While the majority of taxi drivers are legitimate, there are a growing number of bogus taxi drivers operating illegally across the country.
When using an unlicensed taxi, you or the vehicle you are travelling in will not be insured, and you cannot guarantee the conduct of the driver or that the vehicle is safe.
To ensure your safety:
- Always use a hackney carriage that is licensed for hire at a taxi rank, or pre-book a private hire vehicle
- Check that the private hire vehicle displays the signage ’Private hire. Advanced bookings only’ on its front doors. All private hire vehicles in Richmondshire must feature this signage
- Look for a plate number on the vehicle. Properly licensed vehicles can be easily identified as they will have the plate number of the vehicle displayed on the front, rear and sides of the vehicle, and also inside, on or near the dashboard. All drivers should also be wearing an identity badge - don’t be afraid to ask to see their ID.
The council carry out various checks before granting a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle/driver licence to ensure that drivers and their vehicles are 'fit and proper' to carry passengers.
A licence will only be granted if the applicant is deemed 'fit and proper', has passed DVLA’s medical standards and has the right to work in the UK. In addition, drivers will have to pass the council’s knowledge test to ensure they are aware of the rules and regulations that apply to licensed drivers.
Operating as an illegal taxi is a serious offence. Illegal drivers are liable for prosecution with an unlimited fine and maybe subject to the confiscation of their vehicle at the roadside.