Passenger Vehicle Team

Let’s introduce our 2024 Passenger Carrying Vehicles team

Darren Shulver: Senior Underwriter with a wealth of experience, particularly in the Taxi market.

Sam Beamish: London based Underwriter with ERS for 7 years. Our subject matter expert for London PCO and Executive Hire.

Liam Holland: Swansea based Underwriter with the team for 18 months following his promotion from the Commercial Operations team, where he worked across various ERS propositions.

Lianne Brown: The final member of the team, Lianne joined in the middle of 2023 after building her expertise in Passenger Carrying Vehicles working in the Swansea Commercial Operations team.

Led by James Hayward: Product Manager, Passenger Carrying Vehicles.

It's expected to be an interesting year in the Taxi market, here are some of the trends we are noticing:

Which taxis are the most popular in the market now?

Darren: LEVC Black cabs in city centres, Toyota Corolla Hybrid Models and the Skoda Octavia.

Lianne: I think the most popular taxis at the moment vary depending on use, however if we are looking at public hire then I would say Skoda Superb but for executive hire then Mercedes – Benz E220 is always one we see.

Liam: The Ford Tourneo, Skoda Octavia and electric/hybrid vehicles in urban areas such as LEVC in the London area. Almost every vehicle at the taxi rank when leaving Paddington Station in London is now a LEVC. Some councils are giving grants to purchase newer/lower emission vehicles as well finance for LGP conversions for clients of existing vehicles, all with the idea to lower emissions. This has resulted in an influx of newer vehicles on the road.

Sam: The Skoda Octavia, Toyota Prius and especially the Mercedes E220 which has always been a popular choice for taxi drivers but more so now than ever.

What do you think are the drawcards for these taxis? Why are they so popular?

Darren: LEVC's are becoming in popular in city centres where councils are applying low emission zones and most looking to go “green” in the next 10 years or so. The Toyota Corolla Hybrid and Skoda Octavia are both popular choices within the industry as they are both cost effective and efficient.

Lianne: Skoda’s seem to be a popular vehicle due to being reliable and affordable, I read an article that these vehicles are most popular with passengers due to space, style and features. For executive vehicles I would say they are popular due to how nice they are but can also be affordable depending on the exact specification.

Liam: The Tourneo due to the number of seats (up to nine), reasonably affordable, parts readily available and a nice looking vehicle. Skoda’s being a smaller option, again affordable parts, reasonably priced and very well known for being reliable. LEVC’s given they are fully electric comply with emission standards in larger cities, most popular in London and Glasgow.

Sam: Comfort and space inside for passengers, classy looking model. Mercedes has always been a popular manufacturer for taxis due to the reliability and dependability. The E220 is more manoeuvrable and easier to operate than some of the other models such as the bigger Vitos for example which are still popular vehicles for taxi drivers.

Why does ERS stand out as an attractive partner to brokers?

Darren: Lloyd's A+ Rating, the experience and knowledge of the taxi team. - we are willing to listen to more complex risks and offer advise to brokers.

Lianne: ERS stands out as an attractive partner as we do what we say we will but also know our market. I think that we have built a strong culture to be a chosen partner against others. We write specialist risks and we're a Lloyd's A+ rated insurer, there aren't many like us in the market.

Liam: Our excellent customer service, being the UK’s largest specialist insurer with a strong underwriting team, personable approach and being a reputable brand.

Sam: A Lloyd's A+ Rated insurer with a team of experienced and thoughtful underwriters who have a deep understanding of the taxi market and are always up to date with market changes.

Finally what vehicles do you think will rise in popularity in 2024?

James: In 2024 the minimum annual target for new cars sold to be electric will be 22%, as per the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate (80% in 2030 and 100% by 2035). Additionally, new Low Emission Zones will be introduced and in particular enforcement will begin in some areas such as, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh in Q2.

Darren: MG MG4 Electric Vehicle and other hybrid/electric vehicles due to low emission zones and councils restricting vehicles with the ultimate goal in going green in the taxi industry in their area.

Lianne: I do not think much change will happen in 2024 from 2023, however, I do think a lot more electric vehicles will be purchased for taxis as they perform better and council restrictions are changing every year.

Liam: We will continue to see a rise in electric vehicles given the improving facilities to accommodate them, there are real opportunities for manufactures who can produce affordable options. Given how much councils are tightening up on older/high emission vehicles, we'll see continued growth in low emission/electric vehicles. The landscape over the past 12 months has not changed too much in relation to petrol/diesel vehicles, I feel the popularity of Skoda’s and Tourneo’s will continue to grow in 2024. Mercedes V class in the chauffeur market, given their flexibility with the number of seating options, the number of electric LEVC’s has grown substantially over the last few years and will likely continue to do so.

Sam: It's certainly still a little too soon for autonomous vehicles but it’s certainly heading in that direction, vehicles with more advance technology and certainly electric vehicles will continue to rise in popularity.

In efforts to minimise air pollution, major cities have witnessed a surge in the use of electric taxis. Looking at data trends we have noticed an increase demand for electric taxis such as TX versus the TX4. Leading the way, London became an early adopter in 2018 by transitioning to the LEVC electric TX taxi. With this increased demand comes new challenges with Taxi drivers' unions calling for lower prices for on-street charging with a reduction in VAT. The future of London includes the London Mayor's goal of achieving a net zero-carbon city by 2030, as all newly licensed private hire vehicles in 2023 must possess zero emission capabilities.

Looking for a Commercial motor quote? The fastest way to access our A+ rated Taxi product is online via ERS eTrade and Software Houses. Find out more about ERS eTrade and how to sign up here.

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