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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.

What are passenger services?

Passenger services include urban buses, taxis, shuttles, app-based services, intercity buses, limousine services, coaches and dial-a-driver services.

Read more about passenger services

What can a passenger expect?

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.

In-vehicle security cameras or registered passengers

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.

See a list of the relevant urban areas and other requirements

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 no longer required

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.

Special requirements

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.

When an operator can refuse service

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.

What should I do if I have a complaint? 

You should contact the NZ Police on 111 straight away for an serious improper behaviour such as:

  • violence

  • assault

  • sexual offences

  • driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs

For less serious improper behaviour, see the table below:

Complaint Contact
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.

If you're not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, contact the Transport Agency (external link)

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)

More information

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