20 February 2020

The Consequences Of Overcharging Passengers

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 43 seconds. Contains 545 words

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 2.0 / Modified from original

Get a quote in under 2 minutes!

Uber Driver Quote Taxi Driver Quote

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.


Alternative Service Stations – Where to Find the Cheapest Petrol off the Motorway

Sometimes when we’re driving along the motorway, we come across that inevitable moment where we need to stop for food or fuel. However, motorway service stations are notorious for having high prices. Here, we list some of the best sites to stop for fuel when on the go. Our guide is simple – to show […]

Thursday, March 31st 2022

What Are the New 2022 Highway Code Changes?

You may have heard there are major changes to the highway code, however  you may not be aware of what the changes are. These have been in effect since January 29th, 2022. What Are the 2022 Highway Code Changes? Click here to see the official list of changes to the Highway Code. Why is this […]

Friday, February 4th 2022

Secret Things You Can Do When Using Apple Maps

Apple Maps has grown a lot in recent years, and is now a major competitor to the likes of Google Maps.   3D View: Apple Maps allows the user to view select cities on its mapping system in 3D. This allows the user to virtually fly over major landmarks and get a feel of what the […]

Monday, October 25th 2021

Secret Things You Can Do When Using Waze

Waze is one of the most popular navigation apps out there. It doesn’t get its roadside information from satellites, but instead by allowing its users/drivers to submit road data themselves. This gives the app a more personal touch that others don’t tend to have. Set & Go: Are you going to be doing a certain taxi […]

Monday, October 25th 2021

Secret Things You Can Do When Using Google Maps

Online mapping is an essential feature in this day and age. We use it to look at transport times, store opening hours, as well as getting from point A to point B. However, there are some extra features you may not be aware of. Google Maps  Google Maps is the most popular of all the […]

Monday, October 25th 2021

Uber Drivers: How To Maintain A High Star Rating

When it comes to driving for Uber, maintaining a high star rating is very important. Uber drivers and passengers have the ability to rate each other after a ride. It’s often viewed anything 4 stars or lower is unacceptable. Here’s our guide to making sure you maintain a high rating. 1. Keep Your Vehicle Clean […]

Wednesday, June 23rd 2021

Uber Offers 50% Discounts On Pub Journeys In Bid To Increase Taxi Usage

In a bid to support both the hospitality and ride hailing industries as lockdown eases, Uber are offering discounts on journeys to pubs all across England for 30,000 users.   How do passengers apply this discount? When booking a trip, passengers should enter the promo code THEPUBAWAITS before selecting and confirming their journey.   Is this offer […]

Tuesday, April 13th 2021

Supreme Court Rules Uber Drivers As Workers

As Uber has been ordered to reclassify their drivers as workers by UK supreme court and give drivers minimum wage and holiday time off, what will this mean for the UK gig economy? And what is the difference between a worker and an employee?  Click here to read more     “Uber – Broad Street, […]

Monday, February 22nd 2021

Uber Elevate: How Vertical Aircrafts Could Help The Taxi Industry

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 21 seconds. Contains 670 words What are Vertical Aircrafts? Flying cars have long been synonymous with the vision of the future, dating almost as far back as the invention of the car itself. Whilst we may still currently be very far from purchasing our own flying vehicles, the technology itself […]

Monday, December 7th 2020

UK Road History: How Motorways Helped Change The Way We Live And Travel

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes, 50 seconds. Contains 1967 words For many people in the 21st century, we take fast-speed roads for granted. They’ve become such a staple of life that we really don’t think of how much they’ve impacted our country. Merely 60 years ago, the concept of travelling across the country on high […]

Wednesday, December 2nd 2020


Instant Quote