Reply to post: Re: Uber arrogance again

German court slaps down Uber's ride-sharing app

big_D Silver badge

Re: Uber arrogance again

I wrote a long reply yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared (doesn't appear in my posts, no message that it was deleted by a mod... So I'll try again.

If a person has a hammer or tools, they are allowed to register a business, with no regard to how many other pis eople there are out there doing the same thing. Taxi licenses are finite, however.

We are talking about professional driving licences in the first order. Looking at the law, they don't need a taxi licence - after all, you have limo services as well, they aren't registered taxis.

In order to legally carry paying passengers (and thereby be able to insure the vehicle) the driver needs to have a professional driving licence. This is just a higher form of the normal driving licence and is controlled by the equivalent of the DVLA, not the local council (which is responsible for the taxi licences).

If the driver has not taken this additional driving test, they cannot legally carry paying passengers and therefore cannot get commercial insurance for their vehicles.

That means that if they do carry paying passengers, their insurance is null and void (a criminal offence - driving without insurance). If the insurance company finds out, they will send somebody round to remove the licence plates from the vehicle. If the police catch them, then they will face heavy fines and lose their licence for a period. of time.

As to taxi licences, there seem to be plenty to go around - there have been 4 new taxi companies and a few dozen new taxis pop up around here in the last 18 months (small town and has pretty much doubled the number of taxis in the area).

If they are running a taxi service (i.e. charging per journey) as opposed to a limo service (price per hour or per day), then driver needs a taxi licence and the vehicles have to be fitted with a calibrated meter to ensure that the passenger is not being ripped off. The price is set by the local council and the meters are calibrated by the German equivalent of the Weights and Measures office.

If the driver doesn't have a meter he will face heavy fines. If the meter is fitted but not calibrated, he will face a smaller fine and be banned from carrying passengers until he has had the meter calibrated and sealed.

There is nothing to stop Uber from operating legally. They just need to ensure their drivers have the professional driving licence and that they have valid insurance and a taxi licence and calibrated meter.

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