The number of UK taxi and private hire drivers is on the rise according to one insurance comparison site.
Taxi data from one of the UK price comparison websites, Quotezone.co.uk, found that the number of taxi drivers is up 12% from January to May 2022, when compared to the same time period in 2021.
After a tough 2020-21, taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers are started to return to the industry as final covid restrictions were dropped and demand for services intensified.
According to the data, the most common taxi or PHV driver is still those that have held their taxi badge for over 10 years. Unsurprisingly new drivers that have held their taxi badge for under 6 months, is up by 390% compared to the first quarter on 2021 when the UK was still facing coronavirus social restrictions.
Uber drivers make up 48% of all taxi and PHV drivers combined in the UK – with a surge of 54% since the start of the year. Quotezone.co.uk data compares January to May 2021 against January to May 2022 – using a sample size of over 45,000 taxi insurance policies across the UK.
Greg Wilson, price comparison expert and Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, said: “It’s not surprising that new taxi driver numbers are soaring, the flexible working hours and relative ease of set up makes it the ideal side hustle for those looking to fit more working hours around their existing job or family commitments, to help combat rising household costs.
“Taxi insurance premiums can be costly though, as insurance providers consider cab drivers a higher risk because of the greater amount of time they spend on the roads compared to other drivers, but our site can help customers compare policies and keep costs competitive.”
The Department for Transport (DfT) recently confirmed a 3.4% DROP in taxi and minicab driver numbers across England and Wales for 2021-2022.
The latest Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Statistics were released this week containing data up to year ending March 2022. The figures are updated every year through surveying each licensing authority in England and Wales.
There were 330,300 taxi and PHV drivers licensed in England and Wales in 2021-2022, a decrease of 3.4% compared to the previous year. Between 2005 and 2020 the number of driver licences increased from 242,100 to 364,700. It then fell to 342,100 in 2021.