Feeds

Congestion charge dodgers register Bentleys as minicabs

TfL to probe luxury cab trade

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Owners of upmarket sets of wheels have discovered a cunning ruse to avoid paying London's congestion charge - simply register the car as a minicab.

According to the Times, Transport for London (TfL) is "particularly suspicious" that a large number of exotic motors and two-seater sports car owners have coughed the £82 application fee and £27 for the annual minicab licence, thereby gaining exemption from Red Ken's £8 a day fee to enter the capital.

Among the luxury vehicles on the list of shame are "17 Bentley Continentals, which cost £117,500 new, three £300,000 Maybach 62s and eight two-seater Mercedes-Benz SLs". Others apparently plying their trade include an Aston Martin DB7, two Maserati Quattroportes and eight Rolls Royce Phantoms.

Some of these are evidently owned by cash-flush Londoners who live within the charging zone, keen to avoid stumping up from next October when owners of cars rated in band G for vehicle excise duty will lose their 90 per cent residents' discount and attract a £25-a-day fee.

To register your motor as a minicab, you just need to flash a valid MOT certificate, but TfL "does not check on the suitability of the vehicle or the likelihood that it would be used for private hire".

TfL was reportedly alerted to the outrage by Clean Green Cars, which preaches the "Gospel of Green". The website's Jay Nagley said: "The congestion charge is presented as an environmental measure, yet exceptions are being granted to some of the highest-polluting vehicles on the road.

"While we have no objection to exemption for minicabs in principle, it is absurd that a private hire vehicle with a V12 engine has to pay nothing, when a family doing the school run with a Renault Espace 2.0T Auto will be liable for the full £25. The logical move would be to stop exemptions for any minicabs that fall into band G. That way, no one would have an incentive to register their luxury car as a minicab."

Tfl will investigate the scam by "contacting the owners of the luxury cars and asking them for details of any taxi company that uses their vehicles". Cab firms must keep records of fare-paying journeys and TfL will "demand to see those records and compare them with its own data on vehicles in the charge zone".

A Tfl spokeswoman declared: "We are taking this very seriously. We call for anybody who has evidence to get in touch with us." ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.