Passengers and small passenger service (SPS) drivers both have rights.
This page outlines what passengers can expect of their driver, when drivers can refuse to carry passengers and how complaints can be made.
Passenger services include urban buses, taxis, shuttles, app-based services, intercity buses, limousine services, coaches and dial-a-driver services.
You can expect your driver to:
drive a vehicle that is in a safe and roadworthy condition and has a current certificate of fitness (CoF)
display an ID card, with their photo, inside the vehicle in a place where it’s clearly visible (if it’s a dial-a-driver service, the driver will be wearing their ID card). If the photo doesn’t match the driver, or can’t be easily seen, you should use another vehicle
agree the scale or basis of the fare before the trip starts (including additional charges and GST if charged). For example, agree to a total price or use an agreed distance or time rate.
charge no more than the exact amount of a prior agreed fare or the cost determined by a meter (less any prepayment you’ve made)
give you a receipt or cause a receipt for the fare to be issued if you request one (an electronic receipt is acceptable). The receipt should contain the driver’s unique identification details and the vehicle’s registration number
if requested, supply a GST receipt (if registered for GST)
use a fare meter correctly (if a meter is used)
not be driving while tired by following the legal requirements to take breaks when necessary
take you to your destination using the shortest or most convenient route to you.
In some cases, such as a pre-booked tour or facilitated costsharing, the driver may be exempt from some of the above requirements.
To ensure the personal safety of both passengers and driver, small passenger service vehicles operating in urban areas must either have an in-vehicle security camera OR the driver must only provide services to registered passengers.
Where an in-vehicle camera is being used, the vehicle must have a notice clearly visible on the outside of the front passenger door and another inside in a prominent position letting you know that a camera is operating.
Signs such as the company name, fare schedules, fleet numbers and braille stickers aren’t required in small passenger service vehicles anymore. Roof lights are also no longer a requirement.
Different service providers may or may not cater for the needs of those with disabilities, parents with small children and other circumstances. Contact the service provider prior to travel to check if they can cater for your situation.
Small passenger service (SPS) drivers can refuse passengers if, on reasonable grounds, they consider their personal safety would be threatened or endangered.
SPS drivers can also refuse passengers if they work for a service that only provides services to registered passengers, for example through an app.
You should contact the NZ Police on 111 straight away for an serious improper behaviour such as:
driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
For less serious improper behaviour, see the table below:
|The driver refused a hire||
Contact the SPS provider in the first instance. SPS companies are required by law to keep a record of complaints, which is available for inspection by the NZ Transport Agency.
|The driver didn't issue a receipt|
|The fare wasn't charged as agreed|
|The route taken wasn't advantageous to the hirer|
|The behaviour of the driver|
|The fare charges are too high||Consumer Protection (external link)|
|The driver didn't have a P endorsement||The NZ Transport Agency|
|The driver didn't have an ID card|
|The vehicle didn't have a certificate of fitness (CoF)|