Large operators in the UK’s Private Hire Industry could see a massive increase in the fee’s they pay, if proposed plans by Transport for London go ahead.
TfL has today opened a consultation on proposals to change the fees private hire operators are charged for the costs of licensing, compliance and enforcement activity. It will be based on the size of the operators fleet, and split into five tiers rather than the current two.
The proposals would see an end to the current system where ‘small’ operators, with no more than two vehicles, pay £1,488 for a five-year licence. ‘Standard’ operators, which have more than two vehicles, regardless of the size of their fleet, currently pay £2,826.
For those with more than 20 vehicles, the fee would rise to a massive £22,104 for a five year licence – according to TfL figures, there are just under a thousand operators with fleets between 20 and 1000 vehicles.
For those two companies listed as operating over 1000 vehicles – fee’s will also increase to £166,518, plus £68 for each vehicle registered – a rise of 6000%. Better news for those operating less than ten vehicles – the five year licence will increase by around £800.
The private hire industry has grown dramatically, from 65,000 licensed drivers in 2013/14, to more than 117,000 today. The number of vehicles has increased from 50,000 to 87,000 over the same period.