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Hackney Carriage Taxi Drivers: How much do they earn on average in the UK?

Updated: Oct 29, 2023


Image credit: LEVC

Hackney carriage drivers, also known as taxi or cab drivers, are self-employed professionals who transport passengers to their destinations in licensed vehicles. They can be found on taxi ranks or hailed on the street in most towns and cities across the UK. But how much do they earn and how is their fare calculated?


According to PayScale, the average salary for a taxi driver in the UK is £19,786 in 2023. However, this will vary depending on the location, hours worked and cost outgoings. For example, a taxi driver in London may earn more than a taxi driver in Monmouthshire, where the taxi tariffs are very different factoring in cost of living in the area.

The fare for a hackney carriage ride is determined by the meter installed in the vehicle, which must comply with the local authority's tariff. The tariff sets the maximum legal fare that can be charged by the driver, based on the distance and time of the journey, as well as any extra charges for waiting, luggage, or night and weekend rates. The tariff may also be based on a ‘cost index’ which takes into account the average wage for the local area, as well as the vehicle running costs.


Hackney carriage drivers also have the flexibility to choose their own hours and work patterns, depending on their personal and financial preferences. They may work longer hours during peak times of demand, such as rush hours, weekends, or holidays, and in turn earn more than the average wage for their area. They may also choose to work part-time, reducing their hours and earnings.


The amount a cabbie can take home can also depend on where they are with vehicle payments. A taxi driver who has just invested in a brand new electric taxi will have much higher costs than a driver who has paid off their taxi and working freehold.


The £19,786 figure gives us a rough clue, but in all honesty, earning potential is very much about the work ethic of the driver and where they are licensed.


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