Cab enforcement

Touting and associated dangers of unbooked minicabs

While London is safe for most people travelling at night, we still have major concerns over the dangers of travelling in unbooked minicabs.

All minicabs must be licensed by TfL and must be booked in advance. Any minicab that isn't booked by phone, email, an app or in a licensed minicab office is illegal and unsafe.

Your minicab is classified as unbooked and unsafe, if:

  • A private hire or minicab driver approaches you on the street
  • You approach a minicab driver on the street directly, and they accept your journey without a booking - even if the driver is licensed by us
  • A bouncer, or somebody with a high visibility jacket and clipboard, hails you a minicab on the street

Even minicabs lined up outside pubs and clubs are breaking the law if they accept your fare without a booking first.

Only taxis (black cabs) can be hailed and pick customers up on the street without a booking.

Drivers who tout are committing a criminal offence under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. If drivers are arrested and charged with touting, they are also charged with having no valid insurance (for carrying passengers.

We work closely with the Taxi and Private Hire trade, the MPS and the City of London Police to ensure the safety of passengers using London's taxi and private hire services, tackle touting, and unlawful plying for hire. Over 400 officers are mobilised for major operations, such as Safer Travel at Night.

We directly fund 68 dedicated police cab enforcement officers, 41 TfL compliance officers, and 32 vehicle inspection staff. The operations also use Safer Transport Team officers and a group of 290 female police officers are called upon as part of covert anti-touting operations.

They tackle touting and other cab-related offences in a number of ways. These include covert and high visitility operations across London, which aim to detect, disrupt and deter touts.

Reporting touting and illegal cab activity

Licensed and law abiding taxi and private hire drivers and other members of the public often have valuable information on touting and other cab-related offences across London.

Let us know if you have information.

Taxi driver identifiers

All taxi drivers are required to display driver identifiers when plying for hire as a condition of licence.

If you witness a driver not displaying their identifiers, displaying the wrong identifiers or you suspect displaying fake identifiers, or who may be plying for hire outside of their licence area, report this to us.

Close Favourites

My Lines

My Buses

My Roads

My River Buses

My Emirates Air Line

My Journeys

My Places

    Close edit Favourites

    Favourite lines

    Favourite buses

    Favourite roads

    Favourite river buses

    Favourite Emirates Air Line

    Favourite journeys

    Favourite places