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  • Royal Ascot 2009 dates announced

    For those racegoers that like to book their limousines of chauffeur cars early, the dates for Royal Ascot 2009 have been announced. They are Monday 16th June through to Friday 20th June. Ladies day is on the 18th June 2009.

  • Are you safe in a limo from London?

    You may well ask. Most people will be shocked to discover that in the London area, just 23 limousines have been registered with the Public Carriage Office (PCO) for private hire. 23 limousines, shared amongst, perhaps, 6 or 7 companies. This shocking figure is made all the worst when you consider that the Government changed the legislation in January 2008 to require all companies offering 'chauffeur driven' limousines to be registered either with the PCO or VOSA, as a bus operator. So is the Government doing anything about this....well no, apparantly!

    In fact, as a result of the change in legislation, many limo companies that had previously been registered for private hire with the PCO, have actually de-registered, so much for the public safety issues. You may well ask why these companies do not want to be registered, it is a fair question and certainly one that should be asked before anyone considers hiring a limousine from a London based limo company.

    Of course London based companies that do not register their vehicles for private hire with the Public Carriage Office will not have to subject their limousines to regular stringent safety checks, they will not be required to keep records in respect of hires, maintenance and so on. In fact, they will not be subject to any regulation, as would be the case if they were registered for private hire. Worst still, there will be no requirement for the "chauffeurs" to have a PCO licence, this means that you cannot be certain that the chauffeurs have been subjected to a strict medical or a Criminal Records Bureau check. So, in many cases, people getting into the back of a limo will potentially face exactly the same risks as those getting into an unlicensed minicab. This state of affairs is shocking.

    Of course the PCO cannot do much, because they can't force people to register, nor can they stop people de-registering. All they can do is routine checks in the hope that they can catch people in the act. The Police don't seem to understand the rules, or maybe it is just easier to issue fixed penalty notices for parking infringements. The Government needs to make a stand, but as usual, they are doing nothing. You safety will not matter one jot to the Governement unless or until someone gets attached and the publicity gets too much. As usual the public are expected to take the risks whilst ministers waste our money on new green initiatives, because we must care about the planet, but not about peoples safety, or perhaps it is just that there is more money to be gained from green initiatives.

    The bottom line is the Governement is currently doing nothing, it is your safety that is at risk and these limo operators are continuing to trade with apparant impunity. There will shortly be a London election, perhaps now is the time to register your feelings!

    So stay safe, don't take the unecessary risk of hiring an unlicensed limo in London, search for licensed limousines companies or go to the PCO website to find out who is registered in your area.

  • End of the line for unlicensed limo companies

    From the 1st January 2008, all companies offering stretched limousines for hire must be fully licensed to offer their limousine for hire, the only exception if limousines used exclusively for weddings. This follows amendments made to the Road Traffic Act 2006.

    In the past, many limousine companies used the so called “seven day rule” to allow them to operate as a limousine hire company. This was sometimes because the limo company could not be bothered to go through the hassle and expense of licensing their business, vehicles and chauffeurs, but also, and more commonly, as a direct consequence of their local authority either refusing to licence stretched limousines or introducing conditions that made it virtually impossible to comply. Invariably there were neighbouring local authorities that had a completely different interpretation of the rules relating to private hire, in relation to left-hand drive stretched limousines. The Government introduced the amendments to ensure that there was a common framework for limousine companies in relation to private hire and to introduce some regulation to a hitherto unregulated, burgeoning industry.

    Fortunately for existing operators, the Government announced a delay to the introduction of the amendments to provide existing operators ample time to make the necessary arrangements to licence their business, vehicles and their chauffeur, in fact, the industry have had close to 18 months notice. Of course some limousine companies may already have ‘voluntarily’ licensed their business for private hire, if their local authority supported such applications and the business owner wanted to operate their business in a regulated and completely legal way.

    So, given the industry has known about these changes for nearly 18 months, there is no excuse for any company to be operating an unlicensed limousine business and any that do, should be viewed in exactly the same was as an unlicensed mini-cab operator would be.

    Of course those limousine operators that have invested the time and money into becoming licensed can rightly expect swift and decisive action from the enforcement officers against any limousine operators who continue to trade without an appropriate private hire licence. In the past the Police, local authorities and VOSA have failed to have a coordinated approach to this issue. Now, following the change to the Road Traffic Act, the public and the industry is entitled to expect these Government agencies to do their jobs.

