- The trading title of our Private Hire Vehicle service is Village Cars.
- The Village Cars website is village-cars.net.
- Village Cars is a Private Hire Operator licensed by the Local Authorities of both Central Bedfordshire and Luton. It operates subject to statute and common law, as interpreted by the general Licensing Regulations.
- Village Cars acts as booking agent and intermediary between customers and subscribing, self-employed, Private Hire and Hackney drivers licensed by the above authorities, and it is the service provider for cash, credit card and account bookings.
- Bookings may be made direct by phone, or via the Automated Service bookings at the Village Cars website (Web Service), or via the Village Cars mobile phone application (App). All bookings are considered to have been made under the Village Cars at its Biggleswade head office, although it may be passed to other jurisdictions whenever deemed appropriate. Irrespective of from where or how a booking is made, Village Cars remains totally responsible for the booking.
- When Automated Service bookings are made following a User registering on the Village Cars Website or App, we may use the user’s network operator’s location services via the Website or mobile phone or other device to pinpoint your exact position. The user is required to confirm to Village Cars that the pick-up point has been accurately located. The user is responsible for correcting the location and/or address if it is not correct.
- All Village Cars Services, whether in regard to principal or agency services or via Web Services or App, whether published on the Village Cars Website or its App or as its users are otherwise informed by Village Cars, are as specified under our published terms and conditions along with any operating rules, policies, and procedures.
- All users of Village Cars Services, including our Web or App Services, hereby agree to be bound by all the stated terms and conditions. If you do not accept every single term and condition, you must not use any of our services.
Recording of Mobile Telephone Bookings and Enquiries
- Village Cars may record all mobile telephone calls between users and its office and/or drivers for monitoring, compliance and training purposes and this may be retained as a record for review by the relevant licensing department.
- Village Cars endeavours to provide truthful and reliable information at all times, including when providing time estimates of pre-booked timings and of “as soon as possible” requests. However, all timings must be accepted to be simply best estimates or best endeavours in an acknowledgement that Village Cars can never guarantee to keep to any precise times, although we will always strive to provide a driver and a suitable vehicle to arrive at the pre-arranged time.
- Whether or not Village Cars acts as the principal or as an agent or intermediary, every journey without exception must be pre-booked with Village Cars.
Sub-Contracted Bookings, Drivers and Vehicles
- Village Cars reserves the right to sub-contract any booking made with Village Cars to another of its own operating licenses in another region or to a totally different operator, however, in that event Village Cars retains full responsibility for the booking under its initial operator licence and area.
- Village Cars is licensed as an operator under the auspices of the district under which it takes bookings and all its vehicles and drivers are licensed and are required to act within the licensing laws and regulations of that district.
- All Village Cars drivers are self-employed and operate in a business in their own right. Reference to “Village Cars drivers”, “our self-employed drivers”, or “drivers” refers explicitly to self-employed drivers each of whom subscribe to the Village Car service and, in respect of which and for whom bookings are made through any of the Village Cars services, operate under the general umbrella of Licensing Regulations and control in which Village Cars is the Operator as deemed by Licensing law.
- All Village Cars drivers and vehicles are licensed by the Local Authorities in which they are licensed and are insured to undertake pre-booked Private Hire journeys. All drivers hold a current Enhanced DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) certificate and all vehicles hold the relevant enhanced MOT (Ministry of Transport) certificates required under Local Authority rules and regulations and National legislation.
Bookings using Electronic Equipment, such as Mobile phone, Web Service or App
- The terms and conditions contained herein are deemed to have been accepted by you once you request to book any journey with Village Cars. Any information received is provided on an “as is” basis. Use of such information is done at the user’s own risk.
- We expect users of our Automated Service Bookings system to appreciate that there may be occasions when adverse external events beyond our control may affect our Internet and mobile services and that Village Cars cannot ever be held responsible for any inaccuracy, deferment, or failure in the communication of any services.
- The interaction of all forms of bookings utilise mobile phone or data technology, Internet technology, Voice Over Internet Protocols (VOiP) data and electronic services. These depend on the limitations of various constituents outside of Village Cars control that may affect network performance and various operational components incorporating issues, without any limitation, concerning the maintenance and security of network connections, loss of connections, dropped connections, congestion, network coverage, and the execution of your own equipment and phone. Therefore, if you fail to receive confirmation of a booking or other services for any reason Village Cars bears no responsibility.
