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Taxi and private hire vehicle statistics, England: 2020 Published Date: 17/12/2020

The Department for Transport have published the official statistics on taxi and private hire vehicles (PHV) in England.

The statistics include information on taxis and private hire vehicles in England as at 31 March 2020, so do not show the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.

The information includes PHV operators and enlisted drivers who use app-based technology, but does not disaggregate which drivers are using these apps in the figures presented. Figures are updated every year through surveying each licensing authority (a unitary or lower tier authority) in England and Wales.

The statistics show at end March 2020:

  • there were 298,800 licensed taxis and PHVs
  • 77% of all licensed vehicles were PHVs
  • 57% of licensed taxis were wheelchair accessible
  • all taxis in London were wheelchair accessible
  • 364,900 driver licences
  • 64% of licences were PHV only licences
  • 14% were taxi only licences
  • 22% were dual licences

The total number of licensed vehicles in England in March 2020 shows an increase of 2.3% (6,800 vehicles) compared with 2019, to 298,800.  This is the highest number since comparable records were first collected in 2005. The increase was driven by Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs), with just over three quarters (77%) of licensed vehicles are PHVs.

Limitation policies

The data shows that in 2020, 83 licensing authorities (29%) applied a limit on the numbers of licensed taxis, with a further 4 setting limits in some, but not all, of the areas they cover. This is a slight decrease from 30% of licensing authorities with a limit in 2019.

Of those licensing authorities with a limit on the numbers of taxis, 4 licensing authorities (5%) have changed that limit in the last year, and 57 licensing authorities (69% of those with a limit) have conducted an unmet demand survey within the last five years.


The report from the DfT covers licensing in England, but data on England and Wales can be found online (excel spreadsheet downloads), showing information about vehicle types (including wheelchair accessible vehicles) and licensing policies.