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.

Examples

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.

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.

News

Taxi Unions Calling For Support From The Government Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Though taxi drivers are important in our society for getting us from one place to another, they  have not been classed as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the past weeks, it has been suggested that taxi drivers can be used to help essential staff get to and from their workplaces each day, such […]

Wednesday, April 8th 2020

Taxi Firms Offering Services to The NHS and The Vulnerable

March 2020 brought what has been described as “unprecedented”, “unparalleled”, “greatest pandemic in history”, “the biggest threat to the UK economy”, “biggest threat to the UK SME sector”, “the biggest threat to the taxi market” and even “a scary flu pandemic” …. Whatever your interpretation is of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has certainly been a […]

Wednesday, April 8th 2020

Taxi Drivers Reveal The Most Shocking Secrets They’ve Heard From Passengers

When your job is to take passengers around all day, you’re bound to overhear some strange and interesting stories whilst working. Taxi drivers from around the world have come to Reddit to share their experiences overhearing bizarre stories.   “Business Trip”, eh? One user shared: “I picked up this young, overly-affectionate couple that spent the […]

Wednesday, April 1st 2020

The Most Common Passenger Scams Used On Uber Drivers

Driving for ride-hailing applications such as Uber may open you up to more passengers, and allow you to earn some extra money. However, it is also leaving you much more vulnerable to scams pulled by passengers and con-artists. Here is a list of the most common scams, and what you can do to avoid them. […]

Thursday, March 26th 2020

How To Deal With Rude Passengers

It’s the worst nightmare of every taxi driver. Dealing with rude passengers can be an extremely hard task, especially when you don’t know how much the situation will escalate. Most passengers are extremely pleasant, but it only takes one to completely ruin your day. You may be wondering what your rights are for what you […]

Monday, March 23rd 2020

Ola Withdraws From Brighton Before Taking a Single Ride

Back in April 2019, ride-hailing firm Ola were granted a licence to operate vehicles in the Brighton & Hove district. However, before a single ride was taken, the company has decided not to renew its licence. It was initially awarded a licence to operate in the area for one year. The company first appeared to […]

Tuesday, February 25th 2020

Taxi Company Owner Fined For Hiring An Unlicensed Driver

A taxi company owner based in Wakefield has received a large fine, as well as disqualification from driving for 6 months. Debra Tingey, owner of Tingeys Taxis, pleaded guilty at Leeds Magistrates’ Court of operating a vehicle with an unlicensed driver. She also pleaded guilty to allowing the use of an unlicensed vehicle with no […]

Monday, February 24th 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. […]

Thursday, February 20th 2020

New Ride-Hailing Firm Takes On Uber

Whilst it may be game-uber for one ride-hailing service in London, the city is saying “hola” to another. Ola is an Indian ridesharing company, founded by businessman Bhavish Aggarwal. The idea began when Bhavish was taking a cab ride, and suddenly the driver stopped to renegotiate prices. When Bhavaish refused to agree, he was left […]

Thursday, February 20th 2020

Google Maps Is Introducing a New “Stay Safer” Feature For Taxi Rides

There’s nothing quite scarier than the feeling of being lost in a completely different country, and being unsure of where to go. This is especially apparent when you enter a taxi. What if the driver leads you off-course? Are they a genuine taxi driver? What if they try to scam? “Stay Safer” is a new […]

Friday, February 14th 2020

Next

Instant Quote