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London taxi fleet could be set to GROW with less older black cabs expected to leave the trade

The London taxi fleet could finally be in a position to grow in numbers as 12 year age limit on older cabs is reached.

Transport for London (TfL) records show there were 18,504 taxis registered in Greater London at the start of the pandemic in April 2020. The decrease has been mainly attributed to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry.

A year later in April 2021 just 13,461 black cabs were licensed and the current total stands at 14,972.

The number of newly licensed electric taxis has steadily increased since COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed, but with a high number of vehicles still departing the fleet due to changes in age limit rules, the recovery to pre-covid vehicle levels has been hampered.

According to the Cab You Driver column in TAXI Newspaper: “December saw 93 new TXEs join the ranks. The main dealers tell me it would have been more were it not for supply problems, resulting from the worldwide chip and parts shortage.

“The total licensed fleet is still hovering just below 15,000 vehicles, but with the age limit now down to 12 years and less cabs dropping off each month, the total number of licensed vehicles should start to increase each month, as more TXEs join the ranks.

“The next milestone for the fleet will be when the TXE out numbers the rest of the combined fleet of TX4s and Vitos, which is realistically about a year away. Of course that could be delayed if the much hyped and long anticipated Euro V to Euro VI conversion is eventually approved, thus giving those cabs back their 15-year age limit. If it happens, and I think it will, it probably won’t be until the summer. It will also impact the prices of those cabs, which will likely go up reflecting the extra extra 3 years’ worth of plates the converted vehicles will have. Interesting times ahead!”


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