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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:39 am 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 5313
Some recent stuff from TaxiPoint about the market for renting and buying black cabs in London. It's mainly about the decommissioning scheme for older cabs, the reduction of the age limit, and of course the related tougher emissions standards and increasing numbers of electric vehicles.

There are five articles in total, and they're not particularly long, so if anyone wants to read them all they should start at the oldest one at the bottom and work upwards :-s

However, the most recent article at the top can be read alone if required.

The madness of the London second hand taxi market continues ... -continues

13 Jul 2019


New cab sales of TXes are at record levels, with 154 joining the ranks in June

I keep thinking the used cab market cannot get any crazier and then every single week it does. The wilding fluctuating market may look like a textbook lesson in economics, but it’s actually an accurate detail of the roller coaster that cab prices have been riding over the past six months.

Back in December, before the proposal to reduce vehicle age limits to 12 years was first mooted, Euro VI cabs were unwanted and un- loved; early ones were changing hands in the early £20,000s. After the age limit announcement, the prices shot up, in some case by 40%, fuelled by short supply and increased demand.

Euro V values were suppressed by the fear that they would only get 12 years. Oversupply and re- duced demand forced these prices down dramati- cally. At one-point early Euro Vs were only fetching £11- £13k. Then came the decommissioning scramble. Thousands of older TXIIs and early TX4s disappeared from the ranks in exchange for a £10k pay-out from the mayor.

Many of these owners saw this as an opportunity to then buy a cheap EU V cab for not a lot more than the £10k (plus whatever they got for the cab on eBay) they had received for their TXII or early TX4. Very quickly this demand kicked in and prices for EUVs started to rocket, in some cases by 50%!

As some of the drivers who had decommis- sioned their own cabs returned to renting, demand for rental cabs, and thus rents, started to go up. This became the perfect storm, with fleets also taking the opportunity to get rid of older cabs and decommissioning hundreds of vehicles themselves. The result of this is that it’s now extremely difficult to find a cab to rent, and the few that are available are now more expensive.

It’s now coming full circle, as the shortage of cabs for sale and rent is forcing up the price of older cabs to above that of their decommissioning value (currently at £8k). Many owners are now pulling out of the decommissioning in favour of a quick cash sale to a fleet with a waiting list of drivers.

Things have got so bad that some of the traders have resorted to hanging around outside Brewery Road and approaching drivers going into the showroom offering to beat any trade-in price for their cab against a new one; this has not happened since the 1960s.

On the new cab front sales of TXes are still at record levels, with 154 joining the ranks in June. It means we are on target to have 2,000 on street by mid-July which is just over 10% of the entire cab fleet in London. If market force economics, which have dictated second-hand cab prices over the past six months, continue to apply it will be at least a year before the supply of new cabs coming in at the top of the market catches up with, and then overtakes, the loss of cabs from the bottom of the market. This means that second-hand prices will stay at their current levels and we will finally see an end to the prices roller coaster and we will get some stability in the market again, I certainly hope so.

All 1,250 top decommissioning payments now awarded by TfL as taxi industry struggles with vehicle shortages ... -shortages

9 Jul 2019

Steve Kenton

It has been revealed that all 1,250 payments of £10,000 for London's cab drivers to decommission their taxis have now been exhausted.

It is believed that around £30m of the mayor's £42m taxi delicensing fund has now been used up.

The delicensing fund was designed to help London's cabbies ditch older, more polluting vehicles and encourage the uptake of new, zero-emission capable taxis.

TfL have said London's current crop of diesel taxis are responsible for 25% of NOx emissions and it is claimed that next year they could be the biggest source of transport pollution in central London.

TfL are looking to lower emissions from taxis in London by 65%, with 2025 being the target date.

With TfL recently announcing that the taxi age limit in London will be reduced to 12 years for Euro 3, 4 and 5 taxis by 2022, there are now concerns that there is an issue with the amount of vehicles available to drivers.

Between the delicensing initiative and the age limit reduction, there are serious fears that taxi drivers could be put out of work due to a reduction of the supply of vehicles over demand.

The next tranche of decommissioning payments have now reached the £8,000 threshold still available, reducing on a sliding scale.

TfL reduces London black taxi age limits wiping off £50million in fleet residual value ... dual-value

5 Jul 2019

Perry Richardson

Reduction “will put hardworking London cabbies out of work”

London’s transport regulators have today reduced the age limits on taxis in the city from fifteen years to twelve.

The reduction announced by Transport for London (TfL) will be placed on all taxi vehicles meeting Euro 3, 4 and 5 standards by 2022. From November, the current 15-year age limit will apply to the anniversary of the date when the vehicle was licensed, with a proposed reduction in the age limit to 14 years from November 2020 and an annual reduction of one year each year until the 12-year age limit is reached.

The reduction could have a devastating effect on an industry already under pressure, with the residual values of the fleet estimated to drop by roughly £50 million.

It is argued that a reduction in age limits will also affect resale value of the vehicles. Drivers leasing their cabs from garages are likely to face higher rental prices to cover any shortfalls on the vehicles’ investment too.

The capital’s regulators say that the industry is currently responsible for 25 per cent of harmful NOx emissions and next year they will be the biggest source of transport pollution in central London.

London’s cabbies have been supportive to this point in accelerating the greening of its fleet. Individual taxi drivers have invested roughly £100million on new zero-emission vehicles with 2,000 of the iconic vehicles now on London’s roads.

