A new insurance firm has vowed to offer taxi drivers cheaper insurance in a move that could tackle the shortage of taxis.
During the pandemic, many taxi drivers quit as the amount of work plummeted.
“I think insurance has been one of the problems that taxi drivers have faced over the last few years,” he said.
“If you think back to when we had the insurance crisis in Ireland throughout 2016 up to 2020 when everybody was paying huge premiums… taxi drivers were one of the [businesses] hit the worst.
“There were lots of stories out there of people being charged absolutely crazy premiums - €10,000, €15,000.
“It’s one of the sectors that has been left behind as premiums have reduced in other areas.
“Most people will be familiar with their own car insurance renewals; they will have seen, over the last few years, actions by the Government and increased competition have reduced the price of car insurance.
“There hasn’t really been any competition in the taxi driver space or new entrants in it, so taxi drivers haven’t seen the same reductions.”
Someone looking to insure their family car can usually find quotes from over a dozen different providers and can pick the cheapest one.
Taxi drivers cannot take out regular insurance and have only a handful of options to choose from - something Mr Hehir believes is pushing up prices for the industry.
“If there isn’t competition, the prices are not going to fall,” he said.
“So, as a new entrant, we’re hoping that, by coming into the market, we will provide competition, we will try to provide lower quotes and, by doing so, we hope this will reduce the average premium for drivers across the whole market.”
Backbench Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins has also suggested simplifying the application process for new drivers in order to boost overall numbers.
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Main image: A taxi rank in Dublin.