    No doubt there will still be some operators that whine about the amount of time they have been given to conform, but 18 months is a long time, plenty of notice for an operator to go through the necessary steps to licence their operation, vehicles and chauffeurs. Therefore they deserve no sympathy, if they have not licensed their business, then they are not entitled to trade and if they do, the Government agencies must prosecute all cases with vigour.

    Many in the limousine industry have argued for regulation and they now have it, whilst not perfect, it is a good start and you can expect the vast majority of these operators to both welcome and conform to the new requirements. Others may feel that the costs were prohibitive and decided to exit the business; this means there may be less capacity in 2008, however, this is likely to be short lived as the professional operators expand to fill any void. Nonetheless, there will still be a hardcore of operators that consider the law is not for them and fail to licence, these people should be pursued, reported and prosecuted to the full extent of the law until they have all been closed down and until this has been completed, the Government agencies will have failed in their statutory obligations to the public and the private hire industry.

  • Information about Royal Ascot Racecourse

     

    With the dates of the most popular horse racing event of the year announced, many people will now start to think about setting the dates aside in their diaries, deciding on who will accompany them to the event and booking a limousine. The dates for Royal Ascot 2009 are Monday 16th June through until Friday 2oth June, Ladies Day is on Wednesday 18th June.

     

    Of course few racing events can match Royal Ascot's rich history, with a racecourse which was founded by Queen Anne back in 1711 and will reach its tercentenary in 2011, now that should be an event to remember. During Royal Ascot week some 300,000 people will attend the event making it Europe's most popular racing event. The Ascot Authority, formed by an act of Parliament in 1913 has commissioned an upgrade of the racecourse facilities, costing an estimated £185m and was completed after just 20 months. The funding was provided by the Horserace Betting Levy Board, commercial lenders and Ascot's own reserves. As owner of the Ascot estate, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth reopened the racecourse on Tuesday 20th June 2006. The first four day Royal Meeting was held in June 1768 and it was subsequently extended to five days in 2002, The Queen's Golden Jubilee year.

     

    The new Grandstand was finished in May 2006 includes some 265 private boxes which can seat anything from 6 to 40 people, there are also 7 restaurants. In addition, there is an 8,000 viewing capacity parade ring, located behind the stand and at the heart of the racecourse. The Grandstand was designed to curve in an arc to provide the best views of the track, bends, mile start winning post, and of course, Windsor Great Park. As part of their Founding Partner programme, Royal Ascot have also announced that the renovated Grandstand will include 1,000 indoor and outdoor high definition TV from Sony, which amongst other things will include betting information.

     

    The Pavilion has also been refurbished, providing bars, betting facilities, a public library and a meeting hall. Ascot employs some 140 full time staff, but this rises to 6,000 during Royal Ascot week to cater for the 300,000 visitors. Royal Ascot Village is ideally positioned in the centre of the course opposite the new Grandstand, just yards from the finishing post. Because the Royal Ascot Village has a private viewing area on the rails it is an ideal location to view the Royal Procession and the finish of each race.

     

    Royal Ascot is renowned as a sporting and social occasion and every year welcomes many people who may only attend this one race meeting each year, betting perhaps at Royal Ascot and the Grand National. There is a strong tradition at Royal Ascot of pageantry, fashion and style and this is equally true of transportation to and from the event. Visitors frequently choose to be chauffeured to Royal Ascot is a top of the range chauffeur driven cars, such as a Rolls Royce Phantom, Bentley Arnage, or Maybach. Plus the tradition of selecting the best stretched limousines available remains strong. Visitors frequently retain their chauffeur cars or limousines and park in the Silver Ring, with the chauffeur services companies providing open sided marquees, tables and chairs for their guests.

     

    Cars for Stars is an award winning company offering a wide range of chauffeur driven cars and the very latest stretched limousines. The chauffeur cars available for Royal Ascot include the Rolls Royce Phantom, Maybach 62, Bentley Arnage, the all new Jaguar XJ (LWB) , latest Mercedes S Class (LWB) , as well as Mercedes people carriers. Stretched limousine for hire area available in different shapes and sizes, in white, black, silver, metallic blue, vanilla white and candy apple red.

