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DFT CHATS TAXIS: Cross-border, cost of vehicles and industry challenges

The taxi industry is reaching hugely important cross-roads on so many levels, whether it be the shift to new cleaner vehicles or simply recovering from the devastating effect the pandemic had on the trade.

We got in contact with the Department for Transport (DfT) asking three questions focusing on how the department understands challenges facing the industry, how the DfT plans to assist cabbies facing high greener vehicle costs, and to understand the Government’s stance when it comes to cross border hiring rules.

Cross border hiring has long been a hot topic in the industry. But what is the DfT’s stance on the rule? A DfT spokesperson told TaxiPoint: “Ensuring that all licensees and vehicles meet high, but proportionate, national standards and enhancing licensing authorities’ enforcement powers so they can act against any licence will address key concerns on out-of- area working.

“The Government has committed to legislate for these when parliamentary time allows.”

The spokesperson was also keen to highlight that the DfT are aware of the multiple challenges facing the trade and said: “The DfT regularly engages with the taxi and private hire vehicle sector on a wide range of issues to enable the industry to deliver safe, accessible, available and affordable services for passengers.”

TaxiPoint pointed out that the cost of vehicles has skyrocketed over the last 12 months. Last month saw a new LEVC TX electric taxi finance package quoted to cost £100,000. We asked whether more could be done to assist taxi drivers to shift to cleaner electric taxis.

A DfT spokesperson said: “Government grants have been in place for over a decade to help reduce the up-front purchase price of zero emission vehicles. The Government’s Plug in Taxi grant scheme supports taxi firms and drivers to transition to zero emission vehicles.

“The scheme offers a discount on the price of eligible taxis of up to a maximum of £7,500 or £3,000, depending on the vehicle’s range, emissions and design.”


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