Taxi statistics

Information and statistics on taxis and private hire vehicles.

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.

Statistics relating to the use of taxis are available from the National Travel Survey.

Latest taxi and private hire vehicle statistics for England

At the end of March 2017:

  • the total number of licensed taxi and private hire vehicles in England increased by 16% to 281,000
  • 73% of all licensed vehicles in England were private hire vehicles
  • 39% of the total number of licensed taxis and private hire vehicles in England were in London
  • 58% of licensed taxis in England were wheelchair accessible
  • there were 356,300 taxi or private hire vehicle driver licences in England

See online tables for statistics for Wales.

Technical information

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 statistics

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.

Assessment of statistics on maritime, road traffic, bus, taxi, light rail and disabled parking badges

Figures for individual licensing authorities are less robust and therefore are outside the scope of National Statistics.

Pre-release access list

The post holders given access to these statistics up to 24 hours prior to release are available in the Taxis statistics pre-release access list


Data tables

  1. Taxis, private hire vehicles and their drivers (TAXI01)
Published 6 August 2013
Last updated 7 September 2017 + show all updates
  1. New release published.
  2. First published.