It was great fun standing in Parliament Square, seeing 100’s of cabs :crying:
There was a survey done donkeys years ago that looked at the lifestyles of London’s black cab drivers - what sort of properties they lived in, what cars they drove, etc. The outcome was that the cabbies earned far more than they declared to HMRC.
Another report from (possibly HMRC) took data from a representative sample which looked at the mileages the cabs were covering annually, and concluded that cabbies were estimated to be earning around £70k pa, but declaring an average of £12-13k. I can’t back this up with the details of the actual reports as I’m going back around 15 years, but from memory it was based on realistic factors.
Obviously cabbies earnings may have significantly changed over the years, but it’s still a nice little earner and has been a closed-shop for years. Do some research in to what it takes to get hold of a taxi plate to see.
Time & technology move on. Mobiles at least match land-lines these days. Downloads have largely taken over from buying your music on the high street. The taxi industry is long overdue an overhaul in order to provide a better service to consumers and if a cosy little clique is adversely affected in the process then they need to think about how they can use technology, pricing strategies, and marketing to modernise and compete more effectively
Same story happening in Spain for the same reason…
Well is time to evolve and upgrade… Black cabs are one of the most expensive in Europe, £34 quid yesterday from Victoria Station to Mile End at 1am, and the driver had the balls to tell me that it was the shortest and quickest route (bollocks, I’ve done the same itinerary several times on black cabs at the same time, and the bill was almost £7 cheaper). I downloaded uber while I was on the cab.
This being said I agree that uber should be more regulated and provide their clients with more guarantees.
We are going through a technological revolution, we already did go through to industrial revolution and people got pissed at the steam engine at the time…
Black cabs need to invest in technology and resources and compete against this app, banning this app won’t solve any problem.
you are correct sir…HMRC now estimate the earnings as they were so underreported that something had to be done about it, but still the HMRC can only estimate.
I never understand why London has to be so special …this system doesnt operate in other major cities in the UK and they seem to be doing ok.
there are quite a few cities that operate a cab type system but not a strict as London cabbies
The argument that black cab drivers deserve some sort of extra cash/benefit/privilege because the knowledge takes years to complete is horse **** - any decent job requires years of training to be good at it, you spend years of your life going through college, university, getting a degree, masters and then you are finally qualified to be turned down at a job interview. Black cab drivers spend thousands on their cab, but how much do you think education fees are?
I do have some sympathy for black cab drivers, ultimately their bosses have let them down by ignoring technology and having no innovation - their cabs need to be updated, hybrid taxis with built in sat nav/tracker enabling customers to book cabs easier, essentially what uber have done. The problem is all the black cab drivers I know dislike the idea of being tracked, not just for the good reasons such as having your own privacy etc but because they are all tax dodging scum, one former friend confessed to making £75k a year but only declared £25k, I haven’t met an honest black cab driver - ever.
The Knowledge is outdated - with the help of Sat Nav any foreigner could arrive in London get in a car and drive you from A to B without knowing any of the roads, in fact they could get you from A to B quicker as they have all traffic/road closure information at their fingertips.
What this industry needs is a complete overhaul, all cabs should be licensed and regulated including mini cabs, all drivers should be checked against the criminal database, it is a public service and I wouldn’t want any relative getting inside an unlicensed car with a potential rapist/murderer.
^ I agree with Fabio x1000
I thought all cab/minicab drivers had to go through enhanced CRB checks already?
This all smacks of the mp3 revolution where rather than modernise the record labels tried and failed to stamp it out. If Black Cabs had a better app and more competitive fares then there wouldn’t be an issue. That’s the free market. But rather than do that they prefer to kick off in an attempt to protect their monopoly.
And they maintain their big advantages anyway - they can stop where they want to pick up passengers and they can use pretty much all bus lanes in London.
I’m sure I read somewhere yesterday (possibly in some tfl guidance) that black cab drivers are subject to a fine for blocking the road - I think it was £100 or £200 but there were a lot of cabs out there, we could use the cash to fill some potholes, or buy everyone on zone 1 roads tomorrow afternoon an ice cream
I had never heard of Uber before this. Not surprising as I don’t often need a taxi and don’t fully understand my phone…
Black cabs do seem to be generally more considerate to bikes than a lot of the minicabs. They do get piles though…
I suspect minicab drivers don’t earn as much and no doubt if there were no black cabs on the road they would earn even less.
Maybe hitchhiking is the answer?
