Mum-of-three Jenny Larkin, 22, from Redcar, went into labour with son Finley at 2.30am last Friday.
After an hour and a half coping with the pains at home, partner Tim Galloway, 29, called JP Taxis to take them to James Cook’s maternity unit in Middlesbrough just after 4am.
Jenny said: “Tim told them it was for maternity and when he came he had some plastic sheeting on the front seat and said it was fine for me to sit there.
“We got on the A174 and I said the baby was coming. By the time we were pulling up at the hospital, the baby was already coming out.
“Five midwives rushed out to see what the situation was and there my baby boy was, hanging down and in a bit of shock. I had to deliver him there. That’s when he said to my partner, “I want the cleaning bill.”
Finley was born weighing a healthy 7lb 15oz and taken into the hospital, where medics kept an eye on his temperature after he was born outside in the cold.
Both Jenny and Finley were discharged later the same day.
But Jenny said both she and Tim were shocked when driver Steven Morrell turned up at their home and presented them with a cleaning bill for £40 on Monday.
Jenny, who also has two girls Elise, five and Ruby, two, said: “I was absolutely mortified.
“He knew he was going to maternity before he even set off and had put plastic sheets on the front seat.
“We are on benefits and £40 is a lot of money. We had paid £16 already for the fare.
“Tim said to him, “how do you expect us to pay that sort of money?” and he said “pay us when you’ve got it.”
The taxi driver, who is responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of his own cab as part of his self-employed contract with JP Taxis, said such events are “one of the hazards of the job”.
He added: “Unfortunately someone’s got to pay for it. I don’t think I’m being nasty asking for the valeting cost back.
“I couldn’t work on Friday or Saturday because the interior was still wet so I lost two days’ takings.”
Craig Walker, who owns JP Taxis, has asked Jenny to get in contact with him about what happened.
He added: “Steven has obviously had to take the car off the road after that. He’s had to pay to get it cleaned and he’s lost takings.”
He added the driver had the right to pass on his bill to the family in accordance with a council by law.
Article from Gazette Live