     

    Cars for Stars is a franchised business, with offices in major locations throughout the UK and, all Cars for Stars businesses are licensed for private hire by the relevant local authority, in London this is the Public Carriage Office (PCO). This means that all Cars for Stars franchisees are registered for private hire, the limousines are licensed as private hire vehicles and the chauffeurs are licensed to drive the cars and limousines. The chauffeur cars and limousines do not have a private hire plate attached because of a successful application for exemption.

     

    From the 1st January 2008, all limousine companies, that were not previously licensed to offer limousines for hire or reward, will have to be licensed. As with all licensed limousine hire operators, Cars for Stars is open to regular checks and scrutiny by the local authorities, the chauffeur driven cars and limousines offered for hire are also subjected to stringent and regular checks. All chauffeur's have to pass a medical and criminal records bureau check before they can be Licensed. Cars for Stars offers a package for Royal Ascot which includes an open sided marquee, tables and chairs.

     

     

  • Cheap Limo Hire - Who wants a cheap limo service?

     

    The word cheap means different things to different people, but when it is mentioned in tandem with something that you would normally expect to be a high value service or product, what message do you receive? For example, cheap jewellery, cheap clothes, cheap service and to come back to the issue in question, cheap limo hire. The dictionary describes the word cheap as, of poor quality, inferior, worthy of no respect, vulgar or contemptible. So, ask yourself this, why would any business working in a service industry want to use the word cheap? With new stretched limousines typically costing £65,000, how could any serious business, that has invested this amount of money use the term cheap limo hire? Do they know something the that we don't? Is it a question of ordering a diamond and receiving cut glass?

     

    The chances are, that if you offer to take your partner out to a "cheap restaurant", the only reason it would be cheap, is because you would have to dine alone. Surely people are really looking for value for money, can anyone truly want a cheap service or a cheap limo? In the limousine business, it is interesting to note, that the vast majority of limousine companies do not use the word cheap, some do, most don't. In fact, the term tends to be used by third parties, agents or brokers seeking to entice you to use 'their' cheap limo service. Given the third party, agency or broker has to make a living, should we assume that they only sub-contract their hires to "cheap" limo companies? Maybe we should also pose the question, how do these companies feel about having their service, efforts or investment described as cheap, or do they even realise? Perhaps the customer is getting less for their money, so that it can be cheap, or maybe these third parties only deal with cheap companies? After all, the only way you can offer a cheap limo, if you are an agent or broker, is if it is a cheap limo in the first place. Although it probably won't be that cheap by the time the third party have taken their slice of the pie. So hands up, be honest, who wants cheap limo hire?

     

    Ask any serious limousine company if it is possible to offer cheap limo hire. Basic economics dictate that, with limousines costing as much as £100k each, vehicle insurance, public liability insurance, chauffeurs, licensing, servicing, fuel and all of the back office functions, unless you are prepared to cut corners, limo hire is not cheap. Nor should it be, it is a service. It is invariably provided for a special occasion or function and the customer is entitled to feel special, otherwise what is the point? But, it must offer value for money and the customer must feel that they received value for what they were charged. If everyone wanted cheap, then they would buy all of their vegetables from the market, their clothes from the charity shop and their cars from an auction. If someone had to do that, the chances are, they would have better things to do with their money than hiring a limo, even a cheap limo!

     

    Cars for Stars do not offer cheap limo hire. They are an award winning company providing late model, high value chauffeur driven cars and stretched limousines, with a service to match. Cars for Stars do not accept hires from anyone that would dare to describe their service or limousines as 'cheap'. In fact, Cars for Stars do not accept any sub-contracted limousine hires. Cars for Stars offer limousines and chauffeur cars through a network of franchised offices. All of which accept and operate to the same exacting standards, providing a quality service, with first class limousines at a fair and representative price. If you are not looking for cheap limo hire, but you want service, reliability and a quality limousine with real value for money, then call your local Cars for Stars branch.

     

     

  • Another Limo Hire Ghost Site

    If you have searched for a limousine to hire recently, you will have undoubtedly come across so called "Ghost Websites". These are websites where the owners have not provided any clear indication of who they are or where they are situated. For example, they have a trading name, but make no mention of what entity 'owns' this trading style, or perhaps, they have not bothered to include their trading address and/or a contact email address. If you have, then hopefully you gave them a wide berth, because any individual, company or organisation that expects you to part with money without telling you who they are or where they trade from, is not deserving of your business. Not only that, but they have breached UK laws as a consequence. It may be through ignorance, not that this is an excuse, but it could also be because they just don't want you to know!

