How do I make a complaint about a licensed taxi or minicab driver or report unlicensed driver/vehicle?
If you hired a taxi or private hire vehicle and have a complaint about the conduct of the driver and are unable to resolve the issue with the driver/company, please contact the Licensing Section at the address below. All unlicensed vehicles and drivers should be reported and stopped, please help raise awareness of the dangers and report unlicensed activity.
Want to become a licensed taxi driver?
Our licensing section has all the information you will need to become a licensed taxi driver.
To apply please get in touch:
Monmouthshire County Council
Pen Y Pound Road
Call. 01633 644224
We have noticed an increasing amount of people advertising a taxi service using Facebook or Twitter without the required licence.
Many people are unaware of the risks.
We want you to be safe so there are some things to be aware of:
- If you use a vehicle for taxi or minicab services without the correct licence and public hire or private hire insurance limitations, the vehicle insurance will be invalid.
- Advertising a taxi service online without an operator’s licence or Hackney licence is illegal.
- Using a non-licensed vehicle for taxi or minicab purposes is illegal.
- Acting as a taxi or minicab driver for financial gain is illegal.
You may have some questions.
1.Why are you interested in my social media comments?
We receive lots of complaints regarding unlicensed drivers/vehicles and operators. Recently over 75% of unlicensed taxi complaints are from friends of people reporting the advertising of hire services on social media. We will be working with Heddlu Gwent Police to tackle the issue and if found to be acting illegally we may prosecute. Courts may issue fines up to £8,000 for the offences. If found to be driving with invalid insurance you may be disqualified from driving and the Police may seize the vehicle.
We do not want to stop people earning some extra cash. We want to educate drivers of the dangerous risks and possible penalties for unlicensed drivers.
2.If I advertise that I’m available for lifts for payment on social media and take bookings on my phone or a friend’s phone is this illegal?
Yes, If you want to make some extra cash on weekends by making these comments “taxi services, cheap rides or lifts” and then agree to transport people for profit for example pick up friends from parties/pubs/clubs and restaurants you require a licence.
It doesn’t matter how you agree to give a lift for cash it can be agreed online, through a phone or in person, it is always unlawful without an operator’s licence or Hackney Carriage licence.
No, if you offer lifts on social media and do not get payment this is not illegal.
3.What if my mum/dad or close friends ask me to pick them up from the pub and I post/tweet to let them know I’m available is this illegal?
No,if you are kind enough to offer free lifts to family members and friends you do not require a licence. Posting on social media isn’t illegal, it only becomes licensable if you offer transport and charge for your services and make a profit from parents or friends therefore acting as a private hire or hackney carriage driver.
4.What if I organize car share to and from work or want to set up a voluntary car scheme for people who are unable to use public transport is this illegal?
No, If you do not intend to make a profit there is no requirement to obtain a licence for car sharing when commuting. If you want to set up a car hire scheme for people who are elderly or vulnerable and unable to use public transport you may not require a licence. HMRC provides guidance on how much you are able to charge per mile when acting as a voluntary car driver, at a rate they feel is not profitable currently 45p per mile on the first 10,000 miles (per tax year).
Please contact us before you offer voluntary transport, we are here to help you:
- We can advise you on what services are acceptable
- Offer insurance advice
- Tell you about other driver suitability checks you may require.
Further information is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/mileage/volunteer-drivers.htm
5. What will happen if I accept the offer and book a cheap unlicensed taxi through social media?
If you hire an illegal taxi you put yourself and other road users in danger.
To protect you and your friends, licensed drivers are checked and tested by:
- Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS)
- Local Authority
These checks are completed for public protection to ensure the driver is fit and proper to drive licensed vehicles.
No checks are done on unlicensed drivers!
Licensed vehicles are tested more frequently, than normal vehicles, licensed vehicles also pay thousands of pounds per year for insurance cover with extra limitations to cover passengers and luggage. Extra safety checks are also carried out by trained officers.
These vehicle safety checks are not carried out on unlicensed vehicles and without the correct licence the standard motor insurance is often invalid!
6.Where can I find a licensed taxi or minicab?
You can find a taxi or minicab by visiting a taxi rank or ask the bar man/maid in the pub for a taxi numbers. Alternatively online use a generic search engine and search taxi and private hire vehicles followed by your nearest local town.
7.What is the difference between a taxi and a private hire vehicle?
Monmouthshire Hackney carriage vehicles, often referred to as taxis can be hailed in the street or from a taxi rank. They have a ‘taxi’ roof lights. Unique yellow licence plates hung on the front and rear number plates/bumpers. There is also a square yellow plate in the front windscreen.
Monmouthshire Private hire vehicles, sometimes known as minicabs, must be pre-booked – either by phone, internet or in person at the operator’s office. They have a no roof lights. Unique white licence plates hung on the front and rear number plates. There is also a square white plate in the front windscreen.
(Different councils use different coloured plates)