iCabbi ProDriver 100

ProDriver 100 accounts for almost one in five UK taxis

The definitive league table of the By the numbers ProDriver 100 UK’s private hire and taxi industry

Britain’s 100 largest private hire and taxi fleets operate nearly 51,000 vehicles – almost 20% of the estimated 260,000 vehicles operated for hire and reward in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

That’s the key finding of the 2016 iCabbi ProDriver 100, the first detailed and definitive research study into the leading private hire and taxi operators in the UK.

Now in its second year, the iCabbi ProDriver 100 ranks the top private hire, chauffeur and taxi operators in order of fleet size. Professional Driver has refined and compiled the data since 2015, and the combined total of vehicles operated by the top 100 companies is 50,991, giving an average fleet size of more than 500.

We haven’t split hackney operators from private hire operators – indeed, many companies outside London operate under a dual licence system. And we haven’t included London Black Taxis, as they are really one-man operators, running under specific rules that are outside the scope of this project.

The entry point for the top 100 has risen significantly since 2015. Last year, a fleet of 150 cars was enough to gain entry to the club. Now, 200 is not enough. Mergers, acquisitions and organic growth account for some of the increase, but we’ve also captured data on some of the more shy companies that didn’t make the 2015 table. This has had the effect of pushing some of the smaller companies down and out of the table.

We’re still monitoring companies down to 150 vehicles, though beyond this point it becomes harder to identify the operators. A very large number of local operators have fleets of around 100 cars, but reaching a fleet size of 150 is a little harder to achieve, and often involves local mergers or takeovers.

The top 10 highlights just how active the market has been in the past 12 months. Addison Lee is still number one, with a relatively static fleet. But that does not tell the story – Tristar Worldwide has been acquired by Addison Lee and has taken on its parent’s executive fleet – pushing it into the top 10.

Veezu hasn’t yet delivered the promised acquisitions, but consolidation of operations has left two of its companies in the top 10. Combined, Veezu would be number 2 behind Addison Lee and ahead of Merseyside giant Delta Taxis.

It now requires a fleet of 850 cars to get into the Top 10 – last year 650 did the job. This year 650 only just makes the top 20. The big operators are getting bigger, and it’s unlikely to stop.

Alpha Taxis of Liverpool bought local rival Acorn Cars, doubling its size. Further down, Arrow Cars has added 175 cars through the purchase of A2B of Nottingham. Parker Car Service has added 96 cars through the purchase of LHR Express – though its position has actually fallen from 15th to 20th as a result, such is the growth of the big players.

In 2015 a fleet with more than 500 cars would have made the top 20. In 2016, that’s the entry point for the top 30. The pattern is repeated down the table. The top 50 now requires 400 cars not 300. Two hundred was good enough for 65th place in 2015 – now it won’t get in to the 100 at all.

You can see how competitive the market is in major cities such as Manchester and Newcastle – each city has several major fleets all competing for local business without a local dominator. Liverpool is shaping up for a more concentrated fight between two giant players, and other cities – Sheffield or Bristol, for example, have one operator that dwarfs its local rivals.

We believe the merger and acquisition trend will continue, though, and the big will get bigger. External, professional players such as Transdev, which owns Greentomato Cars, and Europcar, which has just bought Brunel, will continue to build their acquisitions.

The overall effect will be to force up the entry point of the iCabbi ProDriver 100, and bolster average fleet size from its current level of just above 500 cars. And we are well on the way to seeing a top 10 of 1,000-plus fleets.

