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Taxi Statistics UK

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Taxi Statistics UK

Since 2005, the number of taxis and private hire vehicles (PHV’s) on the road in the UK has increased by nearly 90%. Powered in part by the rise of cab-hailing apps like Uber, there are now more vehicles carrying paying passengers than at any other time in British history.

We’ve analyzed the past 15 years worth of data from the Office of National Statistics to see how the market has evolved, breaking down vehicle types and driver licencing both nationally and regionally.

Number of Taxis in England

In 2020, there were 298,800 total taxis and PHV’s licenced to operate in England. This represents a roughly 60% increase in the numbers licenced since 2005. While PHV licencing has continued to accelerate (growing by nearly 30,000 between 2017 and 2020), driven by the growth of companies like Uber and Bolt, taxi licencing has actually started to show a decline, down nearly 7,000 since 2017.

YearTaxisPHV’sTotal
200564,200120,400184,500
200768,900129,300198,200
200971,100146,200217,300
201173,000150,000223,000
201376,600141,800218,300
201579,500158,300237,800
201775,400202,300277,700
201872,800211,900284,700
201970,600221,400292,000
202067,900230,900298,800
Chart showing number of taxis and PHV’s registered in England
Taxi/PHV registrations have increased by over 100,000 since 2005

The relative difference between the growth in registered taxis and PHV's is even more stark when you compare their rate of growth—it doesn't look like we are too far from seeing the number of taxis on the road lower than their 2005 level, as private hire apps continue to sweep up the market offering convenience, price transparency and quick pick-ups.

YearTaxi % change since 2005PHV’s % change since 2005Total % change since 2005
2007+7.32%+7.39%+7.43%
2009+10.75%+21.43%+17.78%
2011+13.71%+24.58%+20.87%
2013+19.31%+17.77%+18.32%
2015+23.83%+31.48%+28.89%
201717.45%+68.02%+50.51%
2018+13.40%+76.00%+54.31%
2019+9.97%+83.89%+58.27%
2020+5.76%+91.78%+61.95%
Chart showing percentage change in the number of taxis and PHV’s registered in England
Taxi/PHV registrations have increased by over 60% since 2005

Number of Taxis in London

There were around 114,900 taxis and private hire vehicles in London. This is almost a 90% increase in total numbers since 2005. Like the rest of the country, PHV licencing has continued to grow rapidly—adding over 33,000 licenced PHV’s since 2015.

Taxi licencing, however, has shown rapid signs of decline, down 3,500 in the last 5 years. There’s no doubt that the growing popularity of ride-sharing apps has put the squeeze on black cab drivers.

YearTaxisPHV’sTotal
200520,80040,00060,800
200721,60044,40066,000
200922,30049,30071,600
201122,60050,70073,200
201322,20049,90072,000
201522,50062,80085,300
201721,30087,800109,100
201821,00088,400109,400
201920,10088,100108,200
202019,00096,000114,900
Chart showing number of taxis and PHV’s registered in London
Taxi/PHV registrations have increased by over 50,000 since 2005

It's probably fair to say that London has led the UK-wide trend in the declining popularity of taxis, with a number of popular taxi and ride-sharing apps available to residents.

YearTaxi % change since 2005PHV’s % change since 2005Total % change since 2005
2007+3.85%+10.90%+8.55%
2009+7.21%+23.30%+17.76%
2011+8.65%+26.65%+20.39%
2013+6.73%+24.63%+18.42%
2015+8.17%+56.88%+40.30%
2017+2.40%+119.50%+79.44%
2018+0.96%+121.00%+79.93%
2019-3.37%+120.25%+77.96%
2020-8.65%+140.00%+88.98%
Chart showing percentage change in the number of taxis and PHV’s registered in London
While taxi registrations have shown sharp decline in the past few years, PHV registrations are up over 90% since 2013

Number of Black Cabs

The TX4 is the most popular black cab in the UK. As of September 2020, 54% of black cabs are the TX4 model, numbering 11,697. Next most numerous are LEVC, with 4,008 registered, accounting for 19% of black cabs. 10% of black cabs are the Mercedes Vito. Fewer than 100 Metrocabs are still in operation.

Types of Black Cabs in the UKNumberPercentage
TX411,69754%
LEVC4,00819%
TXII2,68712%
Mercedes Vito2,06710%
TX19925%
Metrocab960%
Total21,591100%

How many taxis are there in each region of England?

Wheelchair Accessible

London is by far and away England’s leader in wheelchair accessibility, with local licencing authority Transport for London mandating that all taxis must be wheelchair accessible. PHV’s, popular with lift-hailing app drivers, lag behind considerably—probably as most PHV vehicles are non-modified road vehicles, like a Toyota Prius or Vauxhall Insignia.

RegionWheelchair Accessible TaxisWheelchair Accessible PHV’sTotal Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
North East1,0002001,200
North West5,1005005,600
Yorkshire and the Humber1,8006002,400
East Midlands1,8004002,200
West Midlands3,8004004,200
East2,1006002,700
London19,00060019,500
South East2,7001,0003,600
South West1,6004002,100
England38,9004,70043,600
Chart showing number of wheelchair accessible taxis and PHV’s registered in England
London comfortably leads the way in wheelchair accessibility, with nearly 20,000 vehicles wheelchair friendly

Total Taxis/Vehicles

Unsurprisingly, London again leads the way, with well over double the number of taxis and triple the number of PHV’s as the next closest regions. The North East has under 10% of the total number of taxis and PHV’s, which speaks to the capital’s affinity for fast and convenient transport.

