Important coronavirus information

Critical licensing functions will be prioritised

Licensing information

Licences issued

In response to Government and Public Health England announcements and the continued efforts to delay the spread of coronavirus, Taxi and Private Hire has introduced a number of contingency measures. As part of this, our telephony service is now closed, but enquiries can still be made by email.

We continue to focus on critical activities, such as the processing of renewal applications to ensure continual licensing for drivers and operators and ensuring that London is kept safe and accessible for key workers. Applications for new taxi and private hire driver and operator licences will not be processed until further notice.

Information about the number and type of licence issued will be updated accordingly. The following figures cover the week ending Sunday 13 September 2020:

  • Taxi driver licences - 21,681: a decrease of 2 on the previous week, there are 8 new licences. 19,150 hold All London licences and 2,572 hold Suburban licences.*
  • Taxi vehicle licences - 16,902: a decrease of 76 on the previous week, there are 22 new licences.
  • Private hire driver licences - 108,755: an increase of 83 on the previous week, there are 252 new licences.
  • Private hire vehicle licences - 90,289: a decrease of 215 on the previous week, there are 202 new licences.
  • Private hire operator licences - 2,048: a decrease of 1 from the previous week, there is 1 new licence.
  • 3,652 ZEC taxis have been licensed

*The All London/Suburban breakdown is collated monthly

Taxi and private hire licensing figures by year:

Taxis

Year Vehicles Drivers: All London Drivers: Suburban Drivers: Total
09/10 22,445 21,334 3,580 24,914
10/11 22,558 21,499 3,571 25,070
11/12 23,099 21,690 3,646 25,336
12/13 22,168 21,733 3,727 25,460
13/14 22,810 21,876 3,662 25,538
14/15 22,500 21,724 3,508 25,232
15/16 21,759 21,500 3,370 24,870
16/17 21,300 21,274 3,213 24,487
17/18 21,026 20,803 3,023 23,826
18/19 20,136 20,301 2,858 23,159
19/20 18,504 19,642 2,695 22,337

 

Private Hire

Year Operators Drivers Vehicles
09/10 2,882 59,191 49,355
10/11 3,111 61,200 50,663
11/12 3,164 64,063 53,960
12/13 3,159 66,975 49,854
13/14 3,038 65,656 52,811
14/15 3,006 78,690 62,724
15/16 2,814 101,434 78,139
16/17 2,430 117,712 87,409
17/18 2,373 113,645 87,921
18/19 2,206 106,777 88,113
19/20 2,113 111,766 94,712

Taxi and private hire driver postcode data

This document contains a breakdown of partial home postcode data for taxi and private hire drivers licensed in London. This data is accurate as of February 2020.

This document contains a breakdown of the taxi and private hire driver demographic, including data on the gender, age and ethnicity of licensees, and of Knowledge students who have yet to be licensed. This data is accurate as of October 2019.

Taxi and private hire fleet information

The following list provides details of the age and vehicle types that make up the licensed taxi private hire vehicle fleet in London. To comply with air quality standards, taxis can be licensed for a maximum of 15 years, and private hire vehicle for 10. However, limited exemptions apply which means that certain vehicles such as those that are wheelchair accessible, can be licensed for an additional period. Please visit our vehicle licensing page to find out more about our licensing requirements.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

DBS Update Service

Help avoid delays with your DBS and save money, by signing up to the DBS update service. You can sign up from the date you receive your application reference number to 19 days after your disclosure has been issued.

The DBS update service is an online subscription service that lets you keep your DBS certificates up to date and allows employers to check a certificate online, with your consent. It also means that you don't have to make a separate application for an Enhanced Disclosure as part of your application to renew your licence. Maintaining your yearly subscription to the service costs £13 a year, which is cheaper than applying for a new disclosure every three years. The DBS Update Service will save you time, as further applications and ID checks will only be requested when an update has been made to your disclosure.

You can register online as soon as you have your application form reference number. You can ask for the number when you apply for your DBS check. Or you can wait and register with your certificate number when you receive your DBS certificate. If so, you must do so within 19 days of the certificate being issued.

