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Taxi drivers and fleet owners struggling to obtain finance risks seeing further shortage of cabs

Taxi drivers struggling to obtain finance agreements will risk seeing a shortage of cabs in the coming months, a key finance figure is told.

Cab drivers and fleet owners are currently struggling to obtain finance agreements for new taxis after the financial agony endured within the taxi industry caused by low work levels during the pandemic.

However, as restrictions ease drivers are now looking to return to the industry as demand slowly returns. In London there are only 13,986 taxi vehicle licensed, of which 4,298 of those are new Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxis. Before the pandemic the number of taxis stood at 18,504.

Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, said in TAXI Newspaper: “I was recently contacted through LinkedIn by someone from Lloyds Banking Group, who leads Black Horse’s work with our industry and others.

“She wanted an update on what was happening in the trade and the issues members have encountered and continue to face in relation to finance agreements. She knew all about our meetings with the Finance and Leasing Association and efforts to find ways to support members struggling to make payments and to lobby the Government for more support. She was sympathetic to all of this, recognising how hard it had been for our trade and that more needed to be done to help us.

“I explained that the latest challenge is that fleets and individual drivers are now struggling to get finance and purchase a new cab. I told her that without finance we risk seeing a shortage of cabs in the coming months, which would further harm the trade.

“I assured her that things are picking up and that the cab trade can and will be a safe bet once more.

“The London Cab book has traditionally always been a good one to have with low rates of default, but the pandemic obviously turned everything on its head. She recognised that London’s cab market is very different to the rest of the UK and that they needed to think about and treat it differently moving forward, which could hopefully benefit us in the coming months as we look to a full recovery.”


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