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REJECTED: TfL calls Government idea to drop nationwide taxi vehicle age limits ‘inappropriate’

Updated: Nov 6, 2022



Transport for London (TfL) said taxi age limits ‘are not arbitrary or inappropriate’ as they reject the Government’s idea of removing age limits for licensed of taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (PHV) nationwide.

After a long wait and much lobbying, the Government opened up a 12-week consultation earlier this year to update vital Taxi and PHV guidance supplied to local authorities to better cope with new digital ways of working following the boom in ride-hailing services.

A raft of new recommendations have been made, covering pretty much every hot topic impacting the taxi and PHV sector right now, ranging from enhanced driving standard requirements to nationwide taxi vehicle age limits.


Each licensing authority was able to respond to proposals made by the Department for Transport (DfT). Within TfL’s response, made available via a Freedom of Information request, the London regulator said the a ‘one size fits all’ approach to vehicle age limits is ‘not recommended’.

TfL’s response to the consultation reads: “Vehicle age limits are not arbitrary or inappropriate. The age limits set by TfL were considered appropriate following public consultation. They ensure quality standards in the taxi and PHV industry, improve air quality in London, and are easy to understand for both the industry and vehicle manufacturers.


“The age limits for taxis and PHVs licensed by TfL are directly linked to emissions standards allowing greater operating life for new vehicles including electric vehicles. A ‘one size fits all’ approach to age limits as presented in the example is not operated by TfL and is not recommended. Age limits allow continued improvement to be achieved as newer vehicles with additional safety features and passenger benefits enter the market and those with the greatest wear and tear are removed.


“Nevertheless, in certain circumstances we allow exemptions to the age limits in order to meet the needs of specialist or niche sectors of the market where the choice of vehicles is limited, where alternative fuel conversions have been made, or where specialist adaptation have been made e.g. for a disabled driver or for specially modified disabled access vehicles.


“The draft Guidance fails to recognise that age limits on licensed vehicles removes older vehicles from the industry and negates the need for more frequent testing.


“Age limits (along with other licensing conditions for zero emissions vehicles) are integral to our commitment to reduce emissions from the taxi fleet as part of the government’s air quality plans, and to enable TfL to set a clearly defined and deliverable path to a zero-carbon taxi and PHV fleet in London.”

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