Whether you are coming home from a night out or getting about the city in the evenings, getting a taxi or a minicab is a sensible choice.
To help you stay safe, here are some tips…
Getting a taxi
Unlike minicabs, London style black cabs, known as taxis can be flagged down in the street or from a taxi rank. If the orange ‘taxi’ light is lit up this means they are available.
You can also book a black taxi by phone or app. Black taxis also have card payment facilities, so if you don’t have cash you can pay by card or contactless.
Book a minicab
Minicabs need to be booked directly with a licenced minicab company. This can be done by phone, app or at a minicab office. This means that a record will be kept of your journey, your driver and the car they used.
You must receive a booking confirmation, which should contain, as a minimum:
- The vehicle registration mark
- The first name of the driver
- The driver's private hire licence number
Some app based minicabs such as Uber allow you to share your trip details with friends and family so they can track your location until you are home safely.
Check the drivers ID
If the driver of the car picking you up isn't the same as in your booking confirmation, don't get in the car - it isn't safe. Drivers are required to show you their licence number if asked. You can also ask the driver to confirm your name before you get into the car. Take a photo of the registration mark and taxi license number and send it to a friend or family member.
If it’s not booked, it’s not safe
Never use an unbooked minicab - they are dangerous, illegal and uninsured for carrying passengers. If there's no booking, there's no record of your journey in case there are any problems.
No journey is ever too short
By law taxis and minicabs are not allowed to refuse a journey for being too short. If this ever happens report it to Coventry City Council via their online complaint form. You can also call 024 7683 2183 or email email@example.com along with details of the vehicle registration mark and license number.
All wheelchair accessible taxis and minicabs are obliged by law to to transport wheelchair users. All black cab vehicles licensed in Coventry have access for wheelchairs. If you are booking a minicab, you will need to ask for an appropriate wheelchair accessible vehicle. Taxi drivers face a fine of up to £1000 if they refuse to transport wheelchair users or attempt to charge them extra. If this ever happens report it to Coventry City Council via their online complaint form: myaccount.coventry.gov.uk/service/Taxi_complaint You can also call 024 7683 2183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org along with details of the vehicle registration mark and license number.
Get out if you feel uncomfortable
Always trust your instincts. If at any moment you feel uncomfortable, or unsafe, ask the driver to stop in a busy, well-lit area and call for another taxi or minicab. In case of an emergency, dial 999.
Keep your mobile close to hand
Make sure your phone is fully charged before you go out. You should also save the numbers of taxi or minicab companies in your phone.
Never share a taxi or minicab with a stranger
Never get into a car with a stranger, share a ride with someone you don’t know or enter a car with someone else already in the passenger seat.
Always sit in the back
Sit in the back seat, preferably behind the driver. This allows you to exit either side of the car and gives you and your driver personal space.
Track your journey
As a passenger you can keep a track of the route you are going by using the maps on your smartphone. Use your smartphone to share your location with a friend or family member. Be aware of your surroundings, wearing headphones or talking on the phone reduces your awareness of what’s going on around you.
Have your keys ready
Make sure your keys out ready and have gathered all your belongings. This limits the time you are outside alone.