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OFFICIAL: New DfT report shows 3.4% DROP in taxi and PHV drivers in 2022 despite HUGE demand

Updated: Jul 16, 2022

The Department for Transport (DfT) have confirmed a 3.4% DROP in taxi and minicab driver numbers across England and Wales for 2022 despite the reopening of the economy post-coronavirus and huge demand for services.

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.

Between 2021 and 2022, the data shows the total number of licensed vehicles increased slightly, while the number of licensed drivers continued to fall.

There were 330,300 taxi and PHV drivers licensed in England and Wales in 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.

There were 260,700 licensed taxis and PHVs in England in 2022. Just under a quarter (58,000) of these vehicles were taxis. The total number of licensed vehicles increased by 3.8% between 2021 and 2022, driven by a 5.1% increase in PHV numbers. The number of taxis fell by 0.6% over the same period.

According to the report, licence lengths for vehicles are generally shorter than those for drivers. This is likely to at least partly explain why the number of driver licences continued to fall in 2022, while the number of vehicle licences increased slightly compared with 2021. It is likely that the licences of some drivers who stopped driving as a result of the pandemic may only be expiring now.

The long-term taxi trends:

Between 1972 and 2015 the number of licensed taxi vehicles in London, and in England and Wales outside London, both followed an increasing trend, albeit at different rates.

Since 2015, the numbers have fallen, with a particularly sharp fall seen since 2020, which is likely to be at least in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. The number of taxis in 2022 was however substantially higher than in 1972. The number of licensed taxis almost quadrupled in England and Wales outside of London (increasing from 12,400 to 47,700), while over the same period, the numbers in London increased by 44% (from 10,100 to 14,600).


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