Uber really seems to just be out to break as many laws as they can, whilst claiming that the authorities are against innovation… It seems to be the Silicon Valley way.
In Germany they are also banned, because they acted illegally. In Germany, in order to ferry passengers around for money, you need a professional driving license. This is not a taxi license/medallion, but simply a harder normal driving test and resulting license that allows you to obtain commercial insurance for transporting people for remuneration. Without this type of driving license, you can’t be a mini-cab driver or taxi driver (or limo driver or any other kind of driver of normal cars carrying passengers for money, bus drivers need an additional PSV license).
Uber just hired drivers and never checked to see if they had the correct type of driving license. They were just hired. They didn’t even inform drivers that they needed such a license, according to the original article I read.
The problem is, you cannot get commercial hire-vehicle insurance if you don’t have the professional driving license. If you don’t have commercial insurance, your vehicle is not insured when you carry paying passengers. Driving without insurance is a ciminal offence.
That means, if an Uber driver is stopped, whilst he has a passenger in the vehicle, he loses his license, he has to pay a large fine and possibly face time behind bars. That is the best case scenario.
If the driver has an accident, they lose their license, have to pay a hefty fine, face possible imprisonment and they are left with the bill for all damage to vehicles and property and for all personal injury claims.
Because of this, the German courts banned Uber from operating in Germany, until they got their act together. Given the number of taxis and the, generally good drivers, I don’t know if there is that much of a market for Uber in Germany. Certainly, after the court case, their reputation is pretty poor and there are several good taxi hailing apps available.