The cost of petrol is often discussed in the media as many drivers are currently finding it hard to keep up with the cost of running their vehicles. However, for taxi drivers the situation is even more pressing as without petrol they will not be able to run their businesses, meaning that many are now starting to struggle to keep up with other payments for their vehicles such as taxi insurance and licencing costs.
Now it has been reported that taxi drivers from the Cheltenham are being forced to consider giving up their jobs as they can no longer handle the rising price of petrol. Over the past month unleaded petrol has increased by 5p to 138.32p per litre, whilst diesel fuel has risen in the same period by 4.8p to a staggering 145.10p per litre. Even more worrying is that the recent decision from rating agency Moody’s to downgrade the UK’s credit rating from Aaa to Aa1 may result in petrol prices increasing even more.
One taxi driver from the Cheltenham area, Keith Shepherd, has been a taxi driver for the past ten years, and currently works for Bishop’s Cleeve Private Hire, but is now worried that he will soon have to change careers. He said: “I know that the high petrol price is something that’s a regular topic of conversation. It makes drivers think about other careers because the money does not seem to be in this work anymore. My car uses diesel and it’s costing more and more to fill up, which is eating into our profits. We can’t put our prices up because we will find that customers will not want to use us.”
A report by the Office of Fair Trade recently suggested that the cost of petrol in the UK is actually fair considering the price of oil on the international market, and that the reason why the price is so high at the moment is that the government have placed a large amount of fuel tax on petrol. Currently, around sixty per cent of the money motorists spend on fuel goes to the Treasury, and Chancellor George Osborne is planning on increasing fuel duty as of this September. Mr Shepherd said: “It’s an easy tax for the Government to add on and I don’t agree it should go up. Motorists always seem to be an easy target to get money out of.”