When you join, you'll get an online account that lets you:

  • Take your certificate from one job to the next
  • Give employers permission to check your certificate online and see who has checked it
  • Add or remove a certificate

Read the detailed guidance for applicants.

Important information about DBS update service

  • If you have signed up for the DBS update service you are advised to retain your original DBS certificate.
  • If your certificate is lost or misplaced then you will be required to apply for a new DBS
  • If you change address you will need to inform the DBS update service but you will not be required to apply for a new DBS certificate.
  • If you change your name or have any new convictions, cautions or warnings then you will be required to undertake a new DBS certificate.
  • If you have signed up for the service and you lose your credit/debit card or it expires, you will need to contact the DBS update service to provide your new card details. If the DBS update service is unable to debit your account when required and your subscription is stopped, then your disclosure will no longer be valid.

Claims for loss of earnings due to DBS delays

For loss of earnings due to DBS delays, please email your claim.

Licence fees

All income we receive from licence fees must, by law, be spent on the delivery of taxi and private hire licensing and compliance activities, including:

  • All back office costs and all contract costs
  • Our taxi and private hire compliance activity
  • Contributions toward the cost of dedicated police cab enforcement activity
  • All Knowledge of London exam costs for new taxi drivers

Approximately 70% of licence income comes from the private hire trade.

Find out more about how we spend our licence fees:

Limiting private hire vehicles and taxis

Currently, if an applicant meets the statutory eligibility criteria, we are legally obliged to issue a licence. It is clear that more must be done to tackle congestion and air quality impacts, especially in central London where PHVs now outnumber taxis during the day.

The Mayor has called on the government to provide further legislative powers for us, so it can cap the total number of PHVs in London. In addition, we have altered the structure of licence fees paid by operators of different sizes to better reflect the costs of compliance and enforcement activity. This will provide further financial incentive for operators to maximise the efficiency of their operations and minimise the number of vehicles they use across London as a whole.

The Mayor has also secured a commitment to progress separate legislation to enable us to regulate pedicabs, which will help us to alleviate the congestion they cause in central London, particularly in the evening.

It has been suggested that there is a limit on the number of taxi drivers in London, which is incorrect. Previously, we suspended applications for suburban (yellow badge) drivers in three of the nine suburban taxi areas in London because we were conducting a review of suburban taxi services for the suburban action plan 2015. This was at the request of the taxi trade itself. During this period, applicants still had the option to apply for any of the other six suburban sectors as well as the All London knowledge. Now the review is complete we are accepting applications for these three sectors again.

Licensing statistics

In response to Government and Public Health England announcements and the continued efforts to delay the spread of coronavirus, Taxi and Private Hire has introduced a number of contingency measures. As part of this, our telephony service is now closed, although enquiries can still be made by email.

We continue to focus on critical activities, such as the processing of renewal applications to ensure continual licensing for drivers and operators and ensuring that London is kept safe and accessible for key workers. Applications for new taxi and private hire driver and operator licences will not be processed until further notice.

Applications

2,547 driver applications are awaiting initial assessment. Of those applications, 2,027 are new (7 taxi and 2,020 private hire) and 520 are renewal applications (75 taxi, 445 private hire and 19 priority renewal cases). Renewal applications are prioritised over new applications.

Calls

Our telephony service is currently closed and we are operating an email-only contact centre until further notice.

6,113 calls were attempted to the Taxi & Private Hire team in the week ending 5 April 2020. We received 5,782 emails to our dedicated mailboxes for the week ending 13 September 2020.

Knowledge

The number of candidates studying the Knowledge of London is currently 425 at Stage 3, 179 at Stage 4 and 162 at Stage 5. In addition, as of June 2020, there were 683 candidates that had not yet reached Stage 3

Vehicle inspections

Information about first time pass rates is updated regularly. The following information covers the period from 31 May 2020 to 27 June 2020:

  • First time taxi pass rate - 80% pass rate across the six inspection centres (against the 81% target)
  • First time PHV pass rate - 79% pass rate across the six inspection centres (against the 82% target)