- Village Cars is also not responsible for delays, failures, or defects to provide a booking confirmation or services if you have tendered the wrong or anonymous mobile telephone number or address, have a mobile phone that is not conducive to receiving our services, is out of range, has a full message box, or if you delete information we sent you, or due to the failures of internet carriers, equipment or connections, or if you are not contactable for any other reason.
Availability of Services
- Village Cars does not warrant that its Web Service or App will always be secure, continuous, well-timed, or free of errors, or that its mobile telephone booking service will be continuously accessible. The user utilises Village Cars services entirely at their own discretion and risk.
- Village Cars endeavours to attain an excellent service and availability and if at any instant that high level is not maintained it will act urgently to reconcile the matter, however a user is never entitled to receive a perpetual or continuous service.
- Village Cars require that all journeys are pre-paid, as is required by bus, train and air-flight transport services. There are no exceptions to this rule. All customers receive an Airpay link on their booking phone for use when they have no available cash or card with them, but they do need to know, or obtain, their account details.
- Village Cars will supply users with a verbal agreed booking price on all possible occasions, and always if one is requested; and will always send the quote to every user along with its confirmation of booking text.
- When Village Cars acts as the principal service provider for Account Bookings, the fare is the price agreed between the customer and Village Cars, and if Village Cars acts as intermediary or agent between the user and the self-employed driver the fare, whether paid in cash or via debit or credit card, is also the price agreed between the customer and Village Cars.
- Village Cars inform users of the fixed fare for the precise journey booked and send the booker a confirmation of all relevant details to check the booking meets their specifications. If there is a change of any information, such as (but not limited to) date, time, pick-up or destination, number of people, or any additional pick-ups or drop offs, then the fixed price will usually change.
- The user is responsible for notifying Village Cars booking office (not the taxi driver) of any changes before the start of the journey so as to be given a new price. If any change, such as an additional stop or a substituted destination address, is not on the driver’s PDA, the driver will not be able to change from the agreed pre-booked information for legal reasons. However, a user may phone Village Cars booking office direct to request a late booking change even whilst en route, so the changes can be put on the driver’s PDA and a fare revision given and once accepted by the user the driver must be pre-paid any additional fare. The driver cannot make such a call on behalf of a user.
- Village Cars may add a surcharge additional to the ‘normal’ fare in certain localities and at certain times such as, but not exclusively, where a booking is undertaken on a ‘Bank Holiday’ (for example: New Year’s Day), or after a particular time of an evening and/or day of the week, or where traffic conditions or adverse weather cause protracted journey times against ‘normal’ expectations. When requested, the fare will be given at the time of booking and also provided again in the booking confirmatory text. Occasionally, a fare may need to be corrected after a booking has been agreed when unforeseen events become known to Village Cars, such as significant road closures or major weather events. In that event the user will be given advance warning of the fare increase and the opportunity to decline the revised fare and cancel the booking.
- Village Cars provides a specific fare for each individual journey so, the same fare may not necessarily be obtainable for the same or a comparable journey in the future.
- Village Cars may charge an additional waiting-time fee if they are made to wait at a pick up or drop-off point for longer than the usual waiting time of two minutes. The extra charge is chargeable at the start of each 5-minutes waiting-time after the expiry of the normal waiting-time. The driver may be required to add further charges concerning any extra payments incurred by the user’s route choice or other choices, for example parking or toll charges or if the driver is required to use a specific route.
- The user must pay for any damage they cause and for any internal or external soiling of the vehicle. The protagonist will be held accountable/liable for all reparations, including the cost of repairs and/or cleaning and ancillary charges.
Cancellations and Cancellation Charges
- Once you have made a mutual agreement with Village Cars to book a private hire journey using our service and you have received our notification that we have dispatched our driver and/or vehicle to you, you have automatically consented to having made a verbal contract with the dispatched driver and undertaken that you will meet said driver at the scheduled time and location, and will make the journey exactly as booked, and will pay the contractually pre-agreed fare.
- If the user is not at the given pick-up location or is not there at the pre-agreed time or the agreed journey is not undertaken at all, then the user will be charged a call-out fee of a sum up to the fare of the journey planned, unless the user has cancelled the job before the driver was dispatched.
- Your driver will send a text to the booker’s phone number when outside the pick-up point unless another phone number was given at the time of the booking. Your driver will wait there for a maximum of 5 minutes. In the interim, we may try to phone you using the booking phone number. Once the maximum 7-minute waiting period has expired, the driver would be expected to “no show” your booking and a ‘call-out’ charge would then automatically be payable from the non-user to the driver. Village Cars reserves its right to refuse any future services until that “call-out” fee is paid either to the driver or to the booking office and a receipt obtained from the person paid.
