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Complaining about licensed and unlicensed drivers, vehicles and operators

As a licensing authority, we set high standards for our licensed operators, private hire and hackney carriage (taxi) drivers and vehicles. While such standards are maintained with a great deal of co-operation from both drivers and operators, there may be occasions when problems occur that you wish to complain about.

What to do first

If appropriate, you should inform the owner or manager of the company that the vehicle was hired from and operated by, so that they are aware of the problem and may be able to resolve the matter for you directly.

When to complain to the police

If your complaint is about an alleged offence such as reckless or dangerous driving, illegal parking, speeding or using a mobile phone while driving, you should report the incident to the police straight away by telephoning 101 or reporting online.

Although we can note the complaint, we do not have powers under the relevant legislation to take action. If, however, the police prosecute for the offence, it may affect any licences held.

In certain circumstances the police will liaise with us and, on their advice, we may take action pending an investigation.

When to complain to us

Areas that we can investigate include:

  • overcharging

  • inappropriate behaviour (drivers and operators)

  • unprofessional driving standard and conduct

  • refusal to take assistance dogs

  • vehicle defects

  • refusal to take a fare from a taxi rank

  • vehicles that are unclean inside

  • failure to give reasonable assistance with luggage

  • unlicensed drivers, vehicles or operators

  • private hire vehicles touting for business (plying for hire).

How to make a complaint to us

It would be helpful if you give us as much information as possible. This could include:

  • your name and contact details

  • the driver's name or local authority licence number

  • the registration number of the vehicle or the local authority licence number

  • the name, address and telephone number of the taxi company you used

  • as much detail about the incident or issue as possible.

Alternatively, a letter or email that describes the problem you have had will be just as useful.

Please note that your personal details will not be made known to a licence holder without your prior consent. You can also ask a representative to write on your behalf.

For us to fully investigate a complaint it is essential that we receive a written (letter or email) account of the events.

You can send complaints sent to:

What happens next?

After we receive the details of the complaint we will aim to reply to you within ten working days. We will also make sure to:

  • advise you of any options that may be available to you if we cannot help with the problem

  • keep you informed about the progress of an investigation, if an investigation is carried out

  • advise you of the outcome of an investigation, and any action taken to resolve the problem, within twenty-eight days of receiving your complaint. Please note that if an investigation results in a council hearing, or a court case, it may not be possible to solve the problem within 28 days.