Autocab is extending its relief measures for its customers with a new scheme that will allow them to defer license fees for the Ghost system by 50% for four months.

The move follows an earlier initiative in which the computer systems supplier offered its clients a three-month discount through a £500,000 Operator Relief Fund. The new 50% deferral scheme means operators can get up to seven months’ relief in total to help them weather the Coronavirus storm.

Autocab chief executive Safa Alkateb (pictured) said: “We know it’s still tough out there, and while some private hire taxi companies are seeing small improvements in demand and more drivers returning to work, we’re still a long way off pre-lockdown numbers. Predictions for when we might return to ‘normal’ mean we’re still some way off business as usual.”

All Autocab customers can opt in to the Autocab Phase 2 Emergency Relief Fund, in order to defer 50% of the next 4 monthly Ghost cloud payments in June, July, August and September 2020.

Alkateb said: “In the spirit of working together as an industry, we encourage firms who don’t require support not to opt-in to ensure the fund reaches the firms that need it most. However, there is no limitation to the number or size of operators who can opt in. We believe the Emergency Relief Fund is a sustainable way for Autocab to help our customers when they most need it.”

The deferral is available to all operators that have an active Direct Debit mandate or Standing Order currently in place.

For operators that opt in, the deferral period will begin in June and will be in addition to any discount already provided through phase one of the Operator Relief Fund.

Autocab is delaying drawing all direct debits or requests for BACS transfers until June 11 to give operators the opportunity to opt in, which must be done before May 28.

Deferred fees will be collected over the twelve months starting in October 2020 through customers’ monthly direct debit payments. If operators have less than twelve months remaining on their contract, Autocab will automatically extend the contract length to twelve months to help spread the repayment.

“I very much hope this goes some way to easing the pressure on your business right now, Alkateb said. “We will get through this crisis successfully by working together. We regard ourselves as business partners with each and every one of you and believe that we’re all on this journey together.”

To opt in to the scheme, please follow this link.