- If you still desire to undertake the original journey you failed to initially avail yourself of at the proscribed time or place, you must rebook directly with Village Cars office and a driver will be dispatched for a second chargeable booking.
- If a user cancels a booking before the job is dispatched (at the time of dispatch the user is automatically sent a text message saying a vehicle is on the way) then the booking is cancelled without charge and any cash pre-payment will be fully refunded by and at the office. Alternatively the user can use the sum against another booking. If the cancelling customer pre-paid by debit or credit card the sum will be repaid directly back into the same card as originally used but will have the intermediaries (bank and/or credit card company) charges deducted from the returned sum.
- If users fail to fully pay for any booking or act in a way Village Cars considers improper, including but without limitation, refusing to wear or keep on their seatbelts throughout the whole journey (as required by law}; eating and drinking when within the vehicle; smoking in the vehicle (which is a criminal offence) or vaping; soiling the vehicle with, for example (without limitation), food, drink (including water), sick (our minimum soiling charge is £35); leaving litter, inappropriate touching of vehicle equipment, for example, tampering with the vehicle radio channel; causing fear or distress to or otherwise harassing the driver; we will apply our right to bar such users from obtaining our services in the future.
- Users are solely responsible for ensuring that they have a valid means of payment with them before they commence the journey. If the user has not prepaid by Web, App, or other means, cash must be paid to the driver at the start of the journey.
Cash and Card Payments
- When prepayment has been made by credit or debit card via telephone, Web or App, Village Cars is acting as an intermediary or agent for its self-employed drivers and the contract for the booked service is between the user and the driver who undertakes to provide the service and is due the fare. Some self-employed drivers will not be able to accept any card payments but may be able to take you to a nearby ATM, otherwise all pre-booked journeys that have not been paid in advance must be paid in cash in full to the driver at the commencement of the journey.
- If the user does not have adequate cash to pay the full fare for their intended journey the driver may agree to take them to the ATM nearest to the pick-up point to withdraw the cash required to pay the driver, and the driver is then entitled to charge for this journey and waiting time. However, the driver has the right to refuse any journey for which he is not pre-paid the full fare.
- Passengers commit a criminal offence if at the end of the journey they refuse to pay or run off without paying. If there is an unresolved dispute between a passenger and their driver the disgruntled person should immediately contact Village Cars and they will speak to both parties and attempt to resolve the issue.
- As Village Cars fares are agreed before a journey commences, they are fixed fares and the price cannot usually be changed later unless exceptional circumstances occur such as may occur with adverse weather conditions or when diversions significantly impact on a planned journey.
Business Accounts and Payments
- When dealing with Account bookings, Village Cars acts as the principal and the user is bound by the terms and conditions of their Business Account, the trading terms of which includes a requirement to settle all bills punctually or their account can be suspended or cancelled.
- The user is accountable to pay all business account fares of all journeys in advance via pre-payments via telephone, Web, or App if Village Cars has suspended their business credit account for non-payment, or by arrangement via telephone if the user requests to pay in full the cash advance to their driver.
- Village Cars reserves its right to request all payments are made in advance of any journey being undertaken.
Credit Card Payments
- Village Cars will ensure that debit or credit cards are valid when offered as payment for a journey by requesting a small pre-authorisation sum to ensure your security and the validity of the card.
- During pre-authorisation no actual funds are ever removed from or charged to your card or account although your card provider may show a pending sum (typically of £1.01) as a payment and may restrict your account from going over-limit if you later use the card for other purchases during the pre-authorisation period.
- Village Cars will only charge your card or account for actual journeys that are booked and undertaken and for which you have indicated you wish your card or account to be charged. Your card provider decides exactly when to release the pre-authorisation period and it is generally between 1 to 5 days. Village Cars has absolutely no control over this time-frame.
- As Village Cars is merely an intermediary between users and our self-employed drivers, any card payment users make go directly to an appointed third party, that is, to our registered merchant services payment provider, and they will eventually pass on your payment, less their fee, to Village Cars and Village Cars will then pay your driver.
49 By using Village Cars you automatically consent to pay for all journeys you book and, if choosing to pay by card, consent to your chosen registered debit or credit card to be charged for journeys that you book.
- As you are accountable for paying your fares in a timely manner, in the event of the failure of Village Cars receiving an advanced card payment-verification then the user becomes responsible for immediately and directly paying the fare to the driver in cash at the commencement of the journey. In some cases the driver may consent (but is not so obliged) to take you to the nearest ATM, the additional fee for which you must also pay the driver at the same time as the original fare. Drivers must be paid the full fare required for a journey at the time of travel. It is not permissible for users to pay all or part of a fare at a later date.