     

    There is an increasing tendency on the internet to come up with a common term and use this as a trading name, this is normally to assist in their search engine rankings, but can also be used to give the impression that they are a local company, when they are not! Another wheeze used by such 'companies' is to use the term "Welcome to XYZ Company .co.uk", this is clearly intended to provide the impression that it is some for of entity, but it is not, unless they follow the rules.

     

    For example: If a company is using the trading style "Limo Hire London" this is perfectly acceptable, provided they make clear that this is a trading style or trading name, rather than a "trading entity". So, for example, if the trading entity was a Limited company called, Newco Limousine Limited, the website must clearly state the relevance or relationship of the trading style or name to the trading entity. In this case, it would be acceptable, to include on the website the following statement "Limo Hire London is the trading name of Newco Limousines Limited", or something similar, provided it is not ambiguous. Similarly, if the trading entity is an individual called John Arthur Smight, then an acceptable statement on the website would be "John Arthur Smight trading as Limo Hire London". This information does not have to be on every page of the website (but why not?), but it must be legible and easy to find.

     

    Why does it matter? Well if something goes wrong, you can't sue Limo Hire London, because is is not a trading entity, it is just 3 words that have been strung together. Similarly, you could not apply and receive a VAT number with the name Limo Hire London, because it is not an entity. So the law states that owners of websites must include this information by statute, it is not an option, and that has to afford the consumer some protection.

     

    But what else constitutes a Ghost Website? Take another look through the limousine websites you visited before and check to see how many actually included their trading address. Why would a genuine trading entity not include their trading address? After all, their website will typically contain a solicitation to trade, because they are advertising their products for hire, so how can they expect you to trust them when they provide such limited information? You wouldn't hand over money to a stranger on the street in the same circumstances, so what is the difference? A pretty internet based shop window, with seductive promises, maybe a few unsubstantiated or outlandish claims, should not provide you with the incentive to deal with them if they have failed to provide a full disclosure of their trading entity and address. Makes sense, doesn't it?

     

    If the trading entity is a Limited company, then they must include the full name of the Limited Company, the Registration Number and the Place of Registration for example: "Newco Limousines Limited is a company registered in England and Wales - Company Registration Number: 012345678"

     

    All of these websites must also include an email address for visitors to make contact, this cannot be the more commonly used web based contact forms.

     

    We are all human and the majority of us are susceptible to a good sales pitch, but we are often less guarded on the internet, because we believe that we are in control. But is that really true? Lets assume that you are looking for a limousine to hire for you and your work colleagues. You will have different priorities, or at least, order of priorities, these may typically include the type of limousine you want, how many passengers can be carried, the price, if it is available and so on. Now, the websites owners know this, so once you have found them they will be quickly trying to establish credibility with you to stop you moving on.

     

    This may be to state that they are based in your area, even if they are not, they will use keywords such as 'leading limousine company', 'largest fleet in the area', 'national service', or they may event go on to promise any limousine you desire.....yeah right! You may even find limo agents and brokers claiming to be limousine hire companies, when they don't own a single vehicle, it is a voyage of discovery. However, there is a risk that the words used to seduce our senses actually start to go to work and before you know it, you are calling or filling in an online form. It doesn't matter though, because you are in control, aren't you? But did you check to see if they had included who they were and where they traded from, did you independently verify any of their statements, did you consider that many of their statements were subjective, therefore impossible to confirm? Probably not, but you are in control, aren't you?

     

    By the time you start to receive your quotes, whether by phone or email, you will almost certainly have forgotten most of what was included (and excluded) on their website. The seduction process has worked, because from 60m people, you are now having a one to one with the limo company! How many of you will ask them to substantiate the claims made on their website? Technically speaking, there is a subtle difference between using exaggerated claims and outright lies, but this may be a clue as to the type of business you intend dealing with and, the clues were directly in front of you. Then, what about the fact that they have not included statutory information on their website, was this an honest mistake, or something more sinister, have they got something to hide? Why is a professional Limousine Company operating a Ghost Website?

