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Taxi industry continues to suffer, but with promising signs of recovery post lock down

The Birkdale Insurance Group are experts in professional driver vehicle insurance, one of these products being taxi insurance. Sometimes referred to as hire and reward insurance (as they carry passengers for “hire and reward”).

Therefore, we speak to taxi drivers each and every day and understand the industry inside out.

Whilst there was an awareness of the danger of COVID-19 late 2020 and early 2021, it was March 2021 when the first lockdown occurred that it became evident just how serious the pandemic was. Now, nearly 12 months later, it is hard to believe that the UK remains in lockdown which seemed unfathomable way back then.

Being a taxi driver in normal (non COVID-19) circumstances is a challenging occupation as it is.

Lots of competition, the emergence of Uber, long and sometimes unsociable hours, waiting at ranks, rising fuel prices and expensive taxi insurance premiums being some of the reasons why we tip our hat to taxi drivers!

So just imagine being a taxi driver over the last 12 months, with 3 lockdowns totally 332 days at the time of writing (18th Feb 2021) and only “non essential” travel permitted, which basically reduces the number of fares by a huge percentage compared to normal times with the BBC News website claiming some drivers are earning less than £25 a day during the pandemic.

Even outside of total lockdown, there have been plenty of restrictions in between such tier 1/2/3, 10pm curfews, no crowds at sporting events, no concerts, no theatres or shows…all of which will have also had a massive impact on the number of taxi fares throughout the UK. Thousands of cancelled holidays, so no taxi fares to the airport and back. No school contracts even!

The number of private hire and public hire taxis on the road currently falls every month. And of course, with taxi vehicles off the road, the number of taxi insurance policies has seen a dramatic decline, as has the number of new start up taxi drivers joining the profession.

At this point in the article, with many taxi drivers as part of our customer base across the length and breadth of the UK, we’d like to sincerely commend all taxi drivers who we have found to be very resilient and understanding in what must be very trying period personally and financially.

We salute and applaud you all.

Birkdale Insurance Group comment:

We believe there is a reason for taxi drivers to be cautiously optimistic when the UK comes out of lockdown, coupled with the impressive rate of the COVID-19 vaccination roll out programme.

After a year of lockdown and socialising restrictions, alongside the renewed confidence of the vaccination programme, we believe the UK will (with a sensible approach) really embrace post lockdown freedom with Spring and Summer looming.

In short, people will start using taxis a lot more regularly to enjoy going back to some sort of normality – pubs, restaurants, sporting events and other entertainment. People more likely to have a well earned drink and therefore leave the car at home. Families returning to airports and going on holiday.

People have really missed it over the course of one year and coupled with renewed confidence from the COVID-19 vaccinations, we believe the UK will embrace a fun Spring and Summer, whilst embracing any social distancing rules that remain in place.

This could be good news for the taxi industry after an unprecedented 12 months+ of hardship.