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Frequently Asked Questions | Prom vehicle advice for parents | Sandwell Council

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Prom vehicle advice for parents

Frequently Asked Questions

Prom season is approaching and we know that some parents will be looking to hire a vehicle for the big event.

Unlicensed drivers are relatively rare in the taxi trade, but every year many people book unlicensed chauffeurs to take their children to prom.

Many of these unlicensed drivers offer their services through social media such as Facebook Marketplace, or on internet sites such as Craigslist.

Vehicles with 9 or more passengers seats, such as limousines and party buses, are public service vehicles (PSV) licensed by Traffic Commissioners. The driver must hold a Drivers Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC).

Vehicles with 8 or fewer passengers seats, such as supercars, campervans and vintage cars are private hire vehicles (PHV) licensed by local councils. The driver must hold a Private Hire Driver licence with the same council that the vehicle and operator (company) are licensed with.

Here are some helpful frequently asked questions which you should read, before you book your prom vehicle.

What can happen if they’re not licensed?
Not only will the company be breaking the law, but appropriate background checks may also not have been done and the driver may be a danger to your children. The driver and/or vehicle will not be insured in case of an accident, which may be more likely if the vehicle is unroadworthy due to not being licensed.

Can they supply alcohol?
Yes, as long as it is not to under 18s and there is a premises and personal licence in place. These are issued by councils.

What should I do before I book a vehicle?
Ask for proof that they are licensed by the Traffic Commissioner or a local council. Make a note of their licence number in case something goes wrong. You can also verify that the licence is still valid with either the Traffic Commissioner at https://www.gov.uk/find-vehicle-operators or by contacting the council. 

If a company has neither licence in place it can be reported to the DVSA, which has the power to remove vehicles from the road.

A professional company will also have a child protection policy which you can ask to see.

How much will it cost?
This can vary and it is not unusual to cost several hundred pounds. You should ask for a quote in writing beforehand and make sure that all the passengers are aware of the cost before booking a journey.

What should I do when the vehicle arrives to collect my children?
Ask the driver for photographic identification, the name the journey is booked in and the destination. There should be an in-date licence plate on a private hire vehicle, or an exemption certificate. Operator discs are on display in public service vehicles, such as limos. 

What should I tell my children?
Advise them to wear a seatbelt at all times, and not to distract the driver. In case of emergency, they should contact 999.