Who’s taking you home tonight? That's the question the taxi licensing authority says we should all be asking this Christmas

Enjoy the festivities by leaving the car at home. It is a great idea. But if you are paying for the lift, please make sure you are using a licensed taxi or minicab.

Wealden District Council works hard throughout the year to make sure licensed taxis and their drivers are safe and insured. Make sure your driver is properly licenced. The licence number should be displayed on the side door of the vehicle and a licence plate at the rear. All licensed drivers also carry a photo ID.

“Unfortunately at this time of year, fake taxi drivers try to earn money by charging for lifts,” said Councillor Nigel Coltman, Chairman of the Council’s Licensing Committee. “Licenced taxi and minicab drivers are subject to medical and criminal record checks. You do not know who you are getting into a car with if there is no badge on the side of the vehicle. The vehicle may not be roadworthy. The driver may want to do more than drive you home.

“It doesn’t take a moment to check that both the car and driver are licensed. In doing so you can stay safe and enjoy your Christmas and New Year.

“Or, to put it another way, No Plate, No Badge = NO RIDE.”

Posters highlighting the importance of only using licenced taxis and minicabs are being displayed in local pubs and clubs.

All licensed drivers with a Wealden licence undergo a strict application process. Once approved, they will only retain their licences if they can continue to pass regular medical and criminal record checks.

All taxis licensed by Wealden District Council are subject to annual insurance checks and a full mechanical inspection every six months.