REVELLERS in Wrexham are being urged to check that the taxis they get into during the Christmas season are safe.
Passengers who travel in unlicensed vehicles are not covered by insurance and the car will not have passed a taxi test, which could mean they are unroadworthy.
Andy Lewis, chief Housing and Public Protection officer, said: 'Know what you're getting into - before getting into a taxi. Make sure the vehicle is properly licensed by checking it has front and rear plates and ask to see the driver's identification badge. These simple checks will help you travel safely.
'Private-hire vehicles, either saloon cars or eight-seater mini-buses, can be identified by front and rear taxi licence plates that display Wrexham council's logo. They cannot be hailed on the street and must be booked through a taxi office.
'Hackney-carriage vehicles, usually the London-style cabs, can be hailed on the street, and are available from taxi ranks.'
The council is also advising Christmas party-goers to ensure they agree a fare between themselves and the taxi company at the time of booking their lift home and certainly before getting into the vehicle.
The majority of companies will increase their rates at certain times during the Christmas period.
Here are a few points to bear in mind this Christmas:
Do not hail a private-hire vehicle from the street or accept a lift from one touting for trade. This is not legal and you have no guarantee that the driver is licensed. Only Hackney carriages can be hailed from the street.
Plan how to get home before you go out and book a vehicle with a reputable company well in advance. Making decisions before you go out is much safer, particularly if you are going to be drinking. Try to avoid busy times, for example about 8pm and 2am - it is much easier to get a taxi when it is quieter.
You could take the telephone number of a reputable company with you when you go out and phone for the cab when you need it. Alternatively, walk to a nearby taxi office to order a cab.