Study reveals which cities have the most private hire vehicles in England and Wales

Businessman opening car door for businesswoman during the day.

A new study has found that Wolverhampton is the city with the highest rate of licensed taxis and private hire vehicles in England and Wales.

Private hire specialist Zego analysed public data from the Department for Transport to determine the total number of licensed taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) per 1,000 people in each city across England and Wales. These results were then ranked from highest to lowest to see which city had the most and least licensed taxis and PHVs per 1,000 people.

Wolverhampton ranked first in the study, with 85.3 licensed taxis and PHVs per 1,000 people. With a population of 263,700 residents, this is 580% more than the proportion of licensed taxis and PHVs for the city in second place. Whilst there are 0.6 licensed taxis per 1,000 people in Wolverhampton, the total figure is largely from licensed PHVs in the city, with a huge 84.7 licensed PHVs per 1,000 people.

Newcastle came second with 12.4 licensed taxis and PHVs per 1,000 people. It recorded 10.5 licensed PHVs per 1,000 people, compared to 2 licensed taxis per 1,000 people.

Newport came fourth with 8.1 licensed taxis and PHVs per 1,000 people. With a population of 159,600, it has 7.6 licensed PHVs per 1,000 people and 0.5 licensed taxis per 1,000 people. Newport was found to be the only city in Wales to make the top ten list.

Bradford ranked fifth with 7.9 licensed taxis and PHVs per 1,000 people. It recorded 7.5 licensed PHVs per 1,000 people, compared to 0.4 licensed taxis per 1,000 people.

Other cities in the top ten include Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, Leeds and Southampton.

A spokesperson for Zego commented:

“The results reveal that there is a much greater availability of PHVs in the vast majority of cities in England and Wales, than equivalent taxis when accounting for each city’s population.

“The difference between private hire vehicles and taxis is often misunderstood howver, with many people assuming that the two terms are interchangeable. In reality, private hire vehicles are pre-booked through a licensed operator or ride-hailing app, such as Uber or Bolt, with fares agreed in advance. Taxis on the other hand typically use metered pricing set by the local council and can be flagged down by the customer.

Top 20 cities in England and Wales ranked by proportion of licensed taxis and PHVs per 1,000 people:

Rank City Population Licensed taxis per 1,000 people Licensed private hire vehicles (PHVs) per 1,000 people Total licensed taxis and PHVs per 1,000 people 
1. Wolverhampton 263,700 0.6 84.7 85.3 
2. Newcastle upon Tyne 300,200 10.5 12.4 
3. London 8,799,800 1.7 10.2 11.9 
4. Newport 159,600 0.5 7.6 8.1 
5. Bradford 546,400 0.4 7.5 7.9 
6. Manchester 552,000 5.2 7.2 
7. Liverpool 486,100 2.9 6.9 
8. Preston 147,900 1.3 4.9 6.1 
9. Leeds 812,000 0.6 4.8 5.5 
10. Southampton 249,000 1.1 4.3 5.5 
11. Cardiff 362,400 3.4 5.4 
12. Canterbury 157,400 1.5 3.7 5.3 
13. Birmingham 1,144,900 0.6 4.7 5.2 
14. Oxford 162,100 0.7 4.6 5.2 
15. Portsmouth 208,100 0.9 3.9 4.9 
16. Stoke-on-Trent 258,400 0.6 4.3 4.9 
17. Nottingham 323,700 0.8 4.7 
18. Sheffield 556,500 0.9 3.5 4.4 
19. Exeter 130,800 0.7 3.5 4.2 
20. Kingston upon Hull 267,100 0.6 3.5 4.2 

1 thought on “Study reveals which cities have the most private hire vehicles in England and Wales”

  1. Kevin Costello

    A large majority of PHV’s that operate in Doncaster display Wolverhampton licence plates!!

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