Government statistics from 2018 reveal that licensed taxi and private hire vehicles have been on the rise steadily since 2005 and reached record figures to reach 285,400. This is largely attributed to a sharp increase in private hire vehicles (PHVs) which made up 74% of licensed vehicles in England.

Satisfaction Levels

It is clear that there is a high demand for taxis and PHVs but not everywhere in the country has the same passenger satisfaction level when it comes to the service that is provided. The statistics revealed that those that lived in rural areas had a satisfaction percentage that was 7% less than the average (67%). London, meanwhile, had an overall satisfaction percentage of 70% which is a rise of 3% between 2011 and 2017.

Availability & Cost

The main reasons that the figure is so low for those that live in rural areas is that there is low availability which can be extremely frustrating for those that need to arrange a taxi or PHV for any reason. There is also higher cost for those living in rural areas which will always bring down satisfaction levels.

Of course, the opposite is true in London which is why it has the highest overall satisfaction percentage. There is much greater availability of taxis and PHVs in the capital which means that it is never too hard to find a vehicle that will take you to where you need to go (although price is high in London).

In England in general, reliability satisfaction (71%) and availability satisfaction (73%) were at similar levels in 2017 compared to the previous year and much higher than the average for satisfaction with cost (53%). 

Wheelchair Accessibility 

It is thought that wheelchair accessibility also plays a role in the higher satisfaction levels with 58% of licensed taxis being wheelchair accessible vehicles from places like Allied Fleet. This has remained a similar percentage since 2015 but the proportion of taxes that were wheelchair accessible in 2018 by rural classification were not even. As you would expect, metropolitan areas had a higher percentage of 83% while rural areas had just 15%. London leads the way with 100% taxis that are wheelchair accessible as required by TFL’s “Conditions for Fitness” licensing policy.

It is clear that London and metropolitan areas are the best places if you want to use a taxi or a PHV as availability is much greater in these areas and you are more likely to get a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Rural areas are not good areas for those looking for a lift, though, as availability is a major issue and it can also be expensive in these parts, plus very few are wheelchair accessible which can create transport dilemmas for many people living in these parts of the country.