These are not easy times to be a taxi driver. Between ride-sharing organisations like Uber and Lyft, increasingly heavy taxes on diesels, lockdown killing trade and many brokers offering higher and higher taxi insurance quotes, we’ve seen a perfect storm. There’s never been a more important time to cut costs in order to protect your business.
One of the best ways of doing this is to do this is to ditch the diesel and get an electric vehicle (EV). As we mentioned above, diesels have been taxed more and more heavily in recent years and its fair to say that that’s a trend that won’t end until they are finally banned – which could be anywhere from 2025-2040 depending on you listen to.
Tax, however, is only part of the story. Clean air has become a hot political issue and that’s got politicians breathing down council’s necks to help them meet their international emissions obligations. Many councils – from Southampton to Glasgow, London to Birmingham – have either planned or already created Clean Air Zones, special areas of their cities where vehicles can only enter by paying a fee. In extreme cases, such as London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), the cost of driving a diesel minicab into the city is £26.50 a day all told. You need to take a fair few fares to make that cost back and worse could be on the way. Bristol is piloting a scheme whereby ALL vehicles will be banned from parts of the city and Oxford has been talking about a blanket ban on polluting vehicles as it tries to address its chronic air quality issues.
In shorth then, the end of the road for diesel and petrol cabs is in sight. Long before they are banned, they will be uneconomical and drivers will be forced to switch to an EV or another line of work. That is the unvarnished truth.
5 Reasons To Switch To An Electric Taxi
Happily switching to an EV has got a lot easier in recent years and the costs of everything from the cars themselves to electric taxi insurance quotes have fallen. The recent announcement of a diesel scrappage scheme with up to £6,000 off the price of a new EV is another big help. So aside from reducing tax costs and retaining the ability to work, what other advantages do electric taxis offer? Here’s our top 5 reasons for cabbies to ditch the diesel and go electric:
1. Lower Running Costs – when you have been providing drivers with cheap taxi insurance as long as we have at Coversure Redditch, you learn that keeping costs down is vital. Electric cars have running costs of between 2-4p per mile compared to 10-12p for an equivalent diesel or petrol car. With the average UK cabbie doing around 150 miles per day (outside of London) according to the Department of Transport, the savings quickly mount up
2. Cheaper Taxi Insurance – the cost of taxi insurance cover has been a big part of the electric vehicle debate. More and more insurers are developing policies and we’re told – given the relative simplicity of their motors and their increased reliability – that taxi insurance quotes for electric cabs should soon prove cheaper than for diesels or petrol powered vehicles
3. Diesels are Doomed – diesels have been the mainstay of the taxi business since they first came to the market but the end of the road is nigh. The government has already pledged to end diesel production by 2040 – and many, including the EU, are pushing for somewhere closer to 2025. Major manufacturers like Volvo have already decided to consign diesels to the scrapyard of history and manufacturers like Ford, VW, BMW and Audi have pledged a hybrid and EV future. They are going to have to go, so why not make the switch now and let the government subsidy the purchase to the tune of up to £6k?
4. Lower Vehicle Excise Duty – in their quest for cleaner air (and perhaps greater tax revenues) the government has been offering lower duties on cleaner vehicles while threatening to remove the duty freeze, we have enjoyed in recent years. If cab drivers want to cut their costs, then an electric vehicle could be a shrewd investment
5. More Fares? – members of the public are also playing a big part in the move to greener transport. Clean air is considered by most as a right, and with the media reporting stories surrounding the estimated 40,000 UK deaths caused by pollution each year it’s easy to see why people are worried. The COVID-19 lockdown saw emissions fall by up to 40% according the University of York and people have welcomed this as the breath of fresh that it is. One of London’s leading independent taxi firms, Fulham Cabs, has started moving their 100+ strong fleet to electric vehicles saying their decision was informed by ‘strong customer demand’. In the not too distant future customers are also going to be offered another choice of public transport: autonomous taxis. These electrically powered vehicles have already been trialled in London and are thought by many to become common sights by the mid-2020s. Given their purported efficiency and green credentials, if you want to compete with them then its an EV all the way…
Electric Taxis: The Only Way Forward for UK Cab Drivers?
There’s little doubt that the writing is on the cab office wall as far as diesels are concerned. The VW scandal set in motion a series of bad news stories that have made this once popular form of fuel a no-no for many. Now as manufacturers turn their backs on them and governments look to punish drivers for keeping them or reward them for getting rid of them, cabbies are going to have to make the switch to either a hybrid or an EV if they want to keep their businesses alive.
Like Some Taxi Insurance Help?
If you’d like some taxi insurance advice or a cheap taxi insurance quote, then call Coversure Redditch on (01527) 757585 and we’ll be happy to help. With over 30 years’ taxi insurance experience, we can help you get you get the cover you need for less.