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Taxis, in their various guises, are licensed vehicles, and there are strict laws that govern the ways in which these vehicles can be used, and in which they must be maintained and kept. For example, if you do not have a valid taxi permit, but are found to have taken payment from passengers in your vehicle, then you could face prosecution. Illegally touting for business will usually only carry a financial penalty, but it also means that insurance policies may be invalidated, and this means that the CPS may choose to prosecute you for driving without a valid insurance policy; something which carries the potential of a significant fine, penalty points on your licence, and even the possibility of being disqualified from driving.
Taxi drivers must also comply with other motoring laws, including those that demand the driver of the vehicle ensure that passengers wear seatbelts. Speeding in a licensed taxi is still a speeding offence, and it carries the same penalties as speeding in a private car or a business car. Bear in mind that some taxi companies may demand a clean licence, and you will certainly lose your job if you are disqualified from driving, because it means that you will be unable to legally drive the vehicle that you are contracted to drive.
However, it is also worth remembering that being accused of committing a driving offence does not necessarily mean that you are guilty, or that you will definitely be found guilty, and it may be worth contesting any charges if it means that it could save your licence, your job, and your family.
There are certain criteria that must be fulfilled in order for a person to legally drive a taxi, and this includes the registration and licensing of the vehicle itself. Driving a taxi without the proper licence means that you are illegally touting for taxi business. This is not strictly a motoring offence, and it will usually result in a financial fine, but the fine could prove to be very high if meant as a deterrent.
Invalid Insurance Policies
What’s more, if you are caught driving without a taxi operator’s licence, then it is highly likely that your insurance policy has been invalidated. When you agree to the terms of an insurance policy, you will be asked to sign or agree that you will not use the vehicle for any purposes other than those stated, and using a vehicle as a taxi requires a special insurance policy. In short, you will not be insured and this means that the CPS may press to charge you for driving without insurance; an offence that carries a minimum of six penalty points.
If driving a taxi is your livelihood then losing your licence could mean that you are unable to earn money, and this may also mean that your family will ultimately suffer as a result. This may be considered exceptional hardship by the courts, while there may be some circumstances in which you can argue special reasons, but you should consult with a motoring lawyer to help determine whether you have a defence or not.