Could endorsements on your licence mean the end of your career?
You saw the light flash behind you and now you’re wondering how many points can a taxi driver have? No matter how safe a driver you are, it’s all too easy to get caught out exceeding the speed limit. The police have also cracked down on mobile phone use whilst driving. So a moment of lapsed concentration can cost you big in fines and penalty points on your licence. And it’s not just the fines you have to worry about financially. It can also mean increased costs when it comes to your taxi insurance. And depending how many points you have, your taxi licence could be taken away so you’ll lose your livelihood.
Find out more about the rules regarding penalty points and how to keep your taxi insurance as cheap as possible.
Taxi drivers and penalty points
For ordinary UK drivers, if you accumulate 12 or more penalty points within a three-year period, you can be disqualified from driving. If you’ve qualified to drive in the last two years the rules are tougher, and you’ll lose your licence with six points or more. And if you’re a taxi driver, you could also lose your licence that enables you to work with fewer penalty points on your record.
Can my taxi licence be revoked if I get points on my licence?
All professional drivers want to keep their licence clean. Apart from anything else, gathering points on your licence can mean that your taxi driver insurance goes up considerably. But depending on where you work as a taxi driver, those points on your licence could cost you your livelihood.
You’ll need to tell your local council if you get any endorsements on your licence. They could decide to revoke your licence or it may not be renewed when the time comes. For example, in Wealden:
“Where a licensee accumulates 12 or more penalty points in any 12 month period, the matter will be referred to the Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee for the Sub-Committee to decide whether the driver is a fit and proper person.”
But the rules are tougher in other parts of the UK. For example, taxi drivers in Huddersfield face much stiffer recriminations, as Kirklees Council will ask any driver with nine points or more on their licence to pass an ‘enhanced’ test set by the Driver Standards Agency if they want to keep hold of their permit to drive. This test must be paid for by the driver, and if a driver fails to pass this test the hackney carriage/private hire license will be revoked on the basis that the appropriate and required driving standards are not met.
If you’re not sure what your local council rules for taxi drivers are, get in touch with them. Find your local council contact details here.
Are these rules for the best?
Many drivers believe that these rules are draconian and will hit their livelihoods. But others and the public generally agree that this strict approach helps to keep customers safer. In fact, many other professional drivers will lose their professional drivers licence with less than the standard number of penalty points on their record. Some are limited to gaining just three points on their licence (such as Eddie Stobart HGV drivers and many emergency service drivers). So an allowance of up to nine points may seem rather generous in comparison.
These rules may also benefit the taxi community in other ways by effectively ‘weeding out’ drivers who flout the law not just once by accident (such as a single 3-point speeding fine) but several times. And that will reassure the public that they’re getting into a car being driven by someone who takes a little more care on the road – which can only be a good thing for the trade’s reputation in general.
What traffic offences can lead to penalty points?
The minimum number of penalty points you’ll get if you’re caught speeding is three with a minimum fine of £100. The more you’ve exceeded the speed limit, the higher your fine and the number of penalty points allocated. But it’s not just speeding that can land you in hot water. There are lots of other traffic offences, including some you may not have even heard of, that can result in you being issued between 1-11 penalty points. Some of the most common include:
1) Accident offences
- Failing to stop after an accident – 5-10 penalty points
- Failing to report an accident within 24 hours – 5-10 penalty points
2) Careless driving
- Driving without due care and attention – 3-9 penalty points
- Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users – 3-9 penalty points
- Causing death by careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for alcohol analysis – 3-11 penalty points
- Causing death by careless, or inconsiderate, driving – 3-11 penalty points
3) Vehicle condition offences
- Using a vehicle with defective brakes – 3 penalty points
- Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts or accessories (excluding brakes, steering or tyres) in a dangerous condition – 3 penalty points
- Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s) – 3 penalty points
- Using a vehicle with defective steering – 3 penalty points
4) Dangerous driving
- Dangerous driving – 3-11 penalty points
- Furious driving – 3-11 driving
- Using a mobile phone – 6 penalty points
5) Drink and drugs
These must stay on a driving record for 11 years from the date of the conviction.
- Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above the limit – 3-11 penalty points
- Driving or attempting to drive with drug level above the specified limit – 3-11 penalty points
6) Insurance offences
- Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks – 6-8 penalty points
7) Speeding offences
- Exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road – 3-6 penalty points
- Exceeding speed limit on a motorway – 3-6 penalty points
8) Traffic direction and signs
- Failing to comply with traffic light signals – 3 penalty points
- Failing to comply with double white lines – 3 penalty points
- Not following a traffic direction sign – 3 penalty points
- Failing to stop at a ‘stop’ sign – 3 penalty points
9) Other traffic offences
- Using a mobile phone when driving (not hands-free) – 6 penalty points
- Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position – 3 penalty points
- Play street offences – 2 penalty points
- Motor racing on the highway – 3-11 penalty points
- Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight – 3 penalty points
- Refusing to submit to an eye test – 3 penalty points
- Failure to give information as to the identity of the driver – 6 penalty points
Look at the full list of endorsements here.
Other penalty point systems for taxi drivers
Some councils also operate their own ‘penalty points’ system for anyone holding a hackney carriage or private hire licence. Under these systems, penalty points are dished out for a range of ‘offences’ from failure to provide the council with details of a change of address to failing to comply with a dress code.
Different council set different rules with different points being allocated and varying tolerance of the number of points that can be accumulated. Speak to your local council to find out if they run a penalty points system.
Find your local council contact details here.
How will penalty points on my licence increase my taxi insurance?
Even if you’ve still got your taxi licence, penalty points can have a massive impact on your income. That’s because the accumulation of points makes you a riskier prospect for insurers. And you’ll pay much more for taxi insurance than someone with a clean licence.
How to get cheap taxi insurance if you have penalty points on your licence
As a taxi driver, you’re on the road all day and often all night. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to commit a traffic offence. If you’ve just been caught speeding slightly, a single 3-point fine will increase your taxi insurance, but not to the extent that it will severely impact your livelihood. A one off fine doesn’t make you a reckless driver, and insurance companies know that. However, if you’ve clocked up several sets of points that could be a cause for concern. Insurance companies might simply not want the risk of insuring you, so will offer very high premiums to counteract that risk.
Don’t worry though if you’re a taxi driver with lots of penalty points. Follow these tips to get the best price possible for your taxi insurance:
- Use a specialist taxi insurer, who understands the risks involved in your business and the sort of cover you might need. That way, you’re likely to get a better price as well as a better deal, with insurance that meets your specific needs. A specialist taxi insurer will also understand that one set of penalty points does not make you a bad driver.
- Next, shop around. Different insurance companies calculate risk in different ways, so it’s possible to get the same insurance cover at very different prices. If you don’t know where to look, or would rather be out on the road earning, use a specialist taxi insurance broker, like Park Insurance, to do the legwork for you.
- Look for a tailored policy that meets your exact needs. That way you won’t be paying out for anything you don’t need.
- Talk to your broker about your work. For example, if you do a comparatively low mileage each year it may be possible to secure a discount. Also, if you don’t ever drive your taxi at night, you may also get money off your premium.
Points or no points, let Park Insurance find you cheap taxi insurance
Don’t let points on your licence get you down. Our dedicated team has over 30 years of expertise helping taxi drivers to secure the best value insurance. Our understanding of your business and close links to some of the UK’s biggest insurance companies helps us to negotiate great prices, even if you’ve got endorsements. And we’ll source robust insurance that won’t leave you with any surprises if you do need to make a claim. We’re independent, so will select the best value deals from a wide panel of specialist insurers. That means you can be confident we’re finding you the best price we can.
For a free quote for taxi insurance, call our helpful and knowledgeable team now on 0117 955 6835 or get a quote.