20 February 2020

The Consequences Of Overcharging Passengers

When becoming a taxi driver, you have to deal with numerous stereotypes and accusations, such as, “They always go the long way to overcharge you”, or “They’re just going to rob you if you’re not careful!”

However, over the last few months, there have been numerous reports of passengers being overcharged or taken advantage of.

Several reports have been popping up across the country of drivers taking incredibly long routes for journeys that should have taken less than half the time to get the passengers to their destination.


In December 2019, it was reported on the Daily Mail how an account manager named Ashleigh Cooper was charged nearly £530 for an 84-mile trip from St James’s Park in London to Gillingham in Kent, a journey which should only have been 40 miles. What should have been a straight journey along the A2 in London turned into a massive detour, heading towards Heathrow in the west and driving down the M25, before reaching Gillingham in the east.

In February 2020, a drunken London passenger requested a 5-mile journey from Russell Street in the centre of London, to Notting Hill in the east. However, the driver gave him an unexpected tour of East London towards Stratford, before turning around to head to the correct destination. The passenger was slapped with a charge of nearly £130.

Also in February 2020, it was reported that Uber driver Cornel Mihai exploited blind singer and passenger Victoria Oruwari. Once the journey had ended, Mihai persuaded her to hand him her phone so that he could end the trip. What he didn’t tell her was that he was going to give himself an unauthorised £20 tip. Mihai was promptly dumped by Uber and stripped of his minicab licence. Though he denied any wrongdoing, he was convicted of fraud by false representation, and ordered to commit to 240 hours of community service, with a 5-month prison sentence suspended for a year.

Wheelchair users are also a common victim of overcharging by taxi drivers. A common tactic has been to turn on the meter before helping the user get into the vehicle safely.

During a study conducted by the BBC in 2015, it was concluded that wheelchair users were regularly charged much more than able-bodied passengers. Wheelchair user Bal Deol and BBC producer Qasa Alom took 12 separate (but identical) taxi journeys, with Bal being charged more every single time. Undercover filming also showed a woman being told by a taxi driver that he had to charge her more than “normal people” because her wheelchair was heavy.

What are the consequences of overcharging passengers?

All taxi drivers must regularly keep themselves up to date with the laws and regulations over what they can and cannot do.

The penalties for such offenses can vary, from fines of over £1000 to community service, and even imprisonment. Drivers also run the risk of being stripped of their licence if they are caught overcharging passengers.

It may be tempting to cheat the system in order to get some extra cash. However, it’s important to remember that getting a little bit of extra cash isn’t worth the risk of losing your job and reputation, as well as running the risk of fines and imprisonment.


City of Westminster, London – UK” by Mic, used under CC BY / Modified from original


Save money on your Taxi Insurance Renewal

Get Instant Quote Call: 01928263035

Get an instant online quote or speak to a member of our team

Why Choose Freeway?

Freeway is focused solely on private hire, public hire, executive car and Uber taxi insurance. We deal with taxi insurance – nothing else – and we think we do it better than anyone else.

It means we have an in-depth understanding of the industry and we’ve tailored our products around what UK taxi drivers really need.

Read More

The most comprehensive cover ‘as standard’. We’re confident we can't be matched on that.

Focused on speed. We know time is money and you want your cover sorted as quickly as possible.

We are constantly investing in technology so that we can make it easier for our customers to manage their policies.

Great track record in new driver prices. Less than two years no claims? We’re confident we can get you the very best price.

Our TrustPilot score says it all. We work hard to maintain our 5-star, Excellent rating.

We conduct regular research to stay on top of the changes affecting taxi drivers in the UK so we can keep you informed.

We have one of the best customer renewals rates in the industry. Our existing customers don’t need to look elsewhere.

We operate a 24/7/365 UK-based claims support team.


London Taxi Card Payments Rise Over 44% After Lockdown

As a lot of taxi drivers already know, the taxi industry was hit badly when the UK entered lockdown back in March 2020. With the number of rides falling by over 90% in some areas of the country, many drivers had to look for alternative methods to keep making money, whilst others chose to stay […]

Wednesday, June 24th 2020

Taxi Good News Round-Up

Tuk Tuks Could Soon Hit Monmouthshire (Gwent) Tuk-tuk taxis could soon be hitting the streets of Monmouthshire. Under new plans, tuk-tuks will be operated on specially designated tour routes, allowing up to 2 passengers to see sites across the county in a unique way. The news comes at a time when British staycations are expected […]

Wednesday, June 24th 2020

New £100,000 London Taxi Advertising Campaign Set For July

As the country slowly eases out of lockdown, people have slowly had to adjust to a new normal. For some returning to work, this has included having to find alternate ways to travel to work whilst social distancing remains in place. Whilst many are now turning to walking, cycling and driving to work, taxi drivers […]

Wednesday, June 24th 2020

Uber’s New Rules: No Sitting Up Front

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Uber has been making several changes to how its services operate. The first changes were established in early May. Drivers and passengers in certain regions were now required to wear face masks at all times when using the service. However, Uber has now announced an even bigger […]

Tuesday, June 9th 2020

TfL Will Work With The Taxi Industry When Designing New London Streetspace

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, along with Transport for London (TfL), have unveiled a bold new scheme to transform London’s streets to accommodate a potential rise in bike riders and pedestrians as the city slowly starts to emerge from lockdown. With London’s transport system potentially only running at a fraction of what it used to before […]

Tuesday, June 9th 2020

Top 7 Dash Cams For Cab Drivers

Whether you’re driving for Uber, Ola or Kaptin, or even in your own black cab, it is becoming more important each day to consider owning a dashcam. From recording potential incidents inside your vehicle, to recording anything around your vehicle, a dashcam can potentially be lifesaving. What are the laws for dashcams? Whilst every UK […]

Tuesday, June 9th 2020

London Taxi Drivers Receive Fake Licence Suspension Texts

As UK lockdown measures begin to ease, taxi drivers have been getting ready for an increase in passenger demand. However, many taxi drivers have received a strange text from someone claiming to be from TfL (Transport for London), informing them their licence has been suspended due to breaching government guidelines. The erroneous message reads as […]

Tuesday, June 9th 2020

Addison Lee and Uber To Install Partition Screens In Vehicles

Uber, as well as London-based private hire and courier Addison Lee, plan to install partition screens in their cabs in a bid to prevent coronavirus infections between drivers and passengers. This comes after it was revealed that taxi drivers are among those at the highest risk of death from the disease. Addison Lee claims to […]

Tuesday, May 26th 2020

Uber and Unilever Team Up To Provide UK Drivers With Hygiene Kits

Ride-hailing firm Uber has teamed up with the multinational business Unilever International to provide hygiene kits to Uber drivers and couriers all across the UK. Believed to be rolling out over the next few weeks, the partnership will be spread across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Unilever says the kit is one of a […]

Tuesday, May 26th 2020

Uber Axes 3700 Jobs Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the world, the taxi industry has been hit hard, with passenger journeys falling massively as the majority of the public remains in their homes. Many taxi companies have had to find different ways of generating income, from shopping for the vulnerable, to introducing food delivery services from restaurants. Uber […]

Wednesday, May 20th 2020


Instant Quote