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Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing


Complain about a  Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver or Operator.

We can investigate complaints including:

  • Overcharging:
    • for all journeys starting and ending inside the licensed Zone, Hackney Carriage drivers must not charge more than the metered fare as set out on the table of tariffs. 
    • There are no direct controls over the fares that a Private Hire driver / operator can charge. It is recommended you agree a fare at the time of booking and keep a record of this. 
    • Receipts must be provided upon request.
  • Refusal to hire where grounds for refusal might be considered unreasonable or unlawful
  • Rudeness/verbal abuse
  • Journey routes
  • Physical condition of the vehicle (e.g. cleanliness or damage)
  • Safety of the vehicle (e.g. seatbelts not working or other defects) 

Other complaints including dangerous driving, assault or theft, should first be reported to the Police and an incident number obtained.

How do I complain?

Please submit your complaint by email to: licensing.bcw@northnorthants.gov.uk

When submitting a complaint, please include as much of the following as possible:
•    Your contact details
•    Licence plate number or registration number of the vehicle 
•    Badge number of the driver
•    Date and time of the incident
•    Journey details (from and to)
•    Whether there were other passengers present or other witnesses
•    If it involves a Private Hire Operator, the name of the company
•    Receipt for your payment (drivers are required to issue a receipt upon request)

For most complaints we will need witness statements from all witnesses. Without this, it is unlikely that we are able to consider formal action, should this be deemed appropriate.

The complaints process

All complaints are assessed, and the level of investigation will be determined by the council, based on a number of factors. We may speak to other witnesses and will then discuss any complaint with the individual driver / operator and obtain their version of events. We do not disclose complainants’ details. 


Once an investigation has been completed, all evidence will be assessed and a decision made in line with the council’s enforcement policy as to what action, if any might be taken. The outcome will be notified to a complainant.

The council has a range of options available to them, should it be considered there is sufficient evidence, and taking action is in the public interest. This includes (amongst other matters):
•    Giving the driver an informal verbal or written warning
•    Referring the driver to a Licensing Sub Committee to consider suspending or revoking their licence
•    Prosecuting the driver (where a criminal offence is believed to have been committed).

How long will it take?

We aim to reply to your initial complaint within 10 working days; however, some investigations are complex and require significant resources to complete. The council will keep you up to date at relevant intervals should this be the case. 

What can I do if I disagree with the outcome of any complaint I submit?

If you are dissatisfied with the handling or outcome of a complaint, you are at liberty to use the councils formal complaints procedure, which can be found at: https://www.northnorthants.gov.uk/your-council/comments-compliments-and-complaints 


Last updated: 16/03/2022