Car insurance policies could be axed if “money changes hands” unless a driver has a valid taxi driver insurance policy in place. This strict rule could catch out many road users who may accept money for dropping people off to work.
The lack of public transport options available under lockdown may see people turning to family and friends to provide a service.
However, charging is not allowed as this is legally classed as “hire or reward” which is not covered on a standard policy.
The warning was issued by car insurance comparison experts QuoteZone who has claimed the payment of any money could lead to dramatic consequences.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, QuoteZone director Greg Wilson said a special policy needs to be in place for any drivers looking to accept money from offering lifts.
However, the officers did confirm that all insurers were different and would have different guidelines in place to deal with those charging for journeys.
They urged road users to always check with their car insurance provider to make sure their actions could not lead to invalidating a policy.
Motorists could also be at risk if they accidentally accept too much for their petrol and end up making a profit.
Although the risk of being caught by close family and friends is slim, the risks can be devastating for those who are seen breaking the rules.
Drivers are likely to be issued penalties if they are making profits from offering lifts without a valid taxi licence in place.
Fines of up to £2,500, penalty points and even a temporary driving all may all be issued for running a more comprehensive service.
Lift services have crept up on social media with Dorset Police exposing an illegal web operating through Facebook in Bournemouth and Poole back in 2108.
Alongside risking fines, points and invalidating their car insurance, experts warn motorists could also be compromising their own safety.
A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: “When getting into a vehicle with an unlicensed and unvetted stranger, you have no knowledge of their background and risk your own personal safety.
“Before offering a lift in exchange for money, you should speak to your insurance company as this could invalidate your insurance and may result in your vehicle being seized by police, a fixed penalty or prosecution resulting in a fine, points on your licence or disqualification from driving.”
Lockdown measures also mean road users could be fined if they are driving with someone they do not live with.
Picking up a friend from their house and going for a drive or dropping them off to work could be seen as going against restrictions.
Police have the power to issue fines of up to £60 for those not abiding by the rules although charges can fall to £30 if they are paid within 14 days.
Published at Wed, 06 May 2020 07:37:00 +0000