     

  • Self-Drive Limousine hire in the UK

    Well it is not quite what it appears. In order that a limousine can carry more than 8 passengers for hire and reward, it must first be issued with what is known as a Certificate of Initial Fitness, or by its abbreviated term, a CoIF. The problem here is that the conversion work to gain a CoIF requires a substantial investment and this would have to be reflected in the cost of the limousines and therefore the hire charges, making it too prohibitive for most operators . At this time, there are a very limited number of limousines with a CoIF, probably less than 20 in the country and those that do have a CoIF will, quite rightly, shout about it.

    Whilst there is certainly some merit in having a strict conformity process for vehicles that could regularly be carrying up to 16 passengers, there is also an argument that the regulations where never designed for stretched limousines and therefore some flexibility should be considered to make conformity easier to attain, without necessitating a relaxing of the rules that may put passengers at risk. Needless to say, the authorities have not listened to the industry and therefore, the more enterprising operators have sought and found a work around.

    Currently, it is possible to complete some minor conversion work and then register a limousine as a private minibus, this is perfectly legal and means that the limousine will not have had to pass an SVA or gained a Certificate of Initial Fitness. Once the limousine has been registered as a private minibus, it can be used to carry up to 16 passengers, depending on weight etc. Therefore anyone is entitled to drive this 'private minibus' on a normal drivers licence, provided they have a D1 on their licence. However, it still cannot, under any circumstances, be used for hire and reward without the Certificate of Initial Fitness.

    With limousines costing anything up to £100,000, few operators will be willing to actually let you drive the limousine yourself, so the criteria employed to be deemed an appropriate driver is quite strict, this means that in many cases, you will be obliged to employ a chauffeur from an approved 'pool' of chauffeurs provided by the limousine company. No two operators work in the same way, but here is a typical example of how the practice works.

    You and a group of 13 friends want to hire a limousine that can carry all 14, but, for whatever reason, you do not want to hire two limousines. Therefore, you approach a company that operates a 14 seat limousine which has been registered as a private minibus and they are prepared to hire out on a self-drive hire contract. The limousine operator will agree to hire you the limousine on a "self-drive" basis, but (typically) insist that, because it is a large and a specialist vehicle, you use an experienced, professional driver or chauffeur from a 'company' that provides these on a casual basis. Then, under normal circumstances, you would pay the hire fees to the limousine operator and settle with the chauffeur direct. So, whilst there is a little more paperwork, you now have a limousine which can carry you and all of your friends.

    Is this legal? Probably, but no-one really knows, the self-drive hire contract and the rules governing the scheme were, by all accounts drawn up by a Barrister with expertise in the transport sector. It would appear that the Barrister has indicated that provided the rules are followed, the practice is perfectly legal under existing legislation. Those operating this scheme now claim that it is legal, in the strictest sense, this is not true, all they have had is a 'barristers opinion' and that is all it is, to determine whether or not the scheme is legal would require a court case. So far, VOSA who would normally enforce the rules have done nothing, so the whole matter remains in abeyance.

    Nonetheless, there are risks attached, and these fall mainly with the hirer. For example, the hire agreement would normally make clear that the vehicle cannot be used for 'hire and reward', that is to say, the hirer cannot accept payment from his or her friends towards the cost of the vehicle. In reality, is is most unlikely that anyone would be feeling the benevolent towards their friends or family. If it was proven that the vehicle was indeed
    used for hire and reward, then the hirer could be charged, amongst other things, with operating a vehicle for hire and reward without an Operator Licence and without a Certificate of Initial Fitness. The driver or chauffeur would also not be immune from prosecution if it could be proved that he or she was, in any way, complicit in the arrangement. In addition, most self-drive hire vehicles are not insured for hire and reward, therefore, if your vehicle was involved in accident, the hirer, could theoretically become personally liable for any claims. Some insurance companies have included hire and reward on the policies, but it is fair to conclude that if they are insuring the limousine (or private minibus) for hire and reward, the insurance companies and therefore the limousine operators must have an inkling that the vehicle may actually be used for that purpose.

    On a self-drive hire policy, there is also the very real possibility that the vehicle has an insurance excess, therefore it is conceivable that the limousine operator will seek to recover this from the hirer in the event of an 'fault' accident. If the hirer has "employed" a driver from a pool proposed by the limousine operator, it may not be reasonable for the hirer to be responsible for the excess in the event of an accident where their driver was at fault.

