Taxi drivers

‘It’s tough, it’s really tough’: Taxi drivers who survived Covid lockdowns are now being hit by rising fuel prices

Taxi drivers described the difficulties they face due to the sharp increase in fuel prices.

Gasoline and diesel prices have hit record highs as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to hit oil prices globally.

According to the RAC, drivers currently have to pay an average of 155.62 pence per liter of unleaded petrol, 161.28 pence per liter of diesel and 167.28 pence per liter of premium unleaded, with warnings that they’re all “probably getting up”. Some prices seen in Wales are still much higher.

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The owner of Swift Cabs in Carmarthen, Thomas Carpenter, has described how he thinks current petrol prices ‘should be illegal’.

“It’s tough – it’s really tough,” he said.

“It’s eating away at my money, it’s ridiculous, the prices – it’s shocking – it should be illegal.

“I’m having a hard time, I’ve just bought the company and I don’t know how long I’m going to last. It’s a question of cash flow, people don’t want to pay the prices. The town hall has increased our price, but literally by They didn’t raise it enough.

“I would say we are currently paying £150 more between the two cars than usual. It feels like another (post-Covid) blow. There is something wrong. This is just a fallout after the others.

“There has to be a cap on the fuel in the future so it can’t go any higher than it already is. I don’t really know how they’re going to sort it out. Maybe stop getting stabbing in the back is all politics.”

A year ago, the average price of gasoline stood at 122.50 pa liter, while diesel was at 125.99 p.

If petrol reaches the 160p threshold, on average the cost of filling a typical family car with a 55-litre tank will be £88.

Gemma Wray, of S&G Taxis, based in Stebonheath Terrace, Llanelli, said the issue had had a “significant impact” on the business.

“We use quite a bit of fuel to run two taxis and two minibuses every day,” she said.

“It’s had a big impact on us as a business. On average it costs us £100 to fill each car, and we fill them around two or three times a week, depending on the mileage we’re driving. Then you I have the minibuses, one of which is on the run from school, which is expensive to keep refueling.

“I think there was a bit of a panic where people thought there would be a fuel shortage as well, so that was a bit worrying. We have to keep operating no matter what.”

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JT Taxis Swansea owner Jason Thomas added: “It’s expensive by the minute. You just have to really get into it. We’re probably spending around £20 more a week.”

The RAC said that since February 13, near-daily records have been set for fuel prices as the threat of war in Ukraine looms.

These have contributed to an increase in the cost of living in the UK and helped push inflation to its highest level in 30 years.

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