Legal Advice on Plying For Hire

Plying for Hire is an old offence; so old that it dates back to 1847. Regardless of its age, magistrates’ courts across the country are still busy dealing with cases where it is said to have occurred.

What makes a private hire licence different from that of a hackney carriage is essentially that hackney carriage drivers have greater flexibility. Private hire drivers do not have the freedom to take passengers without a booking- all journeys must be pre-booked, be it via an operator or a booking app. If a driver does not follow the correct procedure, they face prosecution on the basis that they have plied for hire.

In addition, being found to have plied for hire means that a driver’s policy of insurance was invalid at the time of the journey. This means that they will also be punished for the offence of driving without insurance.

When a driver is successfully prosecuted, they may have penalty points added to their licence, receive a fine, or a combination of both. Often, drivers will also be ordered to pay either the whole of the prosecution’s costs, or a contribution towards the overall figure.

The licensing authority may decide to revoke the driver’s private hire licence as a result of the prosecution.

At Ison Harrison, we have a wealth of expertise in dealing with all aspects of taxi licensing cases, including Plying for Hire. This includes:-

  • Successfully defending prosecutions;
  • Ensuring that where a case is proved, the punishment is minimal;
  • Effectively arguing against disqualification;
  • Attending interviews under caution;
  • Advising on and dealing with appeals;
  • Successfully making representations for the retention of a private hire licence.

Our approach is thorough, offering detailed, precise advice with a sensible approach to costs. Fixed fees are usually available.

We appreciate that there is a lot at stake in these cases. The loss of licences can affect a driver’s livelihood and we are conscious of this at all times.

For advice and assistance, please contact the Regulatory team:-