City of Wolverhampton Council is set to reduce licence fees for black cab and private hire taxis.

The council has seen a huge increase in the number of drivers applying for licences during 2021/22.

This has resulted in surplus income which licensing guidelines stipulate must be used within the service. Therefore, the additional income generated will be used to reduce the fees for applicants.

Changes to renewal fees include:

  • Hackney carriage/private hire 1 year driver renewal fee reduced from £64 to £49
  • Hackney carriage/private hire 3 year driver renewal fee reduced from £120 to £98
  • Reductions in renewal fees for both black cab and private hire drivers from £40 to £39 for 1 year and £100 to £78 for 3 years

In addition, the council has identified ways to make savings based on a reduction in the administration costs involved in licensing vehicles over 10 years of age. 

The savings will help the council recruit further staff to process applications and expand compliance operations across the country. This aims to help address the national shortage of private hire drivers, while continuing to maintain high levels of public safety. 

Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment and climate change, said: “Wolverhampton leads the way in private hire licensing and as the cost of living crisis continues, the council is pleased to be able to offer drivers these reduced fees.  

“As a licensing authority, we are committed to continuing to maintain our high levels of public safety. We’ve invested heavily in digital technology which enables us to thoroughly check driver and vehicle details.

“We are believed to be the first in the country to have introduced daily enhanced DBS checks on all of our drivers. We have also introduced technology that checks applicants right to work and we check every new applicant against the National Register for Revocations, Refusals and Suspensions (NR3S).

“We have always been at the forefront of implementing stringent taxi licensing standards and we will continue to use the latest technology to ensure both public and passenger safety as well as passing savings back to our drivers.”

The proposals for new fees and charges are recommended for approval at the next meeting of the council’s regulatory committee on 29 March.