The Government has been urged to reform 'outdated and flawed' taxi laws by the Local Government Association (LGA).
The call comes after figures show that the number of licensed drivers and vehicles have hit a record high, increasing by 58% since 2005.
The LGA warns that outdated legislation and new technology is preventing councils from taking action against the rising numbers of unlicensed drivers operating in their area.
It is calling for national minimum licensing standards for drivers of taxis and PHVs, and a mandatory national database of all licensed taxi and PHV drivers.
Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: 'Reforms are needed to reflect the increasing use of mobile phone apps to book taxis and private hire vehicles and to give councils national enforcement powers so they can take action against any vehicles operating in their areas irrespective of where they are licensed.
'Safeguarding legislation needs to be strengthened following well-documented child exploitation cases where taxi and PHV drivers have abused the trust placed in them.
'Undue delay risks public safety.'