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OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Finance for taxi driver sparks into life again after ‘challenging’ period

Lenders ARE opening the cheque book to taxi drivers and fleets once more after a ‘challenging’ pandemic period says finance experts.

A shortage of taxi vehicles, especially in London, has left the industry playing catch up after the purchasing of new cabs was put on hold whilst work levels plummeted during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

In London there are currently just under 14,000 taxis licensed, of which roughly a third are electric taxis. That number has dropped massively since the start of the pandemic when it stood at 18,504 vehicles in April 2020.

Recovery was hampered by the industry’s buying power and ability to find finance, however according to respected taxi finance brokers, Ethos Finance, the mood within the banking industry has now changed.

A spokesperson from Ethos Finance said: “Yes lenders are lending money to fleets and individual taxi drivers again. Although funding during the pandemic was initially challenging, based on the strength of the business and the overall future potential (and subject to credit approval) lenders understand difficulties that the industry has faced.”

Taxi drivers who relied on Government support packages, like the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), can now also seek finance packages with confidence once again. A lack of taxi driven revenue put many banks off lending during the period, however confidence has now returned.

An Ethos spokesperson said: “Drivers who claimed SEISS and other grants during the pandemic can now find finance. However, the SEISS cannot be shown as their only source of income for a prolonged period of time.

“Having taken advantage of government support available for businesses/sole traders during the pandemic doesn’t deflect from the ability to get finance, proof of work as always will still be required and will need to be demonstrated within the application.”


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