Minicab firms in Birmingham which run poor quality cars with rude drivers will be named and shamed under a new inspection scheme being drawn up by city licensing chiefs.
Under the proposed rating system, the firms could be given a ranking from platinum, for the very best, through gold, silver, bronze down to unrated for the poorest companies.
Companies will get top marks for running a fleet of clean, reliable and safe cars, with smart, well-trained drivers.
Private hire companies whose drivers break the rules, such as by plying for hire or running cars in poor condition, will be penalised on the public rating system.
A similar rating scheme for restaurants has proved popular with consumers.
Chairman of the council's licensing committee Barbara Dring (Lab Oscott) said: "The decision to look at introducing a quality ratings system for private hire operators in Birmingham will, I believe, help drive up standards across a range of issues including vehicle checks, disabled access and drivers' conduct.
"For some time our 'H for Hygiene' scheme, which regularly inspects food businesses across the city, has ensured that most operate to a good standard, and where they fall below satisfactory standards officers are able to offer advice.
"It is proposed that similar principles are applied to private hire operators."
It was also welcomed by committee member Coun Bruce Lines (Con Bartley Green) who said: "Making operators more accountable for the drivers is something we have wanted to see for a while. Naming and shaming is what works."
The Birmingham-based National Institute of Professional Drivers, which represents cab drivers, also backed the scheme.
Manager John Deacon said: "Standards in the industry do vary so this is a very, very good scheme. Something I would like to see is operators providing more training for drivers."
Companies will be marked against 41 essential and bonus criteria - such as whether drivers have a uniform - over which the council is now consulting firms, drivers and customers.
The consultation runs until the end of the year with the ratings introduced in April 2015.