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YouGov poll reveals strong public opposition to VAT charged on Uber, Bolt and other minicab rides

Updated: Feb 19

A recent YouGov survey commissioned by the 'Stop the Taxi Tax Coalition' has unveiled a significant public disapproval, with nearly half (48%) of respondents 'strongly opposing' the idea of paying VAT on journeys with private hire vehicle (PHV) services like Uber and Bolt.

The survey, conducted from October 20 to 23 2023, gathered opinions from 4,023 adults across Great Britain, shedding light on varied viewpoints based on political leanings, geographic locations, and other demographics.

These public opinions come at a time when the UK Government is set to review its stance on VAT charges and the impact it will have on the PHV sector moving forwards.

Currently, most PHV services have not been charging 20% VAT. However, a recent court decision involving Sefton Metropolitan Council and Uber may disrupt this status quo, potentially requiring all PHV operators to implement VAT charges in the coming years unless there is governmental intervention.

The 'Stop the Taxi Tax' initiative, primarily focused on PHV operators, including minicabs, ride-hails, and chauffeur services, highlights a broader concern over the potential financial impact of VAT implementation. Operators and industry giants are advocating for a reduced VAT rate, fearing that a full 20% tax could adversely affect both drivers' earnings and consumer costs.

The landmark ruling, proposing a shift of the VAT responsibility from individual drivers to the operators, raises crucial questions about the future financial landscape of PHV services in the UK. With implications for driver profit margins and overall fare affordability at stake, the debate over VAT on PHV journeys continues to engage stakeholders and the public alike.

Hackney Carriage taxis will not be adding VAT to the tariffs and therefore prices are unlikely to change for passengers using those services.


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