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London's black taxi fleet continues decline, while TfL licensed PHVs see upward trend in numbers

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

The number of black cabs licensed by Transport for London (TfL) has reached a new low of 14,586, according to recent data.

Despite the best efforts of drivers and fleet owners who purchased nearly £4million worth of new vehicles in the last week, the 60 new vehicles licensed in the week ending Sunday 5 November couldn’t stop the overall count of cabs dropping by 25 compared to the previous week.

This downward trend comes as a stark contrast to a decade ago when the number of black cabs soared to a healthy 22,168 in April 2013. However, a combination of factors such as the impact of the pandemic, stringent age limits placed on diesel cabs, and the increasing cost of electric taxis has significantly deterred black cab drivers from renewing or investing in new taxis.

While black cabs faced challenges, the private hire vehicle sector witnessed an opposite trajectory. The number of private hire vehicle licences climbed to 91,046, marking a rise of 130 compared to the previous week.

The decline in black cab licences raises concerns about the supply of licensed taxis in London, with potential implications for commuters and those that rely on wheelchair accessible taxis to get around the capital.


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