    This practice is relatively new and untested in respect of the current legislation, but it is probably more of a moral issue than a legal one. Few would condemn business people who look to get a return on their considerable investment by finding ways to provide consumers with what they want. However, if there was not a justification for a Certificate of Initial Fitness on a passenger carrying vehicle used for hire and reward, then surely it would no be there. It is safe to assume that the authorities consider compliance to be a safety issue. Furthermore, there is probably no need for a company operating in this way (self-drive hire) to have a private hire or bus operator licence, if this is the case, then how safe can the passengers feel when there is, theoretically, no regular checks on the chauffeur and the vehicle? Limousine companies that operate a limousine business for hire and reward are required (from 1st January 2008) to have either a private hire licence or a bus operator licence. Both of these licenses require that the limousine are subjected to a strict and regular test. In addition, the private hire operators or bus operators must employ drivers with the appropriate licence for the vehicle in question, this means that the chauffeur will have been subjected to a medical and criminal records bureau check.

    Cars for Stars Limited will not, and do not, operate a self-drive hire limousine hire service with contracted in/out chauffeurs and therefore our views must be taken in context and would, inevitably, be considered biased by those that do operate this scheme. Therefore, we will not hire behind a cloak of anonymity and we are happy to place on record that we are a fully licensed private hire company with limousines licensed for private hire and a maximum of 8 passengers. We do not condemn those that operate this type of scheme, but we do believe that the relevant authorities should investigate the practice further and then introduce a test case in order that the legality issue can be clarified once and for all. The industry is currently in discussions with the relevant bodies with a view to amending existing legislation to permit and therefore regulate the use of limousines in a category of 9-16 passengers, most likely under the auspices of the local authorities. We fully support this well intentioned move. We do not, however, agree with anything practice that could lead to a questioning of the integrity of those that operate within the limousine industry.

    For those consumers that intend to hire a limousine with a view to carrying more than 8 passengers from a self-drive hire limousine operator then we recommend that they consider the following:

    1. Read the self-drive contract hire carefully.

    2. Tell the company you intend to hire the limousine from how you intend to fund the vehicle and ask them if that would be considered hire and reward, then note their response in writing or do this in front of a witness. One definition of hire and reward has been provided by the Transport Office, you can read it here: Definition of Hire and Reward

    3. Check the terms and conditions of the hire to see whether or not the vehicle is covered for hire and reward, if it is, and you should fall foul with the law, then in theory you will not be in a position where the vehicle is uninsured.

    4. Find out if there is a policy excess and if there is, who would be responsible for reimbursement in the event that accident was considered the fault of your driver

    5. Remember, you are employing the chauffeur, so try and establish whether or not you will still be liable for the hire cost if the driver does not turn up

    6. Establish who will be responsible in the event that the vehicle has any faults which could give rise to Police action at the roadside. Would it be you as the hirer, the driver, or the hire company. It may be that all, or just some of you would be considered responsible.

    7. You should be aware, that ignorance of the law is not considered an excuse. So be under no illusion, if you intend to accept any form of payment from any of the passengers, that provides them with the right to be carried in the limousine, then this is hire and reward. It doesn't matter whether this is a direct or indirect payment. As the hirer, it is your responsibility, if you are found to have provided a hire and
      reward service, then you must have, where more than 8 passengers are carried, a bus operators licence, the chauffeur must have an appropriate PCV licence and the vehicle must have a Certificate of Initial Fitness. This is no grey area, it is cast in stone!

  • Chauffeur Driven silver Rolls Royce Phantom for hire in London

    Silver chauffeur driven Rolls Royce Phantom

    If you are seeking something a little more exclusive for your business or leisure trips, you can be certain that the latest Rolls Royce Phantom provides that exclusivity, given the manufacturer has provided an assurance that they will not build more that 10,000 units of the latest version. Add to that, a price tag in excess of £250,000 and you can be reasonably sure that there will be very little competition for attention during your journey.

     

    The Rolls Royce Phantom also has some novel features which set it apart from many other top marques. The rear passenger doors are hinged to the rear in a style referred to as 'coach doors' and the doors are operated by hydraulic motors with electronic locks to prevent them opening when the vehicle is in motion. The rear doors also feature pop-out umbrellas and with every detail taken care of, fans are installed in the holding compartment to remove moisture when the umbrellas are stored. Another relatively unknown feature of the Rolls Royce Phantom is The 'RR' logos on each of the wheel hubs are on independent bezels to ensure that always remain upright while the wheel is turning. You also know that you are in good company when you consider that The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong has purchased a fleet of 14 Extended Wheelbase Phantoms!Interior of chauffeur driven Rolls Royce Phantom

     

    Of course the vehicle is just one part of the equation, because a Rolls Royce Phantom just has to be chauffeur driven. Cars for Stars is an award winning operator of chauffeur driven cars and stretched limousines with offices in London as well as other parts of the UK through an extensive franchised network. They offer a wide range of chauffeur driven cars, which includes the Rolls Royce Phantom as well as other top of the range vehicles, such as the Maybach 62 and Bentley Arnage.

