Illegal operators = Unsafe Vehicles = Invalid Insurance
Illegal limousines present a real danger to anyone who uses them. In many cases these vehicles are unroadworthy, unlicensed, uninsured and the driver may not even have the correct driving licence.
Over the years we have heard horror stories of members of the public who have rented limousines and the outcome was something rather not experienced. Have a look at some of the latest articles/news on this topic:
14 May 2013 – ITV News: TfL warns of dangers of unlicensed limos
02 Apr 2012 – ITV News: Limo drivers fined
So your event date is just around the corner and you need a luxury transport to compliment your event. Here are some TfL (Transport for London) & Direct.gov.uk tips that will assist you in choosing the right company:
Hiring stretch limos or minibuses with drivers
It is important to know that any vehicle you hire is safe and the driver is fully licensed. This includes limousines, novelty vehicles such as fire engines, or minibuses. Learn about the licensing rules and how to check whether a firm or driver is licensed.
The basics of hiring
If you are planning to hire a vehicle with a driver for a big night out, it is important you use a licensed operator. If the operator is unlicensed, their vehicles and drivers may not meet legal requirements – they could be unsafe and uninsured.
When you hire a vehicle with a driver exclusively for your group, the licence the operator needs depends on the size of their vehicles.
Vehicles that carry eight or fewer passengers and are hired exclusively to an individual or group are classed as private hire vehicles (PHVs). The operating company must have a PHV operator’s licence and the driver and vehicle also need PHV licences.
Vehicles that carry more than eight passengers are classed as public service vehicles (PSVs) and the operating company needs a PSV operator’s licence.
Vehicles for eight or fewer passengers (PHVs)
Finding a licensed private hire vehicle (PHV) in London
PHVs in London are licensed annually by Transport for London (TfL). TfL also makes sure all licensed vehicles meet safety and accessibility standards.
PHVs licensed in London must have special discs on their windscreen and rear window showing their licence status.
To find or check a PHV operator in London, follow the links below.
Finding a licensed private hire vehicle (PHV) outside London
Outside London, local authorities (district/borough councils or unitary authorities) are responsible for licensing PHVs and taxis.
The PHV licensing rules mean that a local licensing authority can grant a PHV licence for a vehicle so long as it is:
- suitable in type, size and design for use as a private hire vehicle
- not designed to look like a hackney carriage (black cab taxi)
- in a suitable mechanical condition
Local licensing authorities will also check that the vehicles are properly insured.
You can find out more, including which operators are licensed in your area, by contacting your local council.
Check your PHV driver is licensed
Every driver of a PHV must by law have a PHV driver licence. This is separate from the standard driving licence.
Before they grant a PHV driver licence, authorities will check that an applicant is a fit and proper person to hold such a licence. Local authorities vary, but their checks would normally involve:
- criminal record check
- local area knowledge test
- medical check
- special driving test (the Driving Standards Agency has devised a special taxi/PHV driving test)
PHV and taxi drivers should normally wear a badge showing their licence number. You can also check whether a driver is licensed by contacting your local council.
Vehicles for more than eight passengers (PSVs)
A vehicle that carries more than eight passengers is classed as a public service vehicle (PSV). These are licensed by Traffic Commissioners.
Check a PSV operator is licensed
Look for the disc
A licensed public service vehicle must display a disc like the one shown in the top part of the picture
You should check that a PSV is licensed before you book. Always ask the operator if they are licensed, and make a note of their licence number.If you want to check further you can do so by calling the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) helpline on 0300 123 9000. Ask the VOSA adviser to check the PSV number and confirm the company it has been issued to.You can also run the same check yourself by following the link below to the VOSA database.
Find a licensed PSV operator
The VOSA database covers all PSVs (mostly buses and coaches). To get a list of licensed operators, search by ‘operator/trading name’ and enter a broad search term like ‘*limo*’. The asterisks allow the search engine to find the term even if it has other words before or after it in the company name.
Ensure your PSV hire includes a driver
Avoid hiring a PSV from a company that does not supply a driver with the vehicle. Operators that tell you to hire a driver separately and give you a list of possible drivers are likely to be unlicensed and operating illegally.
How to report illegal activities
Firms that are not licensed are operating illegally and putting passengers at risk.
It is also illegal to sell alcohol to passengers as part of an ‘all-in’ deal.
If you suspect a firm is acting illegally you can call the VOSA hotline on 0300 123 9000 and report the matter in confidence.
Be safe. Don’t put yourself or your loved ones in danger. Always check before booking your limousine, make sure the driver can confirm your name and destination, and check the driver’s photo ID before you get in the vehicle.
How to tell which limousines are safe
We estimate that 99% of the time these type of limousines are illegal and unlicensed and require special attention if you looking to hire one.
STRETCH BMW X5
LIMOUSINES WITH MORE THAN 1 AXLE (2 WHEELS ON THE BACK)
(SPECIAL IF ANY OF THE ABOVE LIMOUSINES ARE BEING OFFERED TO CARRY MORE THAN 8 PASSENGERS)
IF YOU HIRED ANY OF THE ABOVE VEHICLES PLEASE ENSURE YOU ASK THE OPERATOR FOR A COPY OF: COIF (CERTIFICATE OF INITIAL FITNESS) OR INDIVIDUAL VEHICLE APPROVAL (IVA) CERTIFICATE FOR THE VEHICLE AS THIS WILL PROVE THAT THESE VEHICLES HAVE BEEN DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED TO MODERN SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS BEFORE THEY CAN BE USED ON UK PUBLIC ROADS.
OUR STAFF CAN HELP YOU MAKE A DECISION WITHOUT OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER. PLEASE CALL US NOW ON 0800 881 8824.
EASY LIMO UK LIMITED
REGISTERED OFFICE: EALING HOUSE, 33 HANGER LANE, LONDON, W5 3HJ
REGISTERED AS PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLE (PSV) OPERATOR LICENCE NO. PK1102613
ALL OUR LIMOUSINES CONFORMS WITH TFL & VOSA REGULATIONS AND LICENCE REQUIREMENTS.