Licences issued

Information about the number and type of licence issued will be updated regularly. The following figures cover the week ending Sunday 11 November 2018:

  • Taxi driver licences - 23,438: a decrease of 3 on the previous week, 14 licences are new. 20,524 hold All London licences and 2,914 hold Suburban licences.
  • Taxi vehicle licences - 20,477: a decrease of 9 on the previous week, 31 licences are new.
  • Private hire driver licences - 108,467: a decrease of 160 on the previous week, 166 licences are new.
  • Private hire vehicle licences - 87,308 a decrease of 67 on the previous week, 443 licences are new.
  • Private hire operator licences - 2,273: a decrease of 4 on the previous week, 1 licence is new.

Taxi and private hire licensing figures by year:

 Taxis  PHV
 Vehicles  Drivers  Operators Drivers  Vehicles 
 All London Suburban  Total
09/10 22,445  21,334 3,580 24,914 2,882 59,191 49,355
10/11 22,558 21,499 3,571 25,070 3,111 61,200 50,663
11/12 23,099 21,690 3,646 25,336 3,164 64,063 53,960
12/13 22,168 21,733 3,727 25,460 3,159 66,975 49,854
13/14 22,810 21,876 3,662 25,538 3,038 65,656 52,811
14/15 22,500 21,724 3,508 25,232 3,006 78,690 62,724
15/16 21,759 21,500 3,370 24,870 2,814 101,434 78,139
16/17 21,300 21,274 3,213 24,487 2,430 117,712 87,409
17/18 21,026 20,803 3,023 23,826 2,373 113,645 87,921

Taxi and private hire driver postcode data

These documents contain a breakdown of partial home postcode data for taxi and private hire drivers licensed in London and a heat map of hotspot areas outside of London where the private hire drivers live. This data is accurate as of June 2017.

This document contains a breakdown of the taxi and private hire driver demographic, including data on the gender, age and ethnicity of licensees.

This table provides the ethnic breakdown of all students currently studying the Knowledge who have yet to be licensed. Any licensed, suburban drivers studying additional sectors are not included. This data is accurate as of February 2018.  


KoL students 

Asian or Asian British (Bangladeshi) 68
Asian or Asian British (Indian) 19
Asian or Asian British (Other) 87
Asian or Asian British (Pakistani) 50
Black or Black British (African) 329
Black or Black British (Caribbean) 33
Black or Black British (Other) 16
Chinese or other ethnic group (Chinese) 10
Chinese or other ethnic group (Other) 5
Decline to answer 5293
Mixed (Other) 13
Mixed (White and Asian) 8
Mixed (White and Black African) 15
Mixed (White and Black Caribbean) 15
White British 463
White Irish 9
White Other 112
Grand total 6545

Private hire fleet information

The following list provides details of the age and vehicle types that make up the licensed private hire vehicle fleet in London. To comply with air quality standards, vehicles can be licensed for a maximum of 10 years. 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. While the government has been reluctant to pursue legislation to cap the number of PHVs, we are currently looking into the impact and feasibility of removing the Congestion Charge exemption for PHVs in central London to address these issues. 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.


1,978 driver applications are awaiting initial assessment. Of those applications, 917 are new (42 taxi and 875 private hire) and 1,061 are renewal applications (185 taxi and 876 private hire). Renewal applications are prioritised over new applications.


28,002 calls were attempted to the Taxi & Private Hire team last week. On average, calls were answered within 24 minutes, 7 seconds with an average call lasting for 7 minutes, 44 seconds.


The number of candidates studying the Knowledge of London is currently 1,297 at Stage 3 (down 7 from last week), 414 at Stage 4 (up 1 from last week) and 262 at Stage 5 (down 8 from last week). In addition, as of October 2018, there were 3,494 candidates that had not yet reached Stage 3 (this figure may include inactive candidates).

Vehicle inspections

Information about first time pass rates is updated regularly. The following information covers the period from 16 September to 14 October 2018:

  • First time taxi pass rate - 75% pass rate across the six inspection centres (against the 81% target)
  • First time PHV pass rate - 82% pass rate across the six inspection centres (against the 81% target)