Taxi inspection failures in Fife lead to re-test cost hike

Sharp rise in taxis failing inspection tests
Sharp rise in taxis failing inspection tests

Taxi and private hire car operators in Fife who fail to maintain their vehicles properly will be hammered in the pocket.

There has been a sharp rise in vehicles failing inspection tests.

So councillors have decided to hike up the cost of re-tests to penalise operators who fail to ensure their vehicles are fit for purpose.

Operators who have recorded a test failure can also expect to be subjected to a strict policy of random testing for the next six months.

The cost of a statutory maintenance test is currently £30 per vehicle.

A re-test is £26 – but that’s set to be almost quadrupled to £100.

Councillor Bob Young, chair of the regulation and licensing committee, said: “At the last committee we took the decision to increase the cost of taxi and private hire car re-testing in a bid to cut down on the number of vehicles failing these tests.

“The committee heard a report on the number of vehicles, in each area, which had failed their inspection tests first time round.

“We were quite horrified and felt that these numbers were quite unacceptable.

“It is the owner/operators’ responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is safe and fit for purpose.

“We have a duty of care to the general public and felt that only by increasing the cost of the re-test significantly could we send out the right message to the operators.

“They need to make sure their vehicles are well-maintained and roadworthy at all times.”

The decision to increase the cost of the re-test followed reports on inspections carried out in north east Fife, where 21 failures were recorded in 168 tests, and in Levenmouth, where 10 out of 95 failed. The last report on tests in the Glenrothes area was at the end of last year, when four failures were recorded in 83 tests.

Defects included worn or damaged tyres, suspenion problems, faulty brakes and lights not working properly.