     

    Cars for Stars in London is licensed by the Public Carriage Office (PCO) for private hire and other Cars for Stars branches are licensed through their local authority. Therefore, the businesses are subject to regular assessments to ensure that they comply with all of the regulations, the vehicles must be subjected to regular and very stringent tests, in order that they can retain their private hire vehicle licence and of course the chauffeurs must also be licensed to drive these vehicles. For a chauffeur to obtain and maintain their licence they must be subjected to and pass a medical and will also be subject to a Criminal Records Bureau check

     

     

  • Limousine Operators and The Road Traffic Act 2006

    From the 1st January 2008, all UK limousine operators will be legally bound to ensure that their limousines are licensed to operate for hire or reward. In a nutshell, this means that they will have to apply for a Private Hire Licence for their business and limousines through their local authority if they are outside London, or through the Public Carriage Office (PCO) if their business operates within the Greater London area. Alternatively, they must apply for Bus Operators Licence which is issued through their local Traffic Commissioners. There several types of Licence available from the Traffic Commissioners, but most limousine companies will probably not be able to comply with the requirements of the 'O Licence' of 'Restricted Licence'.

    The need to licence a limousine and the business is no longer and option and no limousine company can claim to have been denied the opportunity to ready themselves to take account of the new legislation, because the implementation has been delayed for close to 18 months. It is likely that VOSA enforcement officers, the Police, local authorities and the PCO will start to make their presence felt from 1st January 2008, with a view to prosecuting any limousine companies that are operating without an appropriate licence, this could also result in the prosecution of the chauffeur, so the consequences of failing to comply are likely to be quite dire.

    Limousine companies that already have the appropriate licenses are likely to be very happy with the introduction of The Road Traffic 2006. Not least because many have argued that there should be a "level playing field" for all, and that those that have taken the time, trouble and expense to licence their operations for Hire or Reward, have in the past, been heavily disadvantaged by those operators that have not had to take account of the expense involved in meeting the licensing obligations.

    In terms of the public, provided the enforcement agencies get their act together and enforce, they will be afforded the same protection that they benefit from when hiring a licensed minicab. Regular and tough checks on the vehicles (every 6 months for Private Hire, or more regularly for Bus Operators) and medical, as well as criminal records bureau checks on the chauffeurs. In theory at least, there will indeed be a level playing field and the industry will be better regulated.

     

  • Chauffeur cars airport meet and greet service

    When you have completed a long haul flight, whether it is for business or pleasure, few things can be as welcoming as having a genuine 'meet and greet service' at the airport from a uniformed chauffeur, ready to whisk you to your destination. Cars for Stars is UK based, award winning, licensed operator of chauffeur cars and limousines, who offer a genuine national service, serving all of the major UK airports. Their 'meet and greet' service means that your chauffeur meets you off your flight, in the arrivals hall, assists you with your luggage and then escorts you to your executive chauffeur driven car or limousine, ready for your onward journey. You can then sit back, relax, whilst reading a complimentary newspaper and sipping some mineral water.

    With branches adjacent to the major London airports, including Heathrow and Gatwick, Cars for Stars is ideally located to offer a swift and efficient transfer to any destination within the UK, including, if required, inter-airport transfers. The Cars for Stars airport meet and greet service will ensure that you or, perhaps your guests, are met by a uniformed chauffeur with a name board. the chauffeur will then escort you or your guests, together with their luggage to the waiting chauffeur driven cars car, people carrier or stretched limousine.

    The London office of Cars for Stars is fully licensed with the Public Carriage Office (PCO) for both their chauffeur driven cars and their limousines, providing you with the comfort and knowledge that the chauffeur have been subjected to a regular medical and a criminal records bureau check. In addition, the the chauffeur cars and limousines are subject to rigorous and regular checks to ensure that they are roadworthy and meet the very high standards required to maintain a PCO licence.

     

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