RegionTotal TaxisTotal PHV’sTotal Vehicles
North East4,0006,70010,700
North West8,10029,10037,200
Yorkshire and the Humber3,70019,20022,900
East Midlands5,2008,40013,600
West Midlands5,50026,90032,400
East6,70013,80020,500
London19,00096,000114,900
South East9,90020,50030,300
South West5,90010,50016,300
England67,900230,900298,800
Chart showing number of total taxis and PHV’s registered in England
London again takes first spot, with nearly 115,000 taxis and PHV’s registered in 2020

Which regions of the UK have the highest concentration of taxis?

London, once again, has comfortably the UK’s highest concentration of taxis and private hire vehicles, with over double the number per 1000 people of the national average. The East Midlands has England’s lowest concentration of cabs and PHV’s—under 3 vehicles per 1000 people.

RegionWheelchair Accessible Taxis (per 1000 people)Taxis (per 1000 people)Wheelchair Accessible PHVs (per 1000 people)PHVs (per 1000 people)Total (per 1000 people)
North East4001,5001002,5004,000
North West7001,1001004,0005,100
Yorkshire and the Humber3007001005004,200
East Midlands4001,1001001,7002,800
West Midlands6009001004,5005,500
East3001,1001002,2003,300
London2,1002,10010010,70012,800
South East3001,1001002,2003,300
South West3001,0001001,9002,900
Wales4001,6001001,7003,200
England7001,2001004,1005,300
Chart showing number of total taxis and PHV’s registered in England
England’s national average of 5.3 is heavily influenced by London’s enormous 12.8 per 1000 people—only one other region is above the national average

How many taxi drivers are there in England

There are around 365,000 licenced taxi and private hire drivers in England as of 2020. This is made up of roughly 130,000 taxi drivers and 315,000 PHV drivers (keep in mind that some licensing authorities allow drivers to hold both, or offer combined licences). This represents over a 50% increase in the number of registered drivers since 2005.

YearTaxi LicencesPHV LicencesTotal Licences
2005119,600173,300242,100
2007125,600182,600252,200
2009126,000206,400273,400
2011132,500221,100286,700
2013131,700223,700285,800
2015133,600235,700297,200
2017138,900295,800356,000
2018137,900303,800361,400
2019135,800309,100362,700
2020131,400315,000364,900
Chart showing number of drivers with a taxi or PHV licence in England
There are over 360,000 licenced taxi and PHV drivers in England

How many taxi drivers are there in London?

There are just under 135,000 licenced taxi and PHV drivers in London. This is made up of roughly 22,400 taxi drivers and 111,600 PHV drivers. Unlike other licencing authorities, Transport for London requires drivers to obtain separate licences for each, meaning a PHV driver couldn’t just step behind the wheel of a traditional black cab.

YearTaxi LicencesPHV LicencesTotal Licences
200524,90040,00064,900
200724,60038,00062,600
200924,80055,80080,500
201125,10061,20086,300
201325,50067,00092,400
201525,20078,700103,900
201724,500117,700142,200
201823,800113,600137,500
201923,200106,800129,900
202022,400111,600134,000
Chart showing number of drivers with a taxi or PHV licence in London
There are over 130,000 licenced taxi and PHV drivers in London, made up of 22,400 licenced taxi drivers and 111,600 licenced PHV drivers

How many accidents to London taxis have per year?

Between 2017 and 2019, London-based taxi and PHV drivers were involved in an average of 1200 slight accidents, 54 serious accidents and 1-2 fatal accidents. Given that there was an average of around 135,000 licenced drivers in London each year over this period, London-based taxi/PHV drivers average around 9 incidents per 1,000 licenced drivers.

According to Transport for London, there are around 2,600,000 cars registered to London-based drivers. In 2019, as an example, there was just under 11,500 car-related casualties, giving London-based car drivers an incident rate of roughly 4.5 incidents per 1,000 registered cars—under half that of taxi drivers.

YearSlightSeriousFatal
2017859450
2018911442
20191827742
Graph showing the number of taxi/PHV related casualties in London by month
Between January 2017 and June 2020, there was an average of 70 slight and 3 severe taxi/PHV-related casualties in London per month

What type of licences do drivers in England and Wales hold?

Many drivers outside of the capital are able to hold dual licences, allowing them to drive both taxis and PHV’s in return for payment. Unlike other regions, drivers in London are unable to hold licences for both, so must choose one or the other depending on their choice of vehicle.

RegionTaxi OnlyPHV OnlyDual LicenceTotal
London22,400111,6000.0134,000
England outside London27,500121,90079,000230,900
England39,900233,50079,000364,900
Wales3001,8009,80012,000
Chart showing the licences drivers in England and Wales hold
Nearly 35% of drivers outside of London are licenced to drive both taxis and PHV’s

Comments

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.