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National Taxi Driver Shortage

It’s been reported by the Licensed Private Car Hire Association (LPHCA) that half of the UK’s cabbies quit since the start of the Covid pandemic sparking a shortage of taxis ‘worse than the HGV driver crisis’, industry figures have warned.

In Torbay alone, the council are looking to fill 50 positions to meet demands, and this is a similar story across other parts of the Southwest.

The pandemic forced many of our cabbies into other industries. After a sudden decrease in demand through the lockdown periods, many drivers, quite understandably, chose to switch from carrying people, in exchange for delivering items for big brand businesses and local takeaways.

Now the world has opened up the shortage of drivers has been apparent, sparking concern for the safety of women, late-night revellers, night shift workers and students across the country. Furthermore, the lack of drivers has now started impacting other businesses, like clubs, pubs, and restaurants because people don’t know how or if they will get home.

Fortunately, we are yet to see an increase in drink driving, though with Christmas around the corner this is a sad possibility.

To support the effort in encouraging drivers back into the industry Riviera Insurance is offering a range of exclusive discounts for returning drivers. Whilst Torbay Council is offering licencing at just £50 per year – which is a reduction of around £300 per year.

Drivers now looking at returning to the trade also can benefit from a range of reductions in their insurance costs, depending on their personal circumstances. Often taxi drivers are self-employed and start-up costs can be expensive. The hope is that these measures will ease the financial burden of cabbies looking to return.

Rivera is exclusively offering an additional 5% discount in premiums from selected insurers for drivers licenced across the Southwest, including Cornwall, Torbay, Plymouth, Exeter, Taunton, Dorchester, Bournemouth and Salisbury.

Quotes can now be offered to part-time, or second job taxi drivers, who may use their vehicles for other purposes and traditionally find getting insurance difficult for dual purpose usage.

New discounts are being offered to ex-taxi fleet drivers who haven’t claimed but are no longer part of the fleet. This is particularly beneficial to drivers looking to return to the trade but has been put off by the cost of buying insurance in their own name.

Taxi drivers new to the trade that can demonstrate professional driving experience are also being offered exclusive discounts on insurance costs that wouldn’t have been available pre-pandemic.

Faye Roebuck, Operations Manager at Rivera Insurance said, ‘We’ve spoken to taxi drivers throughout the pandemic. Many of these drivers have mortgages to pay, and families to support and had no real choice other than to leave the trade. She continues, ‘During the early days of the pandemic we were able to help cabbies by extending cover so they could legally become takeaway and delivery drivers, and now as we are beginning to reach the end, we are working hard at getting them back into the trade.

Throughout Covid we’ve heard how we need to keep the county moving and support our hospitality trade- if we don’t have enough drivers on the road and people can’t get home safely, people will stop going out, and that is a real risk to other local businesses who have also struggled over the last two years.


Find out more FAQs about taxi insurance

For more information on the discounts available to taxi drivers, both new and returning to the trade call 01803 659112 or email info@rivierainsurance.co.uk or request a call back below.