With news breaking that London’s new ‘Black Cab’ will cost a drink-spitting £55,599, we’ve compiled a cheeky shortlist of genuine – and not so genuine – alternatives for cabbies to consider.
We know it’s a commercial passenger workhorse and it’s got to withstand a decade or more of abuse, but we still did a double-take when we discovered that the next-generation, hybrid-powered London Black Cab, the LEVC TX, will start at £55,599.
There’s a finance deal that charges drivers a staggering £177 per week for five years. Apparently the shonky old TX4, which used technology developed from designs sketched on cave walls, cost a frankly offensive £167 per week on the same deal. On that basis the new car isn’t that expensive given the pretty revolutionary improvements from nose to tail. Still, for what’s essentially a neatly engineered people-carrier with a meter plugged in, we think £55,699 is a bit steep. Here’s our tongue-in-cheek list of cars that are much better value…
1. Nissan e-NV200
Let’s start with some actual, serious taxi alternatives, shall we? Nissan’s e-NV200 is fully electric so its range is shorter than the TX’s, but for a day ferrying tourists around central London it has plenty of range.
You get seven seats, a tight turning circle and a platform that can give the modern cabbie everything he or she needs, including complete congestion charge exemption even if the rules suddenly change to penalise anything that isn’t zero-emission. The price? Less than £19,500 before the cost of taxi mods.