SALES OF the humble people carrier have received a boost from an unexpected quarter: drivers of Uber minicabs. The average price of second-hand MPVs — the vehicle of choice for many Uber drivers — has risen by 18.3% in the past year, according to the car auctioneer Manheim.
The rise coincides with the spread of Uber across the country. The taxi service, which allows users to hail a cab via a smartphone app, now operates in cities including London, Bristol, Newcastle and Birmingham.
Its drivers must register for a private hire vehicle (PHV) licence, which includes a criminal-record check, and own — or buy — a model of car approved by Uber, which includes 10 types of people carrier.
From a slow start in 2012, Uber claims its taxis have made more than 20m trips in London, and driver numbers have soared. In the capital alone, the number of PHV licence holders has risen by 18% to 78,690.
Uber customers can see the real-time position of their booked cab on a map, making it easier to estimate when it will arrive. Payment is made through the app, so no cash is needed.