We all know unlicensed mini-cabs are dangerous, but some of us are still taking the risk. To help you find a safer route home, we put together a few tips on how to plan a post night-out journey this Christmas

We’ve all seen the TfL posters, and watched the ads ‘if it’s not booked….’ Yes, we know ‘it’s just a stranger’s car’, and of course, most of us wouldn’t even consider hopping into an unlicensed mini-cab in the cold light of day. But then there’s the other reality of standing outside a pub after closing time in the cold, knowing it’s a triple bus journey home, and being offered a discount lift by what seems to be a fairly legitimate mini-cab driver. A recent survey of 1,500 London women by Bounce Cars revealed that 58% of those they spoke to had knowingly journeyed home in an unlicensed mini-cab. For those surveyed in the 18-24 age bracket, they found that 52% considered a low fare or quick pick up time to be a greater priority than safety when travelling home from a night out. So, if we know the risks, how do we avoid taking them? Here are some tips for enhancing your safety after a late night out.

58% of those they spoke to had knowingly journeyed home in an unlicensed cab

Your phone is your friend… It might sound patronising and we know you’ve heard it all before, but a pre-booked TfL licensed cab is essential if there are no options for public transport on your route home. Charge your phone before leaving the house and if possible, pre-book the cab before starting your night out so you won’t be left waiting.

Don’t be fooled by a clipboard and a high vis… Avoid arranging a cab through anyone offering a service outside a pub or a night club. A clipboard doesn’t make it official, and it won’t ensure your safety.

Don’t do a disappearing act…As a night is winding down, it can be tempting to slip out quietly, but if the driver taking you home is the only one who knows where you’re going, it’s not safe. If you book through a licensed firm, you can get the driver’s details and company details. Make sure someone you trust knows you’re getting into a cab and text the information to them. The free Cabwise app can help you find your nearest mini-cab or black cab.

Travel as a group…Have the cab conversation early in the night. Is there anyone going your way? Travelling as a group is always the safer option.

Avoid drivers offering a discounted rate…If the driver is touting for business, then he/she is already breaking the law. A cheap deal can be tempting, but it’s never worth the risk.

If you’re using public transport…The Get Home Safe journey planner can help you to plan your journey home and set up a text reminder of your route so you never miss the last bus home.

For details on the Bounce Cab app visit:

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