I hate black cabs.
As I have said before, if I was in power, I would out-right ban them.
Bearing in mind that one of my uncles and one of my cousins are black cab drivers, I would still ban them.
A menace to all other road users and price gouging fucks who deserve to be taken off of London’s roads.
Jakeyz, I am not saying because graduate’s aren’t guaranteed jobs that black cab drivers shouldn’t prosper, what I am saying is that black cab drivers shouldn’t use the horse **** excuse that The Knowledge takes years to complete and therefore they deserve something extra for it. I can get the bloody knowledge by looking at a map or using a Sat Nav, it’s an out dated ritual that the old boys want to continue.
You must also take me for a fool if you think that all Taxi Drivers report their accurate earnings, you must think that I am an even bigger fool if you honestly think that checking a meter which can be easily re-programmed will stop them from tax dodging.
My point remains that anyone can get into a car and drive from A to B without any prior knowledge of the roads.
My other gripe is that there are simply too many black cab drivers anyway - all you have to do is step out at rush hour to see ten cabs lined up in a row, stuck in traffic, going nowhere.
Your simplistic, outdated view is probably shared by a lot of black cab drivers, they will go under if they don’t evolve and adapt.
I’m not going to argue about the knowledge, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.
As for earnings, I can’t think of a single profession where every single person is 100% straight and would never assume this (or even close to it). Maybe council workers but they’re on the scam anyway.
The meter is a closed, proprietary unit. It cannot be easily manipulated and has several anti-tamper measures in place and would require a decent knowledge of electronic reverse engineering to mess with and if it has been tampered with iirc it’s an instant badge revocation. Not really relevant but it wouldn’t be trivial to do and easily spotted.
Black cab drivers don’t just drive you from A to B, there’s a reason the London black cab is famous the world over and it’s not just because they rarely get lost.
I’m not sure on the numbers of drivers although I’m assuming they’re all making a living and to be honest it’s not down to anybody but them to regulate the driver numbers. There’s probably too few people in my industry but eh, it’ll balance itself out eventually.
Maybe I’m biased as I spent the best part of 4 years in black cabs at least twice a day for an hour a time. :<
You can do the knowledge in under two years and all it costs is scoota, petrol, tax and insurance - then to run the taxi requires fuel, servicing, MOT, tax and insurance - its not exactly an expensive motor to run either so their costs are not justified based on any of this!
Private cabs may have a minimum fee of say 3.50 but they start on ZERO when you get in them and if 4 of you get in the cab they dont add 30/50p for each person just for getting in the car!
As for not being able to tamper with the meter - WTF are you on… if its that difficult to tamper with then how do they get away with declaring lower income when they are/can be checked along with mileage on clocks - it is obviously not difficult to fudge the system whether its another meter or tampering!
Twice a day for an hour at a time - it would have been quicker and cheaper to take the tube… But my guess is a company picked up the cost as that is an extreme waste of money so it couldn’t have been your own!
Every customer i used to sell Knowledge scooters too used to complete it in two years - sometimes three?
Fair enough on the reason for taking the taxi over tube.
Shows the last time i took a black cab then if they stopped the extras 5 years ago! lol
So the government know they are tax dodging with what they declare but don’t check the meters - so in other words they are like the scamming parliment and abusing the system with no real threat… Technology to do this has been around for years so where just letting them get away with it and then jumping on the backs of those that miss a vat bill by a couple of weeks or under pay by a few quid - things definately need to change with the black cab industry and technology!
By the way you will see my argument in my last post as complete rubbish as I don’t really know about the industry - i just like livening things up around here so don’t take me seriously! :laugh:
No dramas bud, I enjoy debating things like this.
I agree there needs to be a way for them to be accountable for their income but it’s massively expensive to implement, I guess HMRC are happier chasing other people who are easier targets. Compare the amount of cab drivers to the amount of builders working off the books and how difficult it is to prove a driver has been working compared to someone who has built an extension and I guess in a sick way it makes sense.
I dont think they should be just opened up straight away but the knowledge is outd ated and should be phased out. As I mentioned before with the trading floor it was a closed shop for years and took years of training …they fought for years to stop electronic training. They opened it up and fees tumbled.
Times change and the reason they dont like Uber is because its quality competition. I use them regualary and all the cars have been new or almost new…when you book you get a message with the vehicle registration and a picture of the driver. How good is that! also after a ride you can rate a driver and they can rate you…so bad drivers quickly get weeded out!