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Annual NSL Taxi Vehicle Inspection: The DO’s and DON’Ts from the LTDA

When drivers need to attend a NSL test centre for their yearly inspection, they generally follow the same procedure as the year before. We all know the drill. Book a date in, arrange for a garage to give the cab a once over to rectify all the parts that appear to be faulty, then get a MOT. Next, it is a question of hoping the cab passes the inspection. If all goes according to plan it will receive a new cab licence and be plated for another year.

In most cases, this will be a simple procedure, but recently I have been receiving calls from drivers who have failed their yearly test. For those who’ve been around for a while – yes, this old devil is raising its ugly head once again! For the rest of you, it used to be the case that they could fail you for just about anything they didn’t like the look of. Please make sure your cab is in tip top shape when you go along, it will hopefully save you a lot of time and effort.

Please also remember that if your plate has run out, your vehicle isn’t licensed. This means you can't use bus lanes and also won’t be exempt from the ULEZ and the Congestion Charge. It’s a common mistake. Drivers do what they do every other day and find that they have racked up lots of fines, sometimes in just a few hours - even just driving to and from the NSL centre.

This is a problem you do not want to be faced with. These fines can easily mount up to hundreds, in some cases thousands of pounds. I have spoken with many stressed drivers, who don’t realise they’ve done anything wrong. “I shouldn’t be receiving these PCNs, I am licensed!” they tell me. When I explain that their cab was unfortunately not licensed at the time the taxi entered the zones or used the bus lanes and that the PCNs were issued correctly, they just hold their heads hopelessly.

In most cases like this, the LTDA can help explain the situation to TfL and these PCNs will likely be cancelled, but it’s better not to have to go through all of that, if you can avoid it.


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