Brisbane Times, By Felicity Caldwell
20 February 2018

The Sunshine Coast is among the worst-hit regions in the state by the savage collapse in the value of taxi licences.

And the pain was not only felt in cities where ride-sharing app Uber was available.

Fairfax Media analysis revealed Brisbane standard taxi licences were selling, on average, for more than $503,000 in 2014.

That dropped to $113,003 in 2017, a decrease in value of 78 per cent.

On the Sunshine Coast, licences were selling for $391,250 on average in 2014, but there were only two sales in 2017, averaging $46,000 – a drop of 88 per cent.

On the Gold Coast, sales averaged $552,693 in 2014 and dropped 68 per cent to $175,766 in 2017.

In Ipswich, licence values dropped 64 per cent to $120,000.

Toowoomba licences dropped 80 per cent to $71,000.

No standard cab licences have been sold in Cairns, Gympie or Bundaberg since 2015, while none have sold in Townsville or Gladstone since 2014, in a sign of skittish market and a dearth of buyers.

Uber operates in south-east Queensland, from Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Brisbane, Logan and the Redlands; Cairns; the Gold Coast; Sunshine Coast; Toowoomba and Townsville.

But the effect on taxi licences was even felt in regional areas such as Mackay, Rockhampton and Mount Isa, where the ride-sharing app was not yet available.

In 2009, seven Mount Isa taxi licences changed hands for between $184,840 and $220,000, but the three sales in 2017 were for $35,000, $40,000 and $100,000.

Uber came to Brisbane in 2014 and was legalised in Queensland in September 2016.

Taxi Council of Queensland chief executive Blair Davies said there were very few buyers for taxi licences in the market.