Taxi complaints

Taxis are a vital component of the public transport system that provides a door-to-door service which is relied upon by a significant number of users.

For many visitors the journey they make in a licensed vehicle will play a significant part in forming an initial perception of the city and so our licensed drivers play an important role in the future economic success of the city as a business and visitor destination.

We therefore want to ensure all of our drivers and vehicle owners are complying with the law and are providing good customer care.

If you wish report an issue about a taxi or private hire driver/vehicle, please provide as much detail as possible. 

Information we need:

  • Your name and address and a daytime telephone number
  • The vehicle registration or plate number
  • A full description of the issue/incident and any witnesses
  • The date, time and location where the incident happened or your journey details
  • A description of the driver and the drivers badge number (if known)
  • Report as much detail as you can about the vehicle type, colour and any distinguishing features

Our policy is to keep the personal information that we have about you such as your name and address, confidential.

If a case goes to the Court you may be required to give evidence. However, many cases are resolved informally before legal action is taken.

All licensed taxis (hackney carriages) have a distinctive licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.   A private hire vehicle will also have distinctive yellow stickers on the front doors indicating that the vehicle can only be pre-booked.

Hackney carriage

Hackney Carriages are available for hire at appointed taxi ranks or can be flagged down in the street. All licensed taxis have a distinctive licence plate displayed on the rear of the vehicle with a yellow taxi light on the roof above the front windscreen. 

Private vehicle

Private Hire vehicles are ‘saloon style’ cars. They will have a distinctive licence plate displayed on the rear of the vehicle and distinctive yellow stickers on the front doors indicating that the vehicle can only be pre-booked and cannot be flagged down in the street or hired at a taxi rank.

All Hackney Carriage Vehicles in Plymouth are 100 per cent wheelchair accessible. However, individual drivers may have a valid medical exemption. There's a small number of private hire vehicles that are also wheelchair accessible. More information is on our transporting a wheelchair user page.

It's a criminal offence for drivers of designated taxi and specified private hire vehicles to refuse to carry passengers in wheelchairs, to fail to provide them with appropriate assistance or to charge them extra. However, this does not apply to drivers who have a valid medical exemption certificate and are displaying a valid exemption notice in their vehicle.

All drivers must explain the reason why they can't take you and should help you to find a vehicle that can transport you.

Always check that your driver is wearing a photo ID badge which should be worn on a lanyard or armband and must be clearly visible at all times.

If you have pre-booked your journey, the driver should know your name and destination.  If this is not the case, do not enter the vehicle; double check your booking with the operator, and if you are concerned, take note of the plate and registration numbers and report to a police officer or report it using our online taxi complaint form. 

If you have the plate or badge number, you can check our online register.

Individuals sometimes use social media sites to advertise taxi services that are not properly licensed. Anyone using these services place their personal safety at risk, as these individuals do not have the correct licences in place. Also, the driver will not have received a criminal record check and the vehicle may not be roadworthy or insured. 

Licensing officers and the police work closely with drivers to promote the safety of both drivers and passengers. Licensed drivers are encouraged to report all incidents of non-payment and abuse to the police who will fully investigate all cases and take positive action wherever possible. 

Entering a licensed vehicle without sufficient funds to pay for the journey, intending to avoid payment or attempting to leave without payment, may be an offence which can lead to prosecution.

Taxi drivers are entitled to request payment or part payment in advance.  Drivers provide a valued service, transporting people around the city and are entitled to receive the correct fare.