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Interview with Nick Clarke

In conversation with Nick Clarke, Managing Director of Krystal UK , it is obvious that he has an enduring passion for the stretch limousine business, as well as very clear views about what is required to move it forwards in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

Nick: "There are many people (both inside and outside the stretch limousine business), who would have you believe that the whole business of stretch limousines is illegal. This is simply not true."

“Nevertheless. there are those in our business who operate outside the rules, some using vehicles that do not meet the required standards and of course some who fall into both categories. These operators will target any business with little or no regard for the health and safety of their staff or customers. These are the operators who are being targeted by the authorities and will eventually be forced to either get out of the business or operate within the legal framework - and rightly so. This situation is similar to that which has happened in the Taxi and Private Hire Business."

Nick has two businesses. As well as distributing and selling new and used stretch limousines, he also runs a very successful stretch limousine hire business. The knowledge and experience gained from his hire business is being used to develop a business package to help new and existing operators within the industry. Here, he describes the virtues of Krystal UK's business package offering as follows;

"The legislation with regard to the operation of a legitimate stretch limousine business is identical to an existing Taxi or Private Hire Business where compliance with Operating Licences or Restricted Operating Licences applies."

"Legislation for stretch limousines is clear: stretch limousines with up to 8 passenger seats for use as Private Hire must comply with VOSA's Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) certification before they can be legally registered. The relevant Minister’s Approval Certificate (MAC), is issued by VOSA following a successful inspection. Then, and only then, can a stretch limousine be legally registered for Private Hire. However, this applies to left hand drive stretch limousines ONLY."

"Right hand drive, eight seat stretch limousines DO NOT and CANNOT comply with SVA certification. They have to pass an Enhanced SVA (ESVA). The rigours of the ESVA require certification at the European Type Approval level. To date, according to VOSA, there are no right hand drive stretch limousines in the United Kingdom that have ever passed ESVA."

Nick is adamant: "If you are offered a right hand drive, eight seat plus chauffeur stretch limousine, my advice is to walk away for the reasons described above. If you are offered a left hand drive eight seat plus chauffeur stretch limousine, make sure it comes with the appropriate documentation."

The V5C should show the following on page 2, paragraph 4 - "Vehicle Details:
D.3 Body type Limousine
S.1 Number of seats, including driver 9
K Type approval number SVA

A copy of the SVA certificate should also be requested of the vendor.

Nick went on to say: "Stretch limousines registered without the appropriate approval and/or not described as a Limousine on the V5C as shown above, are not a legally registered Private Hire vehicle. If you are in any doubt, then check the vehicle’s status with the DVLA/VOSA before you part with your hard-earned cash. Alternatively, give us a call and we’ll do our best to help."

Nick then moved on to limousines with more than eight passenger seats: "These vehicles now need to comply with VOSA's Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) requirements. As with the SVA, this requires an inspection to be carried out by VOSA and certification will only be issued following a successful inspection. This is a very different classification to the eight seater market and requires the operator to operate the limousine effectively as a coach, so there are many more rules to follow."

"Failure to comply with the requirements of the Operator's Licence, SVA or COIF legislation, will, in all probability negate any insurance the operator may have in place and can result in the vehicle being the subject of police seizure in the event of an unsuccessful roadside inspection."

"For those who comply with the relevant legislation and run correctly licensed stretch limousines, a successful and profitable business can be enjoyed - we've done it for 11 years. The 'know-how' is something Krystal UK can supply as part of its Sales Package."

As Nick says: "Krystal UK supplies the best stretch limousines in the world - probably. But that’s not enough. We know that in today's business world, any prospective customer will need more - that's what we offer as part of our Sales Package."

If you are currently running a Private Hire Business then a Krystal stretch limousine could be the ideal vehicle to expand your existing business by breaking into new markets without having to restructure. Alternatively, should you be looking at a new business start-up, Krystal UK can offer a business plan to assist you. Whatever you are considering at this time, like everyone, you always look for increasing revenue streams against reducing overheads. Krystal UK’s Sales Package offers;
  • up to 3 year warranty, parts and labour.
  • Compare the top-line costs with the bottom-line profits.
  • Experience improved fuel economy.
  • Improved hire income.
  • Information and advice on how to operate a successful limo hire business.
  • Membership of the National Limousine Association.
  • Reduced insurance costs.
  • The availability of top-class rental opportunities.
  • The benefits of finance packages at competitive rates.
  • The cost-benefits of operating new and up-to-date, top quality stretch limousines.
  • Understand the legislation involved with your business and get licensed with your Local Authority.
  • Vehicles with SVA that are used by licensed Operators attract less Police/VOSA interest.
  • Work smarter - NOT harder - for a better return on your investment.

You're never alone when you buy into Krystal UK's Business Package.

Call and talk to us today. Like everyone, we "talk the talk", BUT we "walk the walk" with our own Limo Sales and Hire Business.

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