UK Taxi Drivers Adapt to the New Normal

At Cab Direct we know that the UK has had to adjust to a whole new way of life during lockdown, which has hit the taxi trade particularly hard. Heading to the office became working from home, children started learning from their houses rather than travelling to school and the country has been socialising digitally rather than travelling by taxi to the pubs and restaurants of the nation. However, as we continue to ease out of lockdown, we look forward to normal activities resuming which will, in turn, create more work for drivers of black cabs and standard taxis across the UK.

With the public being forced to stay at home, taxi companies have had to adapt. Many have taken a different approach and offered new services including driving essential workers to their essential roles and driving kids of key workers or those who are classed as vulnerable and do not feel comfortable utilising public transport as they normally would to school hubs. Drivers across the country have also been an important lifeline for those who are shielding or self-isolating and have been able to deliver essential goods to them.

Tough Times

Tom’s Taxis in Dorset experienced financial strain almost immediately at the beginning of the lockdown period when their income dropped significantly. It was incredibly stressful and frightening when the phones were not ringing anywhere near as often for the first few weeks. Director Tom Berney, said: ” We decided to put ourselves out there and let people know we were there if they were to need us. As with all businesses we have to appreciate it’s going to be very difficult until there’s a vaccine. We just have to make the public feel as safe and as comfortable as possible.” Tom is feeling better now that the public’s confidence is coming back and he is starting to see the business pick back up again.

Some taxi companies have survived by having good contracts with local authorities. Dorchester Taxis went into panic mode when the lockdown was first announced but they have since managed to secure more school contracts. Their owner Judith Chard commented “I’d imagine it’s been a 50- 50 split with taxi companies. Half are probably struggling and wondering where the income is going to come for up but for others like ourselves which have contracts with the council, it’s been the saving grace.”

New Normal

Many taxi companies are introducing great new safety measures to put passengers feel more at ease using taxi transport, including PPE for drivers and enforcing that those travelling must also wear face coverings. Customers have been encouraged to sit as far away from the driver as possible and cabs being are thoroughly cleaned down after every ride. Tom’s Taxis have been using a 70% alcohol cleaning spray that they use throughout the car after the customer has left so it is left clean for the next passenger. Some manufacturers have even introduced new protective screens like those from Toyota   – which we are currently offering free with the purchase of any new Corolla or Prius.

We at Cab Direct are so pleased to see the trade pick up slowly but surely as the public begins once more to rely on taxis in their day to day lives. As the UK’s leading taxi supplier we are able to offer great deals and exclusive trade discounts on our range of purpose-built and standard taxis. For more information call the top of the page or contact us here.


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