Tuesday, 17 January 2017

GUEST BLOG: UK TAXI EXPENSES REVIEW 2017


Controlling taxi expense costs is not an easy task for businesses. By its very nature, taxi travel is often over shadowed by its bigger counterparts.

So, when Cabfind decided to commission research into how companies manage their taxi expenses we knew it would reveal some interesting data and rare insights into people’s attitudes and behaviours.

A survey of 500 respondents across the UK dealt with a range of issues from how business travellers pay for taxis, whether they tipped the driver and if they always used the same taxi provider to the administrative process of claiming expenses.

In the first instance, our survey showed that 55 per cent of businesses did not have a defined taxi policy.

More than half of respondents admitted to rounding up the cost of their taxi journeys by an average of 25 per cent when provided with a blank receipt. Company directors were found to be the biggest group of employees who rounded up blank receipts. And approximately 36 per cent of people said they actually forget the taxi charge before writing it down.

A total of 76 per cent of respondents said they tip the driver to the average value of 13 per cent, and among London based travellers this was even higher.

Three-quarters of respondents said they paid for taxis using cash.

What is clear is that the actual true costs of taxi travel are distorted by gratuities, rounding up, over-claiming and potentially, misuse. This lack of transparency and visibility is often compounded by other factors – most noticeably the amount of time taken to claim expenses.

Our survey showed that 60 per cent of respondents complete expenses during work hours. It takes an average of 10 minutes to complete an expense form and the average user processes an average of seven receipts a month. All this shows that a claimant can be losing more than an hour a month due to expense administration.

A total of 58 per cent of respondents fill out expense claims forms within a week, which means that less than half take longer to log their expenses. In busy finance and HR departments this can create a backlog of work considering almost a third of those who have their expense claims checked, are under scrutiny from two or more people.

Finally, our survey also revealed that irrespective of cost or duty of care considerations, on average, 53 per cent of respondents regularly use the same taxi provider and most use a taxi rank if they are in an unfamiliar location.

Our survey paints a very interesting picture about taxi travel for businesses, from how it is commissioned to how it is paid for and the time taken to handle receipts and the administrative process.

We anticipate that a company with an annual taxi expenditure of £500,000 could be facing hidden additional costs of approximately £33,000 relating to expense processing and administration.

For companies that regularly use taxis for business purposes, it should act as a wake up call to the hidden costs and inefficiencies, which could be resolved with closer consideration and smarter management.

This post was written by Daniel Price, commercial director, Cabfind. Cabfind’s UK Taxi Expenses Review 2017 is available for download from http://www.cabfind.com/hidden. It will also be available in hard copy format at the Business Travel Show at Cabfind’s stand B342. 

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