Rank
2016
Rank
2015
Rank MoveHQ
Company
Fleet size
City
Fleet size 2016Fleet size 2015ChangeWeb Site
1 1 0 Addison Lee London 4450 4500 -50 www.addisonlee.com
2 2 0 Delta Taxis Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens 2200 2000 +200 www.deltataxis.net
3 3 0 City Taxis Sheffield 1600 1400 +200 www.citytaxis.com Powered by iCabbi
4 16 +12 Alpha Taxis Liverpool 1000 500 +500 www.alpha-taxi.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
4 37 +33 Tristar Worldwide London 1000 350 +650 uk.tristarworldwide.com
4 5 +1 V-Cars Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Chippenham 1000 850 +150 www.v-cars.com
7 20 +13 Dragon Taxis Cardiff, Newport, Bridgend 925 500 +425 www.dragontaxis.com Powered by iCabbi
8 4 -4 Glasgow Taxis Glasgow 900 900 0 www.glasgowtaxis.co.uk
9 5 -4 Amber Cars Leeds 850 850 0 www.taxileeds.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
9 7 -2 Boro Taxis Middlesbrough 850 800 +50 www.borotaxis.co.uk
11 24 +13 Swiss Group London 800 450 +350 www.swisscottagecars.com
11 9 -2 Blueline Taxis Newcastle-upon-Tyne 780 680 +100 www.bluelinetaxis.com Powered by iCabbi
13 16 +3 Arrow Cars Leeds 750 750 0 www.arrowprivatehire.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
13 8 -5 Go Carz Shrewsbury, Telford, Stafford, Wolverhampton 750 700 +50 www.gocarz.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
13 16 +3 Network Private Hire Glasgow 750 500 +250 www.networkprivatehire.co.uk
16 24 +8 DG Cars Nottingham 700 450 +250 www.dgcars.co.uk
17 12 -5 Value Cabs Belfast 660 600 +60 www.valuecabs.co.uk
18 10 -8 Aqua Cars Portsmouth 650 650 0 www.aquacars.co.uk
18 - - Fonacab Belfast 650   - www.fonacab.com Powered by iCabbi
20 13 -7 A2B Radio Cars Birmingham 625 550 +75 www.a2bradiocars.com Powered by iCabbi
20 15 -5 Parker Car Service London 625 529 +96 www.parkercarservice.co.uk
20 11 -9 The Keen Group London 625 625 0 www.thekeengroup.co.uk
23 40 +17 Greentomato Cars London 600 300 +300 www.greentomatocars.com/uk
24 - - Speedline Taxis Milton Keynes 590   - speedlinetaxi.com
25 24 -1 Britannia Taxis Liverpool 550 450 +100 www.britanniataxis.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
25 13 -12 Mainline Sevens Salford 550 550 0 www.mainline7s.com
27 61 +34 Apple Central Taxis Weston Super Mare 510 220 +290 www.applecentraltaxis.co.uk
27 24 -3 Street Cars Manchester 510 450 +60 www.streetcarsmanchester.co.uk
29 16 -13 Central Taxis Coventry 500 500 0 centraltaxiscoventry.co.uk
29 - - Goldline Cars London 500   - www.goldlinecars.co.uk
29 - - Inverclyde Taxis Greenock 500   - www.inverclydetaxis.co.uk
29 16 -13 Metro Cars of Bolton Bolton 500 500 0 www.metrotaxisbolton.co.uk
29 - - Panther Taxis Cambridge 500   - www.panthertaxis.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
29 - - Roadrunners Horley, Gatwick, Reigate 500   - www.roadrunnersgatwick.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
29 16 -13 Skyline Taxis Milton Keynes 500 500 0 www.skylinetaxis.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
36 - - Lucky 7 Private Hire Stoke 470   - www.luckyseventaxis.co.uk
36 - - Skyex (Triple A Express) London 470   - skyex.co.uk
38 - - 247 Radio Cars Birmingham 450   - 247radiocarz.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
38 29 -9 LA Taxis Newcastle-upon-Tyne 450 400 +50 lataxis.co.uk
38 - - Lynx Taxis Stockport 450   - www.lynxtaxis.uk
41 54 +13 Dean Taxis Newcastle-upon-Tyne 430 250 +180 www.deantaxis.co.uk
41 - - Wheels Private Hire Leeds 430   -  
43 28 -15 City Cabs Edinburgh 425 425 0 www.citycabs.co.uk
44 29 -15 Castle Cars Birmingham 410 400 +10 www.castlecars.co.uk
44 - - TC Cars Birmingham 410   - www.tccars.co.uk
