Taxi and private hire comments, compliments or complaints

Last Updated: 4 October 2023

Guidance for passengers

All taxis/private hire vehicles have a front and back plate. The front plate states the vehicles number and registration plate. The rear plate shows the vehicles number, registration plate, expiry date and the number of persons it is licensed to carry:

  • taxis have a yellow plate to the front and rear
  • private hire vehicles have a red plate to the front and the rear

The differences between taxi’s and private hire vehicles are:

  • a taxi can be flagged down or pre-booked
  • a private hire vehicle that has not been pre-booked should not be used as it will not be insured and may not be licensed

Safe travel

  • it is advised passengers pre-book a vehicle with a licensed operator where possible
  • arrange to be picked up from a safe meeting point
  • requesting at the time of booking what the fare is likely to be. When using a private hire vehicle, passengers should always:
    • book with a licensed operator
    • confirm their booking with the driver when s/he arrives
    • note the licence number
    • sit in the back, behind the driver
    • let a third party know details of their journey
    • when using a taxi, passengers should use a designated taxi rank or flag the vehicle down when the roof sign is illuminated

Making a comment, compliment or complaint

It is our role to ensure that drivers, vehicle proprietors and operators are “fit and proper” persons to transport members of the public and vehicles are maintained to a high standard. If you wish to make any comment about a driver/vehicle, please contact us using the email address or telephone number below.

It is very important if you have any concerns that you report these to the relevant agency, and us, as detailed below. Enforcement agencies have data sharing protocols in place which allow them to exchange information about complaints when a social pressing need exists.

Our aim, where sufficient information exists and falls within our scope, is to investigate every complaint in full. You can make anonymous complaints, although we may not be able to investigate or take your complaint further if we do not have sufficient information.

This complaints page should be read in conjunction with our Public Protection Services Enforcement Policy.

What we investigate

The types of complaints the Licensing Team deal with include:

  • rudeness/verbal abuse
  • poor standards of driving
  • overcharging
  • vehicle defects/safety of vehicle
  • failures to display driver/vehicle identification
  • drivers intentionally prolonging journeys
  • issues against an operator
  • inappropriate behaviour
  • refusal to hire
  • discrimination towards a person with a disability and/or assistance dog

Please note this is not an exhaustive list and if you are in doubt please email us with the details.

When you book a journey through a licensed operator, the company has a duty to maintain records and we will able to obtain the necessary details to investigate the complaint.

Information to provide when making a complaint

We would ask that you provide as much detail as possible, for example this might include:

  • date and time of incident
  • driver details, description, driver licence number
  • vehicle colour
  • vehicle registration
  • vehicle licence number
  • operator company
  • journey start and end location (if applicable)
  • any other information you feel is relevant to your complaint
  • your name, address, contact number, email address

If you only have limited information it is still important that you submit your complaint as these can often still be investigated.

Depending on the nature of your complaint, you may be required to complete a witness statement.

Please forward details of your complaint to or call 0300 373 3300, we aim to respond within three working days.

The outcome

You will be contacted via your preferred method of contact to inform you of the outcome.

If you are unhappy with the way the we have dealt with your complaint, you can make a complaint to us through our complaints process.

Complaints where we are not the lead agency

There are a number of matters where the we are not the lead agency. You may contact us about these matters using the contact details below but it is important that you also contact the relevant agency identified below as they have specific powers and responsibilities to deal with your complaint.

  • Crime in Progress (involving a taxi or private hire driver/vehicle please call 999)
  • Criminal Complaint (e.g. discrimination, inappropriate behaviour, child and adult safeguarding issues, violence or theft) contact Cumbria Police on 101
  • Moving Traffic Offence (e.g. using a phone whilst driving, dangerous driving or speeding), contact Cumbria Police on 101
  • Illegal Parking (contact the parking enforcement agencies or highways department, depending if the parking is on or off road)
  • Civil Matters such as fare and breach of contract disputes
  • Planning matters; contact the Planning department

Where a pressing social need is identified, the lead agency will make the Licensing team aware of the issue and provide us with relevant information to allow appropriate licensing action to be taken.

It is also important to note that the Licensing Team may be able to deal with a complaint that other agencies are not be able to pursue, so please send us the details as well.