If that ride home doesn’t turn up after the office party, the chance is the police have sent the cab off to the crusher because the driver has no proper taxi insurance.
Police have warned they will be out in force checking cabs this party season because thousands of drivers are chancers without the right car cover to carry passengers.
West Midlands Police have revealed they prosecute two cabbies every week that do not have the proper insurance – and if the driver has no insurance, his car is crushed.
Meanwhile, a whistleblower has leaked survey results to the BBC that show more than a thousand of 1,200 cabbies who had their documents checked were driving without the right insurance (93%).
Insurance auditors carried out the research across several council areas outside London.
Passengers never know whether their cab is insured
The auditors discovered that most taxi insurance was inadequate and may not pay out in the event of a claim, and some had no insurance at all.
The survey highlights that councils cannot validate insurance to make sure the driver did not give the insurer fraudulent information to keep the costs of insurance down.
This is a problem not just for Christmas – in the New Year a committee of MPs is investigating taxi licensing and the Insurance Fraud Bureau is setting up systems to spot taxi and minicab drivers who give insurers false details.
So, before you and your family or friends jump in that cab for a party night, remember the odds are only seven in 100 that your driver has the right insurance.
The National Private Hire Association responded that the survey sample was small to produce a relevant result and said in a statement that passengers never had assurances about whether a taxi or minicab driver has any insurance.