Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Two-thirds of Toronto's active Taxi vehicles will need to be replaced in 2024, a feat which will be "impossible" according to auto suppliers. Image: Taxi News
NewsTaxi industry news

65 per cent of Toronto’s standard Taxis must be replaced in 2024

Chance of 1,787 new Taxis in 2024 is “Zero – absolutely impossible” say auto sales reps

1,787 Taxi owner/operators will need to purchase new vehicles to put on the road in 2024 if they plan to remain in business in Toronto.

By comparison, only 321 owners will need to invest in new cars in 2025 and 125 in 2026. These figures were released by the City of Toronto on Saturday, January 6th in its Safety Standards Certificate (SSC) Submission Date Schedule for V02 (standard) Taxicab owner plates. A separate list has been released for V00 (Accessible) Taxi plates.

The extreme bulge in requirements for 2024 is as a result of extensions granted by Toronto first when it faced a shortage of Accessible vans, and then again as a result of COVID-19 hardships.

Prior to 2022, the legal age-out for a Taxicab in the city was 5 years. In July, 2022, Accessible Taxi owners asked Toronto for a three-year extension on the age of their vans; instead, Toronto extended the life of all ground transportation vehicles including rideshare and standard Taxi by a year.

Auto dealers have been providing warnings on long wait times for new vehicles for at least two years. Now, cramming three years worth of new car purchases into one year, 2024, will be “impossible” according to an auto industry supplier who has been selling Taxis for decades.

“The number of new vehicles we can get even for active fleets is less than 10 per cent of what we used to get – a pharmaceutical company that used to order 100 cars is lucky to get 10 this year,” says the supplier, who asked not to be identified.

“Because most Taxi owner/operators are not in true ‘fleets’ for the purposes of purchasing, it’s even harder for those guys,” he notes. “It’s going to be 1700 individual purchasers putting in their orders and waiting a long time. It’s gonna be a bad year for 1700 people.” He points out that some drivers may be able to opt for a “slightly less old” used vehicle, but even those are hard to find.

One Toronto industry brokerage manager told Taxi News, “A group of our members got together last year to make one large purchase of vehicles, as the dealership told them they could get faster delivery that way. It still took more than six months.

“Here’s the killer: the shortage of computer chips is so bad, they had to agree to take only one key fob per vehicle until more were available. So, with the purchase of a $60,000 vehicle, you only get one key – don’t lose it!”

“World events, shortages of necessary parts, and natural disasters are just a few of the many potential causes of prolonged vehicle waiting times,” says Leslie Chong in The Auto Blog’s Wait Times Guide.

“New vehicle orders are taking longer to process because of the growing vehicle shortage. Since the waiting period could change at any time, it’s important to contact your local dealership as soon as possible and place your order if you need a car quickly.

“Generally speaking, the wait times for hybrid vehicles are far longer than those for gasoline vehicles; the minimum wait time for a hybrid car is over a year. The Camry Hybrid is the quickest hybrid, with waiting times of around 1 year,” Chong says, referring specifically to the Camry which is the most popular Taxi hybrid model.