says Batchelor.

That led to Batchelor’s new side hustle: For about a $1,000 a trip, he chauffeurs for weddings and even funerals.

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A wedding party enjoying a ride in Merlin Batchelor’s “tank taxi” in Norwich, England. CBS News

For one couple, there was no question how they’d arrive on their big day. “When your neighbor buys a tank and your other half spends most of his time with that tank, it’s inevitable that you’re going to your wedding in a tank,” beamed the bride.

Batchelor is only licensed to carry passengers for weddings and funerals.  The father of four hopes to get another permit to do more events like proms and birthday parties.

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