- The employees or subcontractors of Village Cars are never given and cannot access the personal information that the PCI compliant merchant services receives when you provide your debit or credit card information.
- Village Cars identifies its users via the telephone number given when a booking is made. This tokenised system only holds your last few pick-up addresses to give you a quicker service and we never keep your debit or credit card details so only our third-party compliant merchant services, Judo Pay, ever have access to such details. This does theoretically mean that anyone who can access your phone or phone number and your credentials could make a booking and pay for it via your debit or credit card and so make you responsible therefore (for your protection) you must inform Village Cars immediately if your mobile phone is lost so we can stop your account and prevent a fraudster making a booking. However, in practice such an event is unlikely as you would have first informed your card provider, and they would have immediately put a stop on anyone using the card.
- Village Cars uses a third-party merchant services provider, Judo Pay, to carry out financial account transactions in which they process your debit or credit card payments for your booked journeys. Village Cars is not responsible for any financial errors as this third party is responsible for processing all payments out or credits in to your account in relation to our booking service and their terms, conditions and privacy policies apply in conjunction with those of your bank card or credit card provider.
- Refunds can only be made back to the debit or credit card that was used to make the initial booking. As refunds have to be processed via both our merchant services provider, Judo Pay, and your own card provider, the refund can take up to seven working days to reach your card. The time taken is beyond the control of Village Cars and, other than committing to act on and instruct any refund in a timely and prompt manner, Village Cars has no control over the time it may take for the refund to appear in your bank account or on your credit card.
Payment by Credit Card and Anti-Fraud Measures
- Village Cars takes any fraudulent activity very seriously and requires users of our phone, Web Service or App to only use their own debit and/or credit card and also require that the card used is registered at its user’s home address. We will suspend any account without notice that raises our suspicions of possible fraudulent activity and we will immediately alert the relevant authorities of our concerns.
- Knowingly paying for services or goods with someone else’s debit or credit card without their explicit authorisation is theft and/or an act of fraud. If Village Cars suspects any person is fraudulently using the debit or credit card of another person we will carry out our legal obligations and inform the relevant authorities of the criminal activity including disclosing names, addresses, phone and email details and all other related booking information for criminal or civil proceedings. Village Cars will pursue any charges against the perpetrator in any county court civil proceedings and will actively pursue all costs associated with the fraud.
Terms and Conditions of use
- The following terms & conditions only apply when Village Cars is contacted by phone or by accessing our Website or App using correct and honest details as also detailed on our Website or App or when phoned as only this permits the use of our software and services.
- In addition to our usual telephone booking service, Village Cars invites you to book on our Web Service or App, both of which have software allowing you to pay by card if you so wish. Village Cars will pass your booking on to one of its self-employed drivers with the details you provided and our software then allows you and your driver to communicate with one another until the booking is completed. The details passed on to the driver relate to your pick-up location, drop-off destination, name, and the number of passengers booked whilst you will reciprocally be sent relevant details about your driver and vehicle. To preserve your privacy and to adhere to data protection regulations, if the driver needs to phone you, your driver’s sole access to your mobile phone number is via our own Village Cars system and this information cannot be re-obtained by the driver once the booking has been completed.
- When using telephone services and/or the Internet Village Cars respectfully remind users that the configuration, technical specifications, and performance of mobile phones and/or terminals and requisite software that enable use of our application are all at the user’s control and cost.
- When using Village Cars applications all charges sustained such as, but not limited to, network and data-charges, are at the user’s sole responsibility.
- When booking any service with Village Cars, whether via phone, Web Site or App, the user accepts to use the booked service and to pay the applicable fare cited for the required journey directly to the appointed driver in accordance with the terms and conditions of use that apply between the user and driver if a prepayment has not been made.
- When agreeing to Village Cars terms and conditions you, and/or any other person using your account, undertake to honour them without reservation.
- Village Cars maximum liability for any services it provides whether as principle or agent/intermediary is restricted to the fare paid for the journey.
- Village Cars is not accountable/liable for any consequential or indirect loss originating from a failure to deliver any service, such as but not limited to lateness, or any other use of its services.
- Village Cars users’ must appreciate that unforeseen events (such as a failure to find a suitable driver or vehicle, vehicle breakdown, inability to discover either a pick-up or a drop off address, adverse traffic or weather conditions) can occur and make allowances knowing and accepting that both pick-up and destination times are merely estimates based on best endeavours.
