Firm in call to slash taxi driver application fees

Firm in call to slash taxi driver application fees

by Tom Martin (November 2021)

CALLS have been made to slash the cost of applying for a taxi licence to help ease a national shortage.

The shortage has prompted concerns over the safety of women, students and night time workers struggling to get home.

Now,’ insureTaxi’ based on Marshside, is urging local authorities to reduce the cost of applying for a licence. The company, a major insurer of new and experienced taxi drivers, says they should follow the example of Torbay Council in Devon which has responded to the crisis by dramatically reducing application costs.

Managing director Alastair Christopherson said: “The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) estimates the industry is short of 160,000 of the previously 300,000-strong workforce after many drivers left due to the pandemic. One council taking a proactive approach to tackle the shortage is Torbay in Devon where they have slashed the cost of licensing to just £50 to get more drivers behind the wheel.”

Currently a new driver must apply to their local council for a licence, which can cost up to £600 a year.

A backlog in licensing and registration of vehicles, as well as criminal and medical checks for drivers, have led to what the LPHCA have described as ‘a perfect storm’.

Mr Christopherson added: “Taxi drivers play a vital role in protecting public safety. There are alarming reports of people and workers not being able to get home at night and we need to act now.

“With Christmas party season round the corner the supply needs to catch up fast.”

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