The LTDA is currently investigating potential technological solutions to retrofit 4,600 Euro 5 diesel taxis to meet Euro 6 standards. TfL will keep this under review and if a Euro 6 retrofit is approved, TfL will consider ways to incorporate retrofitted Euro 5 taxis in the new Conditions of Fitness and age limits. If such vehicles can be shown to meet the required Euro 6 emissions standards in real world driving conditions, they could be eligible for the 15-year age limits in the same way as factory standard Euro 6 taxis.

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), said: “We’re deeply disappointed by the Mayor’s decision to reduce the age limit for taxis to twelve years, which will put hardworking London cabbies out of work.

“Our alternative proposal to retrofit older vehicles to reduce emissions would have delivered better emissions savings and avoided penalising drivers. We’re committed to doing our bit to tackle London’s air pollution, but the Mayor has gone for the simple, headline-grabbing proposal rather than one that would give better results for Londoners and the taxi trade.

“We’re pleased that at least the Mayor has listened to us on exempting retrofitted older vehicles that meet stringent emissions standards."

Alex Williams, TfL’s Director of City Planning, said: “Fossil fuels are a major contributor to the public health emergency we face in London, with our toxic air having a damaging effect on people’s health. It is great to see how keen London’s black cab drivers have been to make the switch from their diesel vehicles to electric. The air quality crisis means it is an imperative to reduce the maximum age limit for taxis. We will continue to support taxi drivers in making the transition to zero emission with a range of grants and an ever expanding rapid charge point network.

“Road transport is responsible for half of the capital’s harmful NOx emissions. We are taking bold action to safeguard the health of Londoners. In April we introduced the Ultra Low Emission Zone with some of the toughest pollution standards in the world and there are now 165 zero-emission buses on the road - with the whole fleet being rapidly cleaned up. We are also working with the freight industry to introduce micro-consolidation centres and electrify their vehicles.”

The death of the second hand taxi market ... axi-market

16 Jun 2019


Cabbies can’t buy a second-hand taxi for love nor money but TXe sales are going great guns

The second-hand cab market has all but collapsed. A quick glance through the cabs for sale column in any of the trade papers will confirm that.

The number of older cabs decommissioned is now thought to exceed over 2,000 with another 1,500 working their way through the system. It’s a perfect storm because many of the cabs taken off the road belonged to the fleets and many of the mushers who decommissioned their own cabs are now looking to rent cabs that don’t exist!

Even though the uncertainty surrounding diesel isn’t going away, and the risk of a total diesel ban on cabs could happen at some time in the future, many drivers are prepared to take the gamble and buy a Euro VI TX4.

As a result, these cabs are like gold dust. Most of the dealers have waiting lists of drivers wanting to buy them and we all know what over demand does, it forces prices up. It appears that taxi drivers who looked at the market back in January saw low mileage Euro VI cabs being traded from as low as £22k, delayed their delicensing, thinking there would be no problem getting one. Six months later they snapped up the £10,000 for their old cab believing they would add £15k to the pot and get a much newer cab, hence the long waiting lists. Many of these drivers now don’t have cabs and have joined the queues to rent cabs from garages that don’t have them either.

Drivers with Euro V cabs are stuck in limbo land. The uncertainty over age limits has meant the valuations on these cabs are now all calculated on the number of plates left on the cab, based on the worst-case scenario of a 12-year age limit. The double whammy is that they have little value outside of London where the majority of licensing authorities require a minimum Euro VI standard for new licences. Even in those areas where Euro V is still an option there is no demand because the market is flooded with lots of very cheap delicensed cabs. Until we get a decision on the age limit this won’t change.

The new cab market is very different. May saw 189 new TXes join the ranks, again, another new record month for cab sales. It brings the total number of ZEC cabs licensed to nearly 1,800. This could mean we will see the psychological barrier of 2,000 cabs, or 10% of the fleet, broken very soon. If the Nissan launches this summer and sales growth continue at this rate, we could have 3,000 clean cabs on the road by the end of this year.

TfL to “closely monitor” concerns over shortage of rental black cabs says London Mayor Sadiq Khan ... Sadiq-Khan

7 Jun 2019

Perry Richardson

Transport for London (TfL) will “closely monitor” concerns over a shortage of rental black cabs available to drivers says London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The concerns come as a growing number of drivers within the taxi industry complain about a falling number of available taxis.

Fleet-owned diesel taxis are being decommissioned as part of the Mayor’s restructured delicensing scheme, but not replaced by cleaner zero emission vehicles like the LEVC TXE or the forthcoming Nissan Dynamo taxis.

The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: “Transport for London regularly engages with the taxi trade. While we are not aware of a shortage of fleet-owned rental taxis, I have asked TfL to closely monitor the situation and discuss with the taxi trade if necessary.

“The taxi delicensing scheme, along with other measures, is playing an important part in making London’s taxi fleet cleaner, helping to achieve at least a 65 per cent reduction in harmful taxi NOx emissions by 2025.”

When asked whether TfL had taken into consideration how the new Taxi Delicensing scheme will affect the rental market for taxi drivers, the Mayor added:

“Transport for London’s enhanced taxi delicencing scheme, launched in January 2019, was designed to speed up the removal of the most polluting taxi vehicles to improve London’s air quality. There are alternatives to decommissioning an older vehicle, such as LPG retrofit or purchasing a new zero emissions capable taxi.

“The delicensing fund was increased in February 2019 based on feedback from the trade, including fleet owners in the rental market, many of whom also want to transition to more ZEC vehicles.

“Fleet owners are, however, limited in the number of vehicles they can decommission per company due to state aid limitations.”

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 44648
Location: 1066 Country
Quite a mess.

Clearly the £60,000 price of a new cab has consequences.


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