Important coronavirus informationCritical licensing functions will be prioritised
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 licences issued will be updated accordingly. The following figures cover the week ending Sunday 24 January 2021:
- Taxi driver licences - 21,106 a decrease of 46 on the previous week, there were no new licences issued
- 18,698 hold All London licences and 2,512 hold Suburban licences*
- Taxi vehicle licences - 14,125 (3,939 of which are ZEC taxis): a decrease of 79 on the previous week, there were 2 new licences issued
- Private hire driver licences - 107,043: a decrease of 217 on the previous week, there were 44 new licences issued
- Private hire vehicle licences - 80,460: a decrease of 409 on the previous week, there were 93 new licences issued
- Private hire operator licences - 1,982 a decrease of 7 on the previous week, there were no new licences issued
*The All London/Suburban breakdown is collated monthly
Taxi and private hire licensing figures by year:
|Year||Vehicles||Drivers: All London||Drivers: Suburban||Drivers: Total|
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 October 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.
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:
Taxi and private hire financial summary 2010/11 to 2014/15
Taxi and private hire financial summary 2014-2015
Taxi and private hire financial summary 2015-2016
Taxi and private hire financial summary 2016-2017
Taxi and private hire financial summary 2017-2018
Taxi and private hire financial summary 2018-2019
Taxi and private hire financial summary 2019-2020
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.
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. We have resumed the processing of new taxi driver applications and are gradually resuming the processing of new private hire driver applications. Private hire driver applicants that were booked in to complete their topgraphical assessment but had their assessment cancelled due to restrictions are being prioritised.
2,457 driver applications are awaiting initial assessment. Of those applications, 2,306 are new (3 taxi and 2,303 private hire) and 151 are renewal applications (37 taxi, 114 private hire and 14 priority renewal cases). Renewal applications are prioritised over new applications.
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 3,360 emails to our dedicated mailboxes for the week ending 6 December 2020.
The number of candidates studying the Knowledge of London is currently 405 at Stage 3, 166 at Stage 4 and 155 at Stage 5. In addition, as of November 2020, there were 647 candidates that had not yet reached Stage 3
Information about first time pass rates is updated regularly. The following information covers the period from 18 October 2020 to 14 November 2020:
- First time taxi pass rate - 84% pass rate across the six inspection centres (against the 81% target)
- First time PHV pass rate - 85% pass rate across the six inspection centres (against the 82% target)