- Users are bound to being genuine and truthful concerning their personal data whenever booking any service with Village Cars whether using a phone, the Internet, or our App, and undertake to use our service in a legal and honest manner.
- Village Cars permit users to use its web site, Web Service and/or App providing they consent to never cause any wilful service interruption, damage or congestion.
- Village Cars only allow users to use their services on the understanding that they consent to not trying to obtain access, or change or outmanoeuvre the software or services.
- If Village Cars believes that a user is abusing its service it will exert its reserved right to permanently exclude that user from all Village Cars services.
- All users have previously agreed that their account is private and they will ensure all details will be kept safe so if a user loses or reveals their password or username they are obligated to immediately inform Village Cars of the breach so we can offer our assistance.
- Village Cars will not entertain any claims whatsoever and will not be held culpable for any third-party damage to a user or their account howsoever caused.
- Village Cars will not accept legal liability without limitation for harm/injury, such as that caused by the use of/or the inability to use any of its services, including its Website, App and any websites with which it is associated, such as links to third parties for products, services, information or advice, loss of profits, indirect or consequential damage, or any use of data.
- No claims or guarantees are made by Village Cars that when a user accesses, browses, downloads, or uses its site for any other purpose, that the server behind our Website or other constituents that could potentially damage a user’s computer or other equipment is virus-free.
- The security of data/information transmitted via the Internet cannot be guaranteed by Village Cars and it cannot be held accountable/liable for any potential harm/injury experienced by users as a consequence of their Internet transmissions. Village Cars permits users to transmit data/information using its Website and linked websites on the proviso that they agree that using our network or those of our associates is at their sole risk.
- Where a jurisdiction does not permit liability to be limited or excluded for incidental or consequential harm or injury, Village Cars will restrict liability to the maximum extent legally allowed.
Warranty Excluded for Electronic Services including Website and App
- Village Cars is unable to guarantee that any particulars transmitted by text, Email, or App is always entire and/or error-free, or deliverable in a timely manner.
- Village Cars cannot be held accountable for any data/information that is partial, erroneous, or tendered late.
- Village Cars expect users to fully appreciate that statistics concerning vehicle availability and/or waiting times found on its Website or App are merely best estimates.
- Village Cars is not accountable/liable if submitted/applied data/information generates harm/injury to any software or hardware, or for the loss of any data, or for causing any interruptions to services. The user is solely responsible for ensuring all data/information is backed up by a secondary means.
Revision of Website and App Services
- Village Cars reserves its right to temporarily or permanently alter or terminate any aspect of its Web Service or App at any juncture without liability and will give as much notice of such changes or discontinuance as it deems reasonable and pragmatic in any given circumstance. Village Cars will inform its telephone callers of any service changes and will, whenever possible, post a notice of these changes on its Website.
Updating Terms and Conditions
- Village Cars may occasionally alter/update its terms and conditions and any such changes will be displayed on its Website. The alterations take immediate effect once you are informed of changes when making a telephone booking and/or when the modifications appear on our Website. By using our service following such notifications you are agreeing to be bound by the updated terms and conditions including all the new amendments.
Revision of Terms and Conditions
- Village Cars reserves its right to redevelop, alter and improve its Website and App services, and other mobile applications potentially being developed.
Termination of Service
- Village Cars reserves its right to stop its services either temporarily or permanently without notifying anyone, however, in such a scenario, it will endeavour to keep users updated via the Village Cars Website www.village-cars.net.
- Village Cars does not accept any responsibility for personal property left in its vehicles, as your personal property is your sole responsibility. However, we will do our utmost to check if it has been left in one of our vehicles. If the item/items is/are located arrangements will be made for your driver to drop off your lost property at the Village Cars Biggleswade office for your collection at your own cost. Alternatively, we will return it to you at a place you designate providing the full fare for this new journey has been pre-agreed and is prepaid. Please note that there may be a delay in our conducting an investigation on your behalf for reasons outside our control, such as your driver having already logged off to go home for the day.
- Lost property not collected within 6 months of the journey becomes the property of Village Cars and will be automatically disposed of at that juncture.
- Village Cars use “cookies” (software that ‘reads’ web pages) to allow its web browser to collect information about which web pages a user has already visited.
- Village Cars does not allow any particulars from its Website, App or associated websites to be copied, downloaded, replicated, modified, transmitted or altered in any manner and will take steps to prevent any unauthorised use of its material and actively pursue those that use its information without the written permission of Village Cars or otherwise commit any breach of its intellectual property rights.