Updated: Mar 22
Image: Taxis parked at Great Suffolk Street Cafe (Ross Campbell)
With the coronavirus worldwide pandemic devastating industries, UK taxi drivers have felt the full force of the impact, and as a knock-on effect, fleet owners are now seeing vehicles being returned at a worrying rate.
As self-employed workers, taxi drivers are ultimately small business owners, with fixed overheads that can easily amount to anywhere between 25-40% of earnings.
Taxi drivers are steadily being left with no choice but to return cabs to fleet owners during a period when work has decreased to levels which no longer cover the overheads involved to run a taxi business.
Multiple posts on several established taxi social media groups show clearly that taxi drivers across the UK are spending more hours on shift without taking a single fare.
In the past days some drivers have also announced retirement or semi-retirement from the industry until this life-changing pandemic eases.
One taxi driver, Parker Cabbie, wrote on social media: “Well it's 'Game Over' for me as a proud London taxi driver for over 26 years. First time in my life I've been unemployed!
“Cab handed back to garage & badge put away. Good luck to all my friends (& a few enemies!), take care and Be Lucky! Dole office here I come...”
A&S Services Hoddesdon Ltd finished a tweet about rentals with: "Almost cried this morning when I saw our yard. Keep well and keep safe."
Earlier today the lack of help awarded to self-employed workers in the latest Government COVID-19 financial measures has been branded a “scandal” by taxi driver representatives.
Further pressure has been placed on Government ministers to protect the futures of self-employed workers like taxi drivers in the coming days.