The EU thinks about taxis and VTC in Spain, and not for good


Photo: fotologic (Flickr) CC BY

The European Commission commissioned a report on the transport situation in the member countries, and some in the media have had access to the draft. The document, 34 pages, criticizes the Spanish model as unhelpful: the taxis are expensive and the alternatives are very restricted.

The report notes that out of every 10 spaniards, less than 30% climbs in a taxi more than once a month. Due to constraints of the administration, taxis are expensive, and most of the time they circulate empty, the “hunting” of customers. The taxi fares are regulated by city or autonomous region, is not set by the taxi drivers freely.

Not only that, it hampers the arrival of new stakeholders into the transportation business in Spain are only legal car rental with driver, the VTC. The number of licenses of this type are directly related to the number of taxi licenses, whose prices have increased to the point of having to pay with a mortgage.


Simulation of cost ride to Plaza de Castilla-Atocha at Uber by using cars with VTC, from 22 to 31 euros. Not cheaper than a taxi or counting supplements

The report are fixed very much in the phenomenon of the VTC in Spain. The authors consider that it is a regulation absurd, designed to remove little business to taxi drivers and to protect the latter. There are many requirements for the company, the vehicles, the employees… and that is profitable is not so easy.

right Now, Uber works in Spain in the same way that Cabify, they use professional drivers with their license VTC. In theory may not move through the streets looking for customers, and taxis yes. Nor can they travel if you do not know the route in advance, unless the driver doesn’t want to be punished.

is Not worth any car for VTC, or much less. Most of the models used by taxi drivers, not all, may not be used as VTC. At the end there ends up being a high-end car or with engines of relatively large (such as 2.2), with costs higher than those typically used by taxi drivers. In some cities even require you have a minimum price, and not exactly one under.


price Differences in Spain ‘ racing taxi – Source: OCU

Brussels will publish the report later, but if you do not change enough of the wording, the findings point to greater competition and less regulation in the sector. The Administration should make things easier for the taxi drivers, and those who want to compete against them.

The objective of liberalizing the sector is to achieve a service that is more affordable, so that more customers can enjoy them. It is true that the taxis spaniards are not so expensive if compare with other european countries more to the north, but the purchasing power of its inhabitants is also higher.

Predictably, the report did not enjoy the approval of the taxi industry, although they are welcome to submit proposals to reduce the barriers for these professionals. Everything that smacks of competition is not well seen. In Spain the taxi drivers are self-employed or small businesses, there are big interest groups behind. For the same reason are aware mainly of Uber.


price Differences in Spain ‘ racing taxi – Source: OCU

In Spain the prices of the taxis depend on four factors: flag-down (about to board the taxi), minimum stroke, distance traveled, and time of inactivity (like a traffic light). A report from the OCU in may of this year highlighted the large differences in prices: the most expensive city exceeds 89%, to the cheapest for races of 3 miles and 5 minutes of waiting during daytime hours. At night or on public holidays, the difference rises to 110%.

companies of VTC have greater freedom to set prices. At a cost similar to that of a taxi to provide transport more discreet and in a car of higher end, on the basis of the law is forcing you. These private services do not have prices regulated by the government.

┬┐it would Be used more taxis and VTC have more ease to compete with lower prices? the authors of The report think that yes. The little time that UberPOP operated in Spain -with cars of individuals – demonstrated to have sufficient demand, a lot of people wanted to move around the city at a lower price than a taxi, although in some cases the price difference was minimal, or the taxi was slightly more economical. But the justice acted, and Uber now operates according to the rules, or it is supposed to be.