More questions than answers raises serious concerns over lack of enforcement against unlicensed chauffeurs, limos and novelty vehicles
Over the past several months angrypolicyholders.com has carried out what can only be described as the biggest investigation of its kind into the UK chauffeur, limousine and novelty vehicle industry. Our findings have left us shocked and horrified at the scale of unlicensed operators, vehicles and drivers providing services to consumers and businesses across the UK.
There is no reason not to be fully licensed, but there may be a reason why some choose not to play by the rules. Our investigation has also uncovered that some companies or individuals evading the law tend to be involved in a wide range of criminal activities that seems to go hand-in-hand in the illegal side of the trade.
It is because of our findings that angrypolicyholders.com has launched Project Parker to help clean up the industry and shut down these illegal operators and run off the road the thousands of unlicensed vehicles currently on UK roads. Even though there are licensing departments and enforcement officials who are passionate about keeping our roads and consumers safe, unfortunately for every good one there are others that verge on the incompetent.
I understand that budgets are being cut thanks in part to the banking crisis and that enforcement action has to come out of councils own coffers, but that is no excuse to turning a blind eye to illegal operators, vehicles and drivers. Morally its not fair for the legal side of the trade who pay tens of millions in fees and jump through many hoops to comply with the law when the illegal – unlicensed – side of the trade are allowed to avoid these fees and rules because of lack of enforcement.
Speaking to the trade at length it is clear that some councils are very active in enforcement but others – who we will be naming and shaming – live on another planet and forget they have a ‘duty of care’ to protect the public. After taking a seven month crash course in licensing legislation I can confirm it’s a very complex piece of legislation but the basics should be easy for all to understand. Licensed operator, vehicles and drivers are a must and by using anything other than a fully licensed company is only helping to support the illegal trade.
We are currently working our way through every council in the UK, – over 374 in total – evaluating which councils are enforcing the law and which ones aren’t. Along with tip offs and our own research we are now ready to start publishing our findings. Working with the trade and their associations we will keep our promise to bring cases to the public’s attention and have the people and companies involved held to account.