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RISE AND FALLS: Latest DfT stats show 1.3% drop in taxi vehicles and huge 14.6% boom in PHVs

The latest statistics on licensed taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) in England have shed light on the changing landscape of the industry.

According to the report published on 1 April, there were a total of 289,400 licensed taxis and PHVs in the country, indicating an 11.0% increase compared to the numbers recorded in 2022.

Diving into the details, it is revealed that taxis accounted for around a fifth of the licensed vehicles, with a total of 57,200 taxis operating across England. Interestingly, this represents a marginal 1.3% decrease from the previous year. A closer look at the data shows that licensed taxi vehicles in London experienced a more positive trend, witnessing a 3.4% increase, while taxis outside of London faced a worrying decline of 2.9%.

In contrast, PHVs experienced a significant surge, with a 14.6% rise in their numbers, totaling 232,200 licensed vehicles. Notably, the growth in PHVs was more pronounced outside of London, with a remarkable 16.8% increase, while London still observed a noteworthy 11.3% expansion in this category.

The report also highlights that licensing authorities, particularly outside of London, have the authority to impose limits on the number of licensed taxis within their area. However, they face constraints in imposing such restrictions on PHVs. As of 2023, approximately 25% of licensing authorities, a total of 72 authorities, implemented limitations on the number of licensed taxis. An additional 8 authorities implemented similar restrictions either for specific areas or vehicle types. These figures have remained relatively stable over the past few years.

At a regional level, the statistics demonstrate varying growth patterns. Overall, licensed vehicle numbers in England experienced an 11.0% increase. However, regional disparities were evident, with some areas witnessing minor growth while others experienced significant jumps. The West Midlands region, particularly Wolverhampton, witnessed a substantial 31.8% surge in licensed vehicles between 2022 and 2023. On the other hand, the North West recorded a more modest 4.2% increase.

The growth in licensed vehicles, particularly PHVs, might be attributed to factors such as increasing demand for ride-hail services, shifts in commuting patterns, and evolving consumer preferences.


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