Global taxi market recovering, but bookings down on 2019, says Taxi Butler report

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Global taxi and private hire bookings are recovering month-on-month, but are still some way below peak-pre-pandemic 2019 levels, according to a new report from Amsterdam based dispatch systems supplier Taxi Butler.

But the Global Taxi Booking Industry Report showed that Q1 2023 experienced a 13.6% decrease in bookings worldwide compared to Q4 2022, and fewer bookings compared to Q2 and Q3 2022, an indication that driver shortages are impacting bookings. The report revealed an average of 19% lower monthly bookings every month than in 2019.

However, March 2023 had 22% more bookings than January 2023, and 2.4% growth was noticed between January and March, with the biggest change occurring in March.

UK and Ireland showed a faster week-on-week recovery than the rest of Europe, but in overall terms, the UK is lagging behind European markets compared to data from 2019 and 2022.

In Q1 2023, the UK experienced an average week-on-week growth of 1.4%, whereas EU markets saw an average week-on-week growth of 0.7%.

But EU markets saw 12.1% more bookings in Q1 2023 than in the same quarter last year, while the number of bookings in the UK fell by 6.6% than in the same quarter of 2022.

Compared to 2019, the picture looks worse, with UK and Ireland down 48.2% in Q1 2023 on Q1 2019, while EU bookings fell 36% comparing the same quarters.

Globally, the taxi industry has experienced 2.6% average week-over-week growth in Q1 2023 compared to 2022, but bookings were down 13.6% between Q4 2022 and Q1 2023. According to Taxi Butler, the most significant growth is being driven from North America and Australia/New Zealand.

Taxi Butler sales director Laurence Docherty said: “Despite the decline in bookings compared to previous quarters, the taxi industry shows signs of growth on a more granular level with positive week-over-week growth, and some regions surpassing pre-Covid levels. Some regions are coming out of the pandemic stronger than others, which is to be expected.”

To see the report, click here.