We all hear, see and read awful stories of the public,s experiences with minicab journeys and when you look into the story in full most occur in unlicensed taxis and minicabs. Most people say it was cheaper or the only taxi to hand but at the end of the day it’s their safety and well being that they chance. The reason you should only use licensed taxis for you safe journey home.
The difference between and unlicensed and a licensed or an authorised taxi is your safety. All local authorities or councils are responsible for taxi licensing; they have a department that issues licenses for both the taxi and its driver. Every licensing officer works from the same guidelines so throughout the UK with the exception of a few slight differences all applicable taxi regulations are pretty uniformed. Firstly looking at the taxi itself the vehicle must be fit for purpose and in good repair. It must have a full mot certificate and most council will require a separate taxi test quite often this extra test is required every six months. Because of the high mileage a taxi drives in a year often more than 50 thousand miles, this is an extra check on the taxis road worthiness.
Enabling the local licensing authority to make sure WOKING TAXIS operating in its area keep to the required standard above all safe for the driver and its passengers. They also require copies of the insurance policy for each taxi and that it provides sufficient cover not only for the taxi vehicle but also has adequate public liability cover so in the event of an accident you are covered. Most standard car insurance policies do not cover for hire and reward with taxi insurance this is included. So if you take the chance with and un licensed cab or taxi its unlikely the vehicle even if it is insured you or it will not be covered for hire and reward as a taxi and therefore operating outside the law. Once the local council licensing authority is satisfied the taxi has meet all its requirements it receives a numbered plate this shows the details of that authority the vehicle make model and number plate, some also show the colour. It also shows the maximum permitted number of passengers the taxi is allowed to carry and the license expiry. Please never ask a taxi driver to take more than his maximum number of passengers as they will risk losing his job and the vehicle will not be covered by insurance for that trip.
In addition to the taxi the driver is also licensed by the local licensing authority. This requires the applicant driver to have a full medical check up, along with an enhanced criminal records or police check to ensure the taxi driver is a fit and proper person to hold a license usually every three years. Anyone with a police criminal record for anything the licensing authority considers improper conduct will not be granted or will have his license removed should anything convictions be found between checks; this again protects anyone travelling in taxis. Before a taxi driver is granted his or her license they also has to take a separate driving test designed for taxi drivers, that’s in addition to having a full uk driving license. In addition a test on the local area they are going to work in known in the taxi trade as the knowledge. Once the driver has satisfied all the requirements of the local authority they will be given a taxi drivers photo identity badge with their details on this should be clearly displayed for passengers to see.