Private Hire and Congestion Charge exemption

MQT on 2015-09-16
Session date: 
September 16, 2015
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


If Private Hire drivers are not working and decide to deactivate their Hire/Reward Insurance, are they currently required to notify both their Operator and TfL and to pay the Congestion Charge if they enter the charging zone? If so, how is TfL enforcing this?


Answer for Private Hire and Congestion Charge exemption

Answer for Private Hire and Congestion Charge exemption

Answered By: 
The Mayor

A licensed vehicle cannot be used for private hire bookings without the correct hire and reward insurance being in place and the Congestion Charge exemption only applies to private hire vehicles when they are undertaking private hire bookings, regardless of whether hire and reward insurance is in place or not. Private hire operators are obliged to keep an up to date insurance record for all drivers and vehicles working for them. However, there is no requirement for TfL to be notified if a vehicle ceases to be used as a private hire vehicle during the currency of its annual vehicle licence.

TfL carries out spot checks on a random sample of private hire vehicles, identified through Congestion Charge cameras. The registered keeper of the vehicle will be contacted and asked to provide evidence that the vehicle was being used to undertake a private hire booking at the time they were in the zone.

In the past 12 months, 94 per cent of vehicles checked were found to be correctly exempted from the Congestion Charge. The remainder were issued with penalty charge notices and had to pay the charge.