46 29 -17 Abbey Car Hire London 400 400 0 www.abbeycarsuk.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
46 - - Atlas Cars London 400   - www.atlascars.com
46 35 -11 Edinburgh City Private Hire Edinburgh 400 380 +20 www.ecph.cab Powered by iCabbi
46 29 -17 Metro Taxis Stockport 400 400 0 www.metro-taxis.co.uk
46 - - Noda Taxis Newcastle 400   - www.noda-taxis.co.uk
46 29 -17 Rainbow City Aberdeen 400 400 0 www.rainbowcitytaxis.com
46 40 -6 Tele Taxis Dundee 400 300 +100 www.tele-taxis.co.uk
46 40 -6 TOA Taxis Birmingham 400 300 +100 www.toataxis.co.uk
54 75 +21 GLH London 370 185 +185 www.glh.co.uk
54 36 -18 Streamline Brighton 370 370 0 streamlinetaxis.org
56 37 -19 Cresta Cars Manchester 360 350 +10 www.crestacars.co.uk
56 40 -16 Go Luton Luton 360 300 +60 www.goluton.com Powered by iCabbi
58 51 -7 Brunel Total Ground Transportation Services London 358 358 0 www.brunel.com
59 59 0 Sovereign Executive London 350 350 0 www.sovereign-london.co.uk
59 - - Club Cars Manchester 350 500 -150 www.clubcarsmanchester.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
59 - - King Kabs Chester 350   - www.kingkabs.co.uk
59 - - Nottingham Cars Nottingham 350   - nottinghamcars.com
59 - - Premier Cars Leeds 350   - premiercarsleeds.co.uk
59 65 +6 Royal Cars Oxford Oxford 350 200 +150 www.royal-cars.com Powered by iCabbi
65 54 -11 Station Cars Croydon 304 250 +54 www.stationcars.biz
66 - - Argyle Taxis Liverpool 300   - www.argyletaxis.com Powered by iCabbi
66 40 -26 Brighton and Hove Radio Cars Brighton 300 300 0 www.brightontaxis.com
66 - - Huddersfield Taxis Huddersfield 300   - www.huddersfield-taxis.co.uk
66 40 -26 Manchester Cars Manchester 300 300 0 www.ilovemanchestercars.co.uk
66 40 -26 Mantax Manchester 300 300 0 www.mantax.co.uk
66 40 -26 The A1 Group Essex 300 300 0 www.a1groupukltd.co.uk
66 40 -26 Wirral Satellite Cars Birkenhead 300 300 0 www.wirralsatellitecars.co.uk
73 54 -19 Radio Taxis Southampton 297 250 +47 www.radiotaxis-southampton.ltd.uk
74 - - City Cabs Derry 290   - www.citycabsderry.com
75 - - Max Cabs Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley 285   - www.maxcabs.com
76 29 -47 35 Taxis Hull 280 400 -120 35taxis.com
77 54 -23 Fairway and Kenwood London 270 250 +20 www.fairwaykenwood.co.uk
78 52 -26 Advance Cars London 268 250 +18 www.advancecars.net
79   - Capital Cabs Cardiff 260   - www.capitalcabs.co.uk
79 81 -2 Phoenix Taxis Blyth 260 170 +90 www.phoenixtaxis.net
79   - Southside Radio Cars Glasgow 260   - www.southsideradiocars.co.uk Powered by iCabbi
82   - United Maxis Taxis Wishaw 251   -  
83 54 -29 Ambassador Cars Birmingham 250 250 0 www.ambassadorcars.co.uk
83   - Central Cars Nottingham 250   - central-cars.net
83 61 -22 Club Taxis Leicester 250 220 +30 www.clubtaxi.co.uk
83 - - Dial-A-Car Newcastle 250   - www.dial-a-car.com
83 - - Magnum Whiteline Taxis Manchester 250   - www.magnumwhitelinetaxis.co.uk
83 - - Premier Cars Cardiff 250   - www.premiertaxis.net
83 54 -29 SRC Taxis Liverpool 250 250 0 www.srctaxis.co.uk
83 - - Taxifirst Plymouth 250   - www.taxifirst.net
91 - - Royal Cars Stockton 240   - royal-taxis.co.uk
92 - - Andicars Havant 230   - www.andicars.com
93 - - Heritage Cars Group Birmingham 225   - heritagecarsgroup.com
94 93 -1 A2B Euro Cars Peterborough 220 150 +70 www.a2beurocars.co.uk
94 40 -54 Data Cars London 220 300 -80 www.datacars.com Powered by iCabbi
94 - - Star Cars and Coaches Birmingham 220   - starcarsbirmingham.com
97 - - Albatross Cars Derby 210 150 +60 www.albatrosscars.com
97 - - Atlas Cars Birmingham 210   -  
99 65 -34 Hawk Express Cabs Ipswich 210 200 +10 www.hawkexpresscabs.co.uk
100 63 -37 Amber Car Services London 209 209 0 www.ambercars.com
100 64 -36 Carey Group London 209 208 +1 www.careyuk.com

