Don’t take risks with unlicensed taxis during the festive season

Generic photo of opening car door

Partygoers should avoid using unlicensed taxis and illegal commercial lifts offered on social media, which could put their lives at risk. 

In the spirit of safety, West Lindsey District Council is strongly urging revellers to steer clear of Illegal, unlicensed, rogue drivers whilst celebrating over the Christmas and New Year season.

The unlicensed taxis may seem cheaper but they will not have undergone background checks, such as on their criminal history. They are also unlikely to be insured to carry passengers in their vehicles, which could be in a dangerous condition. 

Chair of the Licensing Committee at West Lindsey District Council, Cllr Jim Snee, said: 

“We want everyone to enjoy their festive celebrations, which is why we are urging people to take sensible steps to avoid unscrupulous, bogus, taxi drivers who put earning illegal extra money before people’s safety. “Using an unlicensed vehicle could put your safety in jeopardy. There is a real risk in accepting lifts from people who haven’t been vetted and licensed by the Council. 

“We understand that most people wouldn’t dream of doing so, but for individuals travelling alone, getting into an unlicensed cab, is just as risky as getting into the car of a complete stranger. 

“The message is clear, book your taxi before you go out and steer clear of unlicensed taxis or offers of cheap lifts on social media, regardless of how tempting it may be when you just want to get home.”

Vehicles licensed by the Council can be clearly identified by stickers on the body of the vehicle and rear licence plates. 

Kim Enderby, Senior Licensing Officer said: “Bogus taxi drivers typically seek to cash in on demand during the busy Christmas period, harming the livelihoods of council-approved drivers. 

“Licensed taxi and Private Hire Vehicle drivers must undergo rigorous background and criminal record checks. Unlicensed vehicles will not have the correct insurance in place and unlicensed drivers will not have undertaken the relevant safeguarding checks to ensure they are fit to transport passengers and do not pose a threat to the public.”

West Lindsey District Council has issued some safety tips including the following:

  • Always try to ensure that somebody knows where you are going and what time you expect to be home.
  • If your plans change, let somebody know.
  • Pre-book your taxi and remember to ask the driver who they are waiting for.
  • make sure that your mobile is charged and switched on at all times.
  • Always sit behind the driver
  • Always check that the driver is wearing appropriate ID - if you can’t see the driver’s ID badge, ask to see it.

If you know or are aware of one of these rogue drivers, you should inform the Council, who collaborate closely with the Police and CCTV operators, to identify these individuals and stop their illegal activity.

You can report an issue by visiting our Report It page.

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit our council news pages

Follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter), find us on Facebook, or sign up to our newsletter