Department for Transport’s taxi statistics provide information on the number of licensed taxis and private hire vehicles in England and Wales, including the number designed to be accessible for disabled people. Data are derived from the department’s survey of licensing authorities in England and Wales, which takes place every 2 years. The last survey was carried out in 2017.
Taxis (or ‘hackney carriages’) are available for immediate hire and can be hailed in the street (known as ‘plying for hire’). Taxis can also accept pre-bookings. Private hire vehicles (PHVs) (sometimes known as ‘minicabs’) must be pre-booked and cannot use taxi ranks. It is illegal for PHVs to ply for hire.
These statistics are collected through a survey of the 316 licensing authorities in England and Wales (lower tier local authorities, and Transport for London). Survey responses account for over 95% of published totals. Where a figure is not provided, a response to previous surveys is carried forward. In a few cases, authorities report that figures are estimated, or relate to time points other than 31 March. However, these factors are unlikely to have a significant impact on the national and regional level figures.
National and regional level statistics published in this series are National Statistics. Taxis statistics were assessed by the UK Statistics Authority and confirmed as National Statistics in February 2013.