Top Marque Limousines, operated by 30 year old Richard Buck, has become the first limo hire company to be licensed by Milton Keynes Council.
Richard entered the chauffered limousine industry after being a full-time lorry driver, and after a night out in a limousine he soon got the bug and began a long, hard battle to be recognised by Milton Keynes Council.
Although the council have welcomed applications from the limo industry since 2008, it found that most operators were choosing to be licensed by VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Service Agency), so no licenses had been processed until now.
The Bletchley-based company decided to take a longer view for its business following recent news of VOSA changing the way it will licence the industry in the future. Therefore, Richard decided to become a ‘Guinea Pig’ for the council and start the process of being registered for private hire, along with his fleet of two Chrysler 300 limousines.
Richard told thechauffeur.com; “The council was more than accommodating, but it was a long and drawn out process. They were quite excited over it all, as they realised that most limo operators may have to become licensed through the council eventually.”
After months of liaising with the council to complete the knowledge test, full medical and an enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, he was granted the licence which will hopefully pave the way for more companies to approach the council.
Richard added; “I just cannot understand why companies still operate illegal and un-roadworthy vehicles – especially with the high VOSA presence at school proms. I was recently pulled over at a school prom by a VOSA officer who was ordering all limousines to drive to the local station for a full inspection. After a quick look at my vehicle, I was the only car which was not inspected, which proves the benefits of purchasing a newer and registered vehicle.”
His two Krystal built vehicles were purchased from 1st4Limo Sales in Essex. The candy red and sky blue Chrysler 300’s instantly proved a success locally to the extent where 4-5 jobs a day had to be turned down by the company.
Richard commented; “We knew it would make sense in the end as the general public are far more aware these days of how to look for a legal limousine company, and parents want to be sure their children are safe. It now allows us to tell all our customers that our drivers have been CRB checked and the vehicles meet the correct requirements – it makes us stand out from the competition.”
Top Marque Limousines will be taking delivery of a bespoke party bus later this year. The vehicle which is based on a Volkswagen Crafter panel van, is aimed at catering for the ‘never-ending’ bookings for limousine for more than eight people.