ProDriver 100 posts growth of 13% on 2015 total

The ProDriver 100 is bigger and better than the 2015 table. We have spent a considerable amount of time and effort capturing companies that did not make the 2015 table, and making sure that our data is as up to date as possible.

The companies in the 2015 table accounted for just under 40,000 cars, while those in the 2016 chart operate close to 51,000. But given the influx of companies that were not included in 2015, this is not an accurate reflection of growth.

However, we have continued to track all the companies in the 2015 chart, including those whose fleets are now too small to make the ProDriver 100. A number of companies have been taken over or merged into other operations, while a small number have downsized or exited the market.

A total of 97 companies from the 2015 chart still trade. Last year these firms operated a combined fleet of 38,693 cars. In 2016, those companies had increased their operations to 43,738 – an increase of 13.04% on the 2015 figure.

This represents strong growth in the sector – and shows that the effect of Uber has actually been positive as far as the large fleets are concerned. Some of the growth is down to consolidation and takeover activity, but the overall table shows that most companies have grown. One or two falls are down to demergers – but few appear to have gone into a downward spiral.

The 200 Club

CompanyHQ CityFleet
Birmingham Private Hire Birmingham 200
C-Cabs Blackpool 200
Chequers Cars London 200
City Cabs Leeds 200
City Kabs Liverpool 200
Diamond Cars Telford 200
Goodwins Olympic Manchester 200
Greyhound Cars London 200
Kingsway Cars Manchester 200
Links Taxis Grimsby 200
Miller City Cars Preston 200
Roadrunners Minicabs Croydon 200
Station Taxis Sunderland 200
The Taxi Company Belfast 200
Torbay Taxis Torbay 200

A fleet of 200 private hire vehicles or taxis is no longer enough to get into the iCabbi ProDriver 100. This clutch of companies are all knocking on the door of the league, however, having reached the magic double century.

Some of these firms are leading players in their city or town, and along with the gaggle of firms below 200, it wouldn’t take much for any of them to make the table in future, either through takeovers or mergers – or just through a bit of organic growth.

Where is Uber?

Uber is not listed in the table, and for a number of reasons. Although Uber does register as a licensed private hire operator in the cities where it offers a service, it could hardly be defined as a conventional operator.

It may hold licences and hire drivers, but the terms of employment are very different to most other firms.

Uber claims it has 15,000 drivers in London – and that number may have signed up for the app. But many are independent chauffeurs; others have come and gone; others do the odd job. Some do work full time. But nobody has to drive exclusively for Uber, and without a definitive form of exclusive contract, we have to consider them an app provider or an aggregator of self-employed drivers rather than an actual operator.

The situation is slightly different in some other cities – for example in Manchester or Liverpool, where Uber cars tend to carry some form of branding. It is possible that Uber will have to become more conventional in how it operates, whereupon we could reconsider its inclusion.

Executive chauffeuring leaders 

The takeover of Tristar Worldwide by Addison Lee has had a major impact on the executive chauffeuring sector. Addison Lee is transferring its entire – and substantial – executive fleet to Tristar, bolstering the specialist brand’s fleet to 1,000 cars. 

This makes Tristar substantially bigger than all its rivals in the lucrative Lonodn chauffeur and events market. The next biggest companies with “pure” executive chauffeur fleets come in at around 350 cars. Sovereign Executive is currently second – the company was rebranded from Cabot Global in 2015.

Others including Brunel and Carey Worldwide also feature in the ProDriver 100, though both operators run economy fleets of Toyota Prius cars and other vehicles, including Ford Galaxys, which would not be considered “executive”. Brunel is believed to have around 180 executive cars, and Carey’s fleet, excluding its Embarque-brand Prius models, is around the same level.

Brunel is likely to be a major mover in the near future, following its takeover by Europcar, which plans to expand the brand and offer chauffeur services through its car hire desks.

Parker Car Service, the third largest London fleet at number 15 in the table, also has an executive fleet of around 150 vehicles. 

Outside London, Veezu is a surprisingly large provider of executive services through its three main hubs in Leeds, Cardiff and, in particular, Birmingham, where it has 300 cars of Mercedes E-Class or equivalent. The other large all-executive fleet outside London is the controversial north-west operator PCS, which runs an all-Mercedes fleet of 150 cars, largely on airport transfers for Emirates from regional airports.

