Merc SLs, Aston DB7s and Rolls-Royce Phantoms registered as taxis to avoid £8 a day
6 November 2007

Many of London's high-emissions sports cars and luxury limousines are being registered as minicabs to avoid encurring the congestion charge, it has emerged.A number of sports cars, including two seaters like the Mercedes SL, have been fraudulently registered for private hire, according to data published by website www.cleangreencars.co.uk. Minicabs are exempt from the £8 per day central London congestion charge – which is set to rise to £25 for high-emissions vehicles next year – and anyone can register their car as a taxi for a one-off £82, followed by a £27-per-year licence fee, according to the 'site.Other cars on Transport for London’s list of legal minicabs include two Maserati Quattroportes, eight Rolls-Royce Phantoms and one Aston Martin DB7. This practice is not strictly illegal – there’s no stipulation that owners have to hold a minicab licence to register their vehicle and it’s almost impossible to regulate whether they ever carry paying passengers.The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 does say that taxis must be deemed ‘suitable in type, size and design for use as a private hire vehicle’. However, this legislation is geared towards ensuring the roadworthiness of vehicles, and doesn’t specify that they require rear seats. Transport for London is investigating the situation, now that it seems their private hire licencing system is being swindled. And while coming home from the pub in a posh Mercedes SL, rather than a ropey Vauxhall Omega taxi, sounds fine to us, we don’t expect to see one in a Soho taxi rank next Saturday night.

Will Powell

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Comments
4

6 November 2007

People can either moan about the congestion charge or do something about it. Its a simple fact there are too many cars in london, and you have to do something about it. No arguments. Whether the congestion charge is the right way to go is another thing. I got fed up of moaning about traffic where i live so now i bike in to work. It takes 5 minutes longer, doesnt cost me anything, and gives me an hour of cardio exercise every day. And amazingly, my car is still there on my drive, should i ever need to use it. If i feel a bit under the weather, or need to carry something large etc its still there.

7 November 2007

I commend anyone who can work this dodge. Shallow of me i know but i dont believe the stick is going to make the changes required in the future. I do'nt know what is. As for London's private hire regs well they just go to show the capital gets what it deserves. They're not slack like that around here of that i can assure you.

Incidentally if the cars are private hire you'll not find them on a taxi (hackney rank). They might be parked up outside their office but they are unlikely to have a rank you can walk up to and jump in.

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Get cheap taxis services from Kemble Station taxis. More reliable and affordable that the other one.
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