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LACK OF UK TAXI DRIVERS: Reasons why pandemic sparked a UK-wide shortage of cabbies

Updated: May 12, 2023



The UK taxi industry experienced a significant drop in the number of drivers during the pandemic and has struggled to rebound back to numbers seen pre-covid times.


Many taxi drivers left the industry during the pandemic due to a combination of factors, including lack of demand, retirement, and finding more stable employment opportunities during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the transportation industry, with people staying indoors, leaving the roads quieter. With fewer people out and about, demand for taxis and other ride-sharing services declined drastically to levels never witnessed before. Many taxi drivers found themselves without work as a result, and with little indication of when demand would pick back up, they were left with no choice but to look elsewhere for employment.

Many taxi drivers found more stable and secure employment opportunities during the pandemic and quite simply haven’t returned. With the rise of remote working and the shift to online services, many found short-term work as delivery drivers, while others filled positions that offered more predictable and reliable employment.


The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the UK taxi industry. Demand has returned, but the taxi industry is still adjusting and adapting to the changing post-covid landscape to attract new drivers and remain viable in the face of ongoing challenges.

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