Top 10 executive chauffeur operators

 RankOperatorCityExec fleetTotal fleet
1 4 Tristar Worldwide London 1,000 1,000
2 59 Sovereign Executive London 350 350
3 20 A2B Radio Cars Birmingham 300 625
4 58 Brunel London 180 358
4 100 Carey Group London 180 209
6 20 Parker Car Service London 150 625
6 23 Greentomato Cars London 150 600
6 137 Excel Executive Runcorn 150 150
6 137 PCS   150 150
10 7 Dragon Taxis Cardiff 100 925
10 9 Amber Cars Leeds 100 850
10 13 Arrow Cars Leeds 100 750
10 44 TC Cars Birmingham 100 410

Regional breakdown – big players in London, bigger players in the north

RegionTotal carsOperators 2016Operators 2015
       
London 12,124 18 27
South-east England 5,461 14 13
SOUTH-EAST ENGLAND TOTAL 17,585 32 40
       
West Midlands 4,920 12 6
East Midlands 1,980 6 5
MIDLANDS TOTAL 6,690 18 11
       
Merseyside 4,600 6 6
Manchester 3,470 9 8
North-west 1,135 3 6
NORTH-WEST ENGLAND TOTAL 9,205 18 20
       
Yorkshire 4,560 7 7
North-east 3,660 8 7
NORTH-EAST ENGLAND TOTAL 8,220 15 14
       
South-west 1,760 3 7
Wales 1,435 3 3
SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND & WALES TOTAL 3,195 6 10
       
Northern Ireland 1,600 3 1
Scotland 4,286 9 7
       
TOTAL 50,991 101 103

Of the 101 companies surveyed, 85 are English, nine are Scottish, three are based in Wales and three in Northern Ireland.

The greatest concentration is in London – specifically inside the M25, where 18 of the iCabbi ProDriver 100 companies are headquartered. However, this is down on2015’s 27 – partly because we have uncovered more growing regional operators. Research has revealed more large Midlands operators than we knew last time, for example.

There may be fewer London giants this time – but they operate more cars between them – a sign of consolidation in the Capital. London fleets in the ProDriver 100 operate a total of 12,124 cars – almost 1,000 more than the 11,242 recorded in 2015. The 2016 figure is roughly 18% of the total number of private hire cars currently registered in London, believed to be around 65,000 at present.


Greater London

 PD100 rankCompanyCityFleet
1 1 Addison Lee London 4,450
2 4 Tristar Worldwide London 1,000
3 11 Swiss Group London 800
4 20 Parker Car Service London 625
4 20 The Keen Group London 625
6 23 Greentomato Cars London 600
7 29 Goldline Cars London 500
8 36 Triple A Express London 470
9 46 Abbey Car Hire London 400
9 46 Atlas Cars London 400
11 54 GLH London 370
12 58 Brunel London 358
13 59 Sovereign Executive London 350
14 77 Fairway & Kenwood London 270
15 78 Advance Cars London 268
16 94 Data Cars London 220
17 100 Amber Car Services London 209
17 100 Carey Group London 209
19 102 Chequers Cars London 200
19 102 Greyhound Cars London 200
19 102 Roadrunners Croydon 200
22 119 Fox Transport London 180
22 119 Meadway Private Hire London 180
24 125 Cannon Cars Bromley 170
24 125 Carlton Cars Welling 170
26 129 Media Cars London 165
27 131 Expressways London 160
28 135 Q Despatch London 154
29 136 247 Cars Uxbridge 153
30 137 Alphabet Cars London 150
30 137 Excel Executive London 150
30 137 Swift Car Services London 150
    TOTAL   14,506

The top 32 London private hire firms control close to 15,000 cars. This makes London the biggest region in terms of large fleet control, but this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Even factoring in the influence of Uber, with its rather fanciful claims of 20,000 drivers, all of them self-employed one-man operators, it is estimated that there are in excess of 60,000 private hire vehicles in the Capital. This suggests that at least three-quarters of the cars are operated either by self-employed drivers, one-man chauffeur firms, or, mainly, small local minicab firms with fewer than 150 cars. 

It would be reasonable to assume that around half the minicabs in London fall into that category – which would suggest there may be up to 500 small minicab firms in the Capital’s suburbs – so the scope for consolidation remains considerable in the capital.  


