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
"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
"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
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
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
- 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
- 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.
E Mail: Info@krystaluk.co.uk
Tel: +44(0)1435 812614