Chauffeur Profile – White 7

PD website chauffeur profile White7 Bowyer Randall 300Of all our 2013 Professional Driver QSi Award Winners, the one that came from left field was White 7. Taking its name from the white BMW 7-Series that form the core of its fleet, the company’s highly original approach to a market niche deservedly won it the Gold award for Marketing.

The company simply stood out from the crowd thanks to its highly original approach. Based in rural Shropshire, White 7 has built its business around weddings and special events – such as five-star dining experiences, as well as providing executive chauffeuring services for local businesses.

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Chauffeur Profile: Pryors of Didcot

PD website chauffeur profile Pryors Caroline and David Pryor 300Keeping work and life in balance usually requires a bit of separation. But for Caroline and David Pryor, the brother-and-sister team who run the Oxfordshire private hire and taxi firm that bears their family name, just going to work every day must feels a little strange.

That’s because the busy office in Didcot that houses Pryor’s business was the family home in which they grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s, while their father Basil built the business into the dominant taxi firm in the town. So the controllers sit in what used to be the living room, while accounts are handled in what was once the family kitchen. Management offices upstairs were once bedrooms. Valeters busily clean the company fleet of gleaming silver Mercedes-Benz E-Classes on the site of the garden where David and Caroline played as children.

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Chauffeur Profile - PCS

PD website profile PCS Steve Leather 300Manchester Airport, 11 o’clock in the morning. Outside the bustling Terminal 1, a strip of vacant parking lot is starting to fill up. Through the barrier comes a steady flow of Mercedes E-classes, all of them silver, with the flow interrupted by the occasional Viano or black S-Class.

By 11.30, the strip is full - every one of the 50 available spaces is filled with a car bearing the three-pointed star. And they’re still coming in, parking in line on the other side of the narrow car park. “We’ve got 63 pick-ups this morning,” says Steve Leather (pictured), who’s made the trip down the M56 from Runcorn to show Professional Driver the slick operation that’s unfolding before us.

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Chauffeur Profile - eConnect Cars

Eco-chauffeuring is now an established part of the private hire trade. Led by pioneering London operators such as GLH, Green Tomato Cars and Climatecars, many fleets adopted Toyota Prius hybrids as their car of choice.

But nowadays, a lot of cars are very green, especially if you use CO2 emissions as your yardstick. Skoda’s Greenline diesel models offer sub-100g emissions, for example, without needing a hybrid powertrain. And Mercedes-Benz’s E300 BlueTEC Hybrid looks like being a genuine game-changer in the chauffeur sector, offering 109g/km without any compromise to the E-class’s capabilities.

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Chauffeur Profile – Kevin Willis, Chirton Grange

PD chauffeur prof Kevin and Nicola Willis 300Sometimes, things are not as they seem. Chirton Grange’s stylised country house logo looks suitably upmarket, and its smart offices in Rochester, Kent, suggests that this is a genteel, local operator, maybe specialising in weddings and ferrying local dignitaries.

Far from it. And while the name gives the right impression, its origins are rather less salubrious. “Chirton Grange is where I grew up,” says Kevin Willis, the company’s genial Geordie founder. “It’s one of the roughest council estates in the north-east!”

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