South-East

 PD100 rankCompanyCityFleet
1 18 Aqua Cars Portsmouth 650
2 24 Speedline Taxis Milton Keynes 590
3 29 Panther Taxis Cambridge 500
3 29 Roadrunners Horley 500
3 29 Skyline Taxis Milton Keynes 500
6 54 Streamline Brighton 370
7 56 Go Luton Luton 360
8 59 Royal Cars Oxford 350
9 65 Station Cars Croydon 304
10 66 Brighton & Hove Radio Cars Brighton 300
10 66 The A1 Group Essex 300
12 73 Radio Taxis Southampton 297
13 92 Andicars Havant 230
14 99 Hawk Express Cabs Ipswich 210
15 119 City Cabs Brighton 180
16 131 Sussex Cars Eastbourne 160
17 137 001 Taxis Oxford 150
18 145 Central Cars Broadstairs 145
    TOTAL   6,096

Wales and South-west England

 PD100 rankCompanyCityFleet
1 4 V-Cars Bristol 1,000
2 7 Dragon Taxis Cardiff 925
3 27 Apple Central Taxis Weston Super Mare 510
4 79 Capital Cabs Cardiff 260
5 83 Premier Cars Cardiff 250
5 83 Taxifirst Plymouth 250
7 102 Torbay Taxis Torbay 200
8 117 United Taxis Bournemouth 192
9 119 PRC Streamline Bournemouth 180
10 137 Yellow Cab Bristol 150
    TOTAL   3,917

Consolidation is taking shape in the Western parts of the nation. V-Cars has reached a fleet size of 1,000 by covering a number of towns – Bristol, Bath, Chippenham and Swindon – its strategy is similar to that of Go Carz in the Midlands, focusing on the M4 corridor.

The South-west is a large area, so motorway corridors make a sensible growth strategy. Apple Central Taxis has risen rapidly this year as its two operations in Weston Super Mare and Exeter have now been combined.

Meanwhile Veezu has now brought all its South Wales operations under a single banner – two separately-branded Dragon Taxis operations in Cardiff and Newport, together with Bridgend Radio Cars, are now all a single business nudging 1,000 cars.


Midlands

 PD100 rankCompanyCityFleet
1 13 Go Carz Shrewsbury 750
2 16 DG Cars Nottingham 700
3 20 A2B Radio Cars Birmingham 625
4 29 Central Taxis Coventry 500
5 36 Lucky 7 Private Hire Stoke 470
6 38 247 Radio Cars Birmingham 450
7 44 Castle Cars Birmingham 410
7 44 TC Cars Birmingham 410
8 46 TOA Taxis Birmingham 400
9 59 Nottingham Cars Nottingham 350
10 83 Ambassador Cars Birmingham 250
10 83 Central Cars Nottingham 250
10 83 Club Taxis Leicester 250
13 93 Heritage Cars Group Birmingham 225
14 94 A2B Euro cars Peterborough 220
14 94 Star Cars and Coaches Birmingham 220
16 97 Albatross Cars Derby 210
16 97 Atlas Cars Birmingham 210
17 102 Birmingham Private Hire Birmingham 200
17 102 Diamond Cars Telford 200
19 137 Swift Fox Cars Leicester 150
    TOTAL   7,450

It’s perhaps surprising that the two biggest firms in the midlands are not from Birmingham. Go Carz has risen to prominence by bringing together a number of local operators in four towns – Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Stafford and Telford. This gives it a large area of operation and plenty of scope to grow without venturing into the region’s biggest city.

Birmingham has a similar dynamic to Manchester, with a number of large operators without a single dominator. Veezu is there through A2B Cars, and this could drive consolidation in the city.

With a number of smaller cities and large towns, the East Midlands is still the domain of the smaller operator. Nottingham appears to be the most competitive market, with a genuinely large and progressive player in DG Cars, with a high proportion of hybrids and some electric cars on strength.


