TfL increasing private vehicle hire operator licence fees (Engineering & Technology)
“Thanks to changes proposed by Transport for London (TfL), Uber could face a huge increase in operator licence fees in a further setback for the disruptive taxi-hailing app. Yesterday, TfL launched a consultation on plans to alter the fee structure for private vehicle hire operators. TfL is aiming to establish a new system in which operators pay fees that better reflect the cost of regulating the sector.
“With 30,000 licensed drivers in London, Uber is the city’s largest operator of private hire vehicles. The San Francisco-based taxi app allows users to instantly hail cheap private taxis on their phones in 570 cities.
“The number of cabbies in London has expanded from 65,000 registered drivers in 2013-14 to more than 117,000 today, and current regulatory frameworks were not designed for the post-Uber private vehicle hire industry.
“The new system would have a five-tier structure, with the largest companies being charged the largest licence fees. A small minicab company with fewer than 10 vehicles would pay £2,500 for a five-year licence, while Uber would pay £160,000 plus £68 per vehicle over five years. Uber could be expected to pay up to £2.1m for a five-year licence to operate in the capital. This new fee structure would help fund the 250 extra compliance officers being hired to check insurance and other paperwork to regulate the industry. Enforcement costs of London’s minicab industry are expected to reach £30m over the next five years, up from an estimate of £4m.”