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Catching a taxi safely

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Passengers and drivers are now required to wear face coverings on public transport which includes taxis and private hire vehicles from 30th November 2021.

More information is available on the Gov.uk website

Tips to ensure a safe journey

Always use a Licensed Taxi or Pre-booked Private Hire Vehicle.

What is a Private hire vehicle

A Private hire vehicle has been booked with a licensed private hire operator.

You can make a booking:

  • over the phone
  • using an app
  • in person in a Taxi Operator office.

This means that:

  • a licensed private hire vehicle and driver will be sent to pick you up at you specified pick up location
  • a record of your journey, the driver and the vehicle details will be kept
  • you will be insured for the journey you take.

An official private hire plate will be displayed on the rear of the vehicle.

Private Hire example plate

What is a Licenced Taxi

This is a taxi (Hackney Carriage) that sits on a rank waiting for passengers or is flagged down on the street, these are fully licenced and safe to use.

Licenced taxis will have the BCP council logo and the licence number clearly displayed on both passenger doors. There will be a reflective stripe down the side and all cars will have a plate at the rear with the licence number and the BCP Council logo on it.

An official taxi plate will be displayed on the rear of the vehicle, these cars also have a "TAXI" sign on the roof.

Taxi example plate

Be aware

Things to avoid:

  • if a driver approaches you directly
  • the car does not have a plate on the rear
  • the driver does not have an ID badge or will not show you his ID
  • cars cruising the streets looking for customers are illegal, uninsured and potentially dangerous.

Be safe

If possible:

  • plan the journey and book a Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle in advance.
  • ask for the driver's name and the make and colour of the vehicle.
  • Tell someone you trust about your journey and share the vehicle details you are travelling in.

If you are ordering a Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle from a public place try not to let people overhear your name and address - anyone could pretend to be your Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle.

Sharing a Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle with a friend and sitting in the back of the car not in the front passenger seat are all good safety strategies.

If you chat to the driver, be careful not to give out any personal details.

Follow these safety tips next time you use a taxi or private hire vehicle:

  • Share information with someone you trust about your journey and the vehicle you are in
  • Ask the driver to show you their badge before you start the journey
  • Find out which licensed taxis and private hire vehicles operate in your area and plan your journey
  • Examine the vehicle before you get in. Is a license displayed on the vehicle, does it look roadworthy?
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel worried or threatened, ask the driver to stop so you can get out.
  • You can report any concerns to the police and your local licensing authority.