North-west

 PD100 rankCompanyCityFleet
1 2 Delta Taxis Sefton 2,200
2 4 Alpha Taxis Liverpool 1,000
3 25 Britannia Taxis Liverpool 550
3 25 Mainline Sevens Salford 550
5 27 Street Cars Manchester 510
6 29 Metro Cars of Bolton Bolton 500
7 38 Lynx Taxis Stockport 450
8 46 Metro Taxis Stockport 400
9 56 Cresta Cars Manchester 360
10 59 Club Cars Manchester 350
10 59 King Kabs Chester 350
11 66 Argyle Taxis Birkenhead 300
11 66 Manchester Cars Manchester 300
11 66 Mantax Manchester 300
11 66 Wirral Satellite Cars Birkenhead 300
15 75 Max Cabs Blackburn 285
16 83 Magnum Whiteline Manchester 250
16 83 SRC Taxis Liverpool 250
18 102 C-Cabs Blackpool 200
18 102 City Kabs Liverpool 200
18 102 Goodwins Olympic Manchester 200
18 102 Kingsway Cars Manchester 200
18 102 Miller City Cars Preston 200
23 119 Bluestar Taxis Wigan 180
24 131 Premier Cabs Blackpool 160
25 137 1010 Taxis Salford 150
25 137 Professional Chauffeur Services Runcorn 150
    TOTAL   10,845

There is no market dominator in Manchester, and that is perhaps why it is starting to be targeted by London firms. Addison Lee has announced plans to open a Manchester subsidiary, while Uber has made major inroads, operating branded cars in the city.

While Manchester remains fragmented, the situation is much clearer at the other end of the East Lancs road, where Alpha Taxis’ acquisition of local rival Acorn Cars has doubled its size to 1,000 cars. Even so, it’s a relative minnow compared to Delta Taxis, which has added a further 200 cars through organic growth, taking its fleet to 2,200.

Liverpool council has played hard-ball with Uber, making it easier for the local firms to grow. And with looser restrictions on cross-border operations, Delta has expended into the city centre, as well as outlying towns such as St Helens.

Meanwhile further consolidation has seen the Davy Liver brand disappear into sister company Wirral Satellite Cars, concentrating operations into a single base on the south side of the Mersey.


North-east

 PD100 rankCompanyCityFleet
1 3 City Taxis Sheffield 1,600
2 9 Amber Cars Leeds 850
2 9 Boro Taxis Middlesbrough 850
4 11 Blueline Taxis Newcastle 780
5 13 Arrow Cars Leeds 750
6 38 LA Taxis Newcastle 450
7 41 Dean Taxis Newcastle 430
7 41 Wheels Private Hire Leeds 430
9 46 Noda Taxis Newcastle 400
10 59 Premier Cars Leeds 350
11 66 Huddersfield Taxis Huddersfield 300
12 76 35 Taxis Hull 280
13 79 Phoenix Taxis Blyth 260
14 83 Dial-A-Car Newcastle 250
15 91 Royal Cars Stockton 240
16 102 City Cabs Leeds 200
16 102 Links Taxis Grimsby 200
16 102 Station Taxis Sunderland 200
19 118 Roadrunners Leeds 190
20 125 1AB Taxis Darlington 170
20 125 Blue Line Taxis Barnsley 170
21 131 City Taxis Sunderland 160
    TOTAL   9,510

It’s perhaps no surprise that no dominant operator has emerged in a region stretching from Sheffield to the Scottish border. Big local players are the name of the game, with organic growth a priority.

There are five north-east or Yorkshire-based companies within the ProDriver 100’s top 20, including some real industry powerhouses – Veezu’s Amber Cars, Boro Taxis, Blueline, and a genuine local dominator, City Cabs of Sheffield. But the market is again ripe for consolidation, especially as Uber has made gains in Leeds and Newcastle.


Scotland

 PD100 rankCompanyCityFleet
1 8 Glasgow Taxis Glasgow 900
2 13 Network Private Hire Glasgow 750
3 29 Inverclyde Taxis Limited Greenock 500
4 43 City Cabs Edinburgh 425
5 46 Edinburgh City Private Hire Edinburgh 400
5 46 Rainbow City Aberdeen 400
5 46 Tele Taxis Dundee 400
8 79 Southside Radio Cars Glasgow 260
9 82 United Maxis Taxis Wishaw 251
10 120 Eastwood Mearns Glasgow 180
11 130 1st Taxis Bearsden 164
    TOTAL   4,630

Northern Ireland

 PD100 rankCompanyCityFleet
1 17 Value Cabs Belfast 660
2 18 Fonacab Belfast 650
3 74 City Cabs Derry 290
4 102 The Taxi Company Belfast 200
    TOTAL   1,800

Disclaimer

Professional Driver has endeavoured to ensure that the data in this survey is correct and accurate, and all steps have been taken to achieve this. However, it is possible that some fleet sizes may have changed, or some companies may have been omitted due to a lack of available information. If you believe your company should be included in the ProDriver 100, please contact us via email - editor@prodrivermags.com