Plating Taxis; the Challenges it can Present
3 minute read | January 30, 2020
At MSL we understand the additional difficulties customers can meet when they are involved in a motor accident which brings their business to a standstill. Alan Brown, Head of Claims Operations, shares his thoughts on the provision of a replacement taxi and the challenges we find when plating taxis for working use.
There is a perception from many in the industry (namely those who don’t operate in this niche area) that taxi hire is simply a case of maintaining a fleet of vehicles with radio equipment and then hiring them out as and when required. Due to national and local regulatory requirements there is, however, so much more to it, which often makes these claims complex and time consuming.
There are no set guidelines for councils to follow when implementing plating requirements so this process can be very different from one council to the next, which makes our first question the most important when asked for a replacement taxi – “what are the council stipulations?”.
The following are some of the areas which must typically be addressed with the council:
- Type of plate
There is a need to understand if the vehicle is a hackney vehicle or private hire vehicle as councils have different regulations for each one.
- Temporary or permanent plate
Some councils will allow a plate to be purchased for use during a specific year whilst other councils will only allow a temporary replacement plate for the duration of hire.
- Type of vehicle
Certain councils have a limited list of vehicles that can operate as taxis in their area.
Believe it or not, a lot of councils will only allow vehicles of a certain colour to operate in their borough, which can bring some huge challenges with it. One council specifically request that the bonnet of the vehicle is a different colour to the main body of the vehicle.
Some councils have restrictions on vehicle age.
Certain councils have now implemented an emission criteria which limits the vehicles which can be used.
- Safety test
Stipulations are in place at some councils that MOT style tests need to be completed on the vehicle by the council’s testing station.
- Collection of plates
Many councils will only release plates to the customer, meaning we will need them to accompany an MSL colleague to their offices.
There is sometimes a requirement that plated vehicles are fitted with CCTV cameras.
In addition to council requirements, certain taxi operators have stringent vehicle requirements.
In that first call with the council, it is critical to capture accurate data to ensure delivery of the replacement taxi runs as smoothly as possible. Once we have an accurate record, the transport team can identify the needs of the customer and set about getting the vehicle delivered to them as early as is possible.
First Contact to Delivery
The process then moves on to transporting the replacement vehicle which involves numerous stages to ensure that it is delivered to the customer fully operational. Transport can involve the vehicle going from the depot to the testing station then onto the plating office with tight timescales between each part of the journey. Once the plating office is happy that all tests have been passed the plates will be issued to MSL for the vehicle to be delivered to the customer so they can carry out their business.
It’s evident that there are many challenges that plating a vehicle can present, however MSL’s specialist team apply their knowledge in their daily work with councils, removing customer stress and ensuring a smooth customer experience from start to finish.Back to resources