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NOT INSURED: Mansfield District Council sends out warning to people flagging down PHVs

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Mansfield District Council is warning people not to flag down private hire cars in the street after a night out in the town as they may not be insured in the event of an accident.

In fresh efforts by the council's Licensing team to raise awareness, the council is urging people to always pre-book private hire vehicles - minicabs - and to agree a fare with the cab company before starting their journey.

They are also encouraging people to understand the difference between private hire vehicles and taxis.

Only cabs licensed as hackney carriages - taxis - can be flagged down in the street. They have illuminated signs on top of the vehicle and a payment meter inside with rates set by the council.

David Evans, Head of Health and Communities at the council, said: "What we want, above everything, is for people to get home safely and especially children and people who are vulnerable.

"We take our taxi licensing responsibilities very seriously and we do annual checks to ensure taxi drivers have the right licences and are medically fit to drive.

"We also check that drivers are fit and proper people to be operating as cab and taxi drivers so we carry out DBS checks, looking at their criminal record, to make sure there is nothing which could put passengers at risk.

"However, the public also have to take care when using this form of public transport. Flagging down a private hire car in the street without pre-booking it could put you at risk.

"Firstly, the cab driver will not be insured and will be driving illegally if they do this so if they have an accident and you suffer injuries - or worse - you or your family will have less access to proper redress for that.

"Secondly by not pre-booking and agreeing a fare with a private hire cab, you could put yourself at risk of being over-charged."

What to expect in hackney carriages in Mansfield:

  • an illuminated sign on top of the vehicle

  • black and white saloon cars

  • some wheel-chair accessible vehicles which are black in colour

  • a licensed vehicle plate attached to the rear of the vehicle and driver’s badge displayed in a prominent place

  • these vehicles can use the town's official taxi ranks in Clumber Street, Queen Street, Quaker Way and Rosemary Street and can also be hailed in the street

  • they must use a meter and charge only what is on the meter

  • they must accept short fares

  • they must accept assistance dogs.

Private hire cabs, also known as minicabs and which include Uber, should always be booked in advance.

Customers wanting a minicab are advised to book via a reputable phone app or by calling the company, or by making a reservation online on the company’s website. They should check they are wheelchair accessible at the time of booking if that is a requirement.

Although the council is responsible for licensing private hire vehicles and operators, it does not set the fares or rates for this type of transport. Customers are advised to agree a fare with the private hire operator at the time of booking.

Private hire cars can refuse fares but they must:

  • have door signs displaying the company’s logo

  • display the driver's badge in a prominent place and provide their details upon request

  • accept assistance dogs.

As well as annual checks on drivers’ criminal record, licence and health, drivers licensed in Mansfield must also undertake and pass a local knowledge test.

If any taxi driver breaks the terms of their licence or does not operate to defined standards, customers should take a note of the taxi licence number and driver number and email it to the Licensing team (link opens in email app) with details of their complaint. Customers can also call 01623 463181.


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