As the busy Christmas party season fast approaches, with high demand for cabs, and with the higher cost of black cabs (that also become scarcer at peak times), the importance of booking TfL licensed minicabs is being emphasised.

58% of London women have knowingly taken an unlicensed minicab home, which is pretty shocking and highlights the need for many of us to change our habits.

The research was conducted on 1,500 London women by Bounce – a new fixed-fare, low cost minicab app for the city. It has once again highlighted the need for women to change their attitudes on travelling home at night and to be more vigilant.

Despite being aware of the dangers posed by getting in an unlicensed cab, 52% of women aged 18-24 ranked either price or prompt pick up as a higher priority than safety when planning a journey. 

Seven out of 10 women admitted to getting into a minicab without checking whether it was TfL licensed.

Travelling in an unlicensed minicab was not the only threat to female safety highlighted by the research. 81% of women surveyed stated they have also felt unsafe whilst waiting to get a minicab in Central London.

The threats posed to women in unlicensed cabs range from theft to far more serious occurrences, which have featured on the news far too much already.

A recent report from Thomson Reuters Foundation also expresses the need to raise awareness of the issues, stating that almost a third of women have been verbally abused on London’s transport network.

Worryingly, it appears younger women in London are more concerned with saving a few pounds than risking their safety in an unlicensed minicab. In comparison, safety is eight times more important than price to women aged 55 and over.

It appears women do get wiser with age – which is promising, at least.

Nicko Williamson, CEO of Bounce, commented: “We are on a mission to change this by not forcing women to compromise; letting passengers book safe, great value journeys with TfL licensed drivers through the Bounce app.”

The takeaway advice is to book a licenced minicab, agree on the fare upfront and wait indoors for your cab if possible, or at least with friends.

If in doubt, call a friend over the age of 55 for guidance – though bear in mind they might not appreciate your drunken call.