Denbighshire County Council is urging residents to stay safe this Christmas and book taxis in advance of their evening out.
Although there have been no reports of unlicensed vehicles in Denbighshire, they can be a common problem across the country, and with the Christmas party season in full swing it's important to know how to tell an unlicensed taxi from a licensed one, says the council
All vehicles will be identified by individually numbered plates front and back with hackney carriage vehicles also having a roof sign, while all drivers will carry ID badges.
Emlyn Jones, Head of Planning and Public Protection, said: "Unlicensed taxis may seem to offer a better deal but it's not worth risking your safety to save a few pounds.
“These vehicles are not insured as taxis and the drivers have not gone through the rigorous checking involved in the licensing process.
“Licensing officers will be carrying out checks to ensure no unlicensed taxis are operating in the area. Never get in a taxi without first checking that it's the one you have booked or that it's a legitimate Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle.”
When the party is over and you need to get home, remember these guidelines about council licensed taxis:
• Hackney Carriage Vehicles have a plate attached to the front and rear of the vehicle displaying the vehicle details and licence number.
• Hackney Carriages can ply for hire from designated taxi ranks and can pick up passengers who flag them down.
• Private Hire Vehicles have a blue sign attached to the rear doors of the vehicle showing the licence and a plate at the rear of the vehicle displaying the vehicle details and licence number.
• Private Hire Vehicles can only be booked in advance through an operator.
Never get in to a vehicle that does not display an appropriate plate at the rear. It is not insured and may not be licensed.
Ensure that the driver is displaying a council approved driver's badge. For your own safety, always take a council licensed vehicle - the driver and vehicle have both been vetted.
Emlyn Jones added: “Don't let a good night out be ruined by an unlicensed taxi. Always book in advance or make sure you have the number of several local taxi firms stored in your mobile phone before going out."