GoCompare has issued a warning to drivers not to offer people lifts home for profit this Christmas, following reports of young people offering their services on social media.
This week, Pembrokeshire Council said it had been made aware of “illegal taxis” operating throughout west Wales. Previous reports have found numerous Facebook groups around the country with more than 50,000 members where people advertised or sought “lifts” for cash from drivers without taxi or private hire licenses.
Those offering the lifts may view it as an easy way to make some extra cash, while people accepting them can often save money on a taxi fare home.
However, according to GoCompare Car Insurance, any driver advertising their services in this way and making a profit will effectively be acting as an illegal taxi service. As such, they will be committing several offences and invalidating their private car insurance policy, meaning there would be no cover in the event of an accident.
The warning follows a review of 362 private, fully comprehensive car insurance policies by GoCompare1, which revealed that:
- Private car insurance policies typically prohibit ‘passengers carried in the course of a business for hire or reward’;
- 10% of policies provide no cover for lift-sharing;
- Where private car insurance permits lift-sharing, it is restricted to social journeys and drivers are prohibited from making a profit.
Lee Griffin, CEO and one of the original founders of GoCompare, commented: “The rising cost of motoring coupled with the current financial squeeze for many people has made lift-sharing an attractive proposition. Most insurers will allow genuine lift sharing and there are loads of legitimate schemes across the UK. But drivers are not allowed to make a profit from their passengers and can only charge enough to cover petrol and other costs.
“If drivers make a profit, insurers are likely to class the lift-share as a taxi service, for 'hire and reward' and invalidate their policy. As well as the driver breaking the law, passengers are left incredibly vulnerable by illegal taxis and people need to be aware of the dangers."
For further information please contact:
Anders Nilsson or Louisa Marsden at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 655 132
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845
Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare
Notes to editors
1Defaqto Matrix of 262 comprehensive motor insurance policies (10 December 2019) - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.
GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.
GoCompare does not sell its customers’ data.
When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.
GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).