Cars for Stars Limited

We are a well established, award winning company offering chauffeur driven cars and stretched limousines for hire.

Cars for Stars started trading in 2003 and we opened our first franchised operation in early 2004 based in Manchester. Today, are probably the largest combined limousine and chauffeur car operation in the UK, allowing us to provide a national service through local branches.

Our ethos is to provide a quality service at a fair price, we do not aim to compete with part-time operators who have purchased a limousine for the price of a new family saloon. Instead, we invest heavily in our fleet, with each new limousine typically costing in the region of 70k.

In addition, we do not shy away from our responsibilities to the public. All of our franchises are licensed for private hire with their local authorities. At Cars for Stars, customers need not be concerned about entering an unlicensed vehicle, after all, few people would hire an unlicensed cab and it amounts to the same thing.

We have formal, written systems and procedures, so that irrespective of which branch of Cars for Stars you use, you can expect to receive the same, high level of service, no compromise.

If you are looking for an established operation, with a quality full-time 'licensed' operator of limousines for hire, then Cars for Stars is a good place to stop by.

Full-time.....

You may ask yourself why you should prefer a full-time operator to a part-time. It is a fair question and we will attempt to answer it.

Many (but not all) part-time operators use their limousine to supplement their full-time income, invariably this means that they can only provide limousines in the evenings and weekends. If they are owner/drivers, you may want to consider the risks involved in someone that has put in a full days work, then taking responsibility for your well being in the limousine. In addition, because they are looking to supplement their income, they are unlikely to have made a substantial investment in the limousine, may not have taken the time and trouble to license their vehicles for private hire and lets face it, are unlikely to offer the same level of commitment as someone who devotes all of their time to the business.

However, not all part-time operators are bad, but you will be faced with the prospect of determining which ones are good and which ones should be avoided at all costs. They will be cheaper, because they will not have the same overheads, may not be VAT registered, cannot be as responsive and will most likely, not have bothered to license their limousines for private hire.

Full-time operators on the other hand have chosen the limousine business as their vocation, they have to build trust, deliver high levels of service and offer quality vehicles to survive and prosper. therefore, in all likelihood, unless you are an extremely good judge of character, you will be better off with a full time limousine operator.

Licensed for hire.....

You may not think it matters whether or not your chosen limousine company is licensed or not, but it does. No right-minded person would want to get into an unlicensed cab and yet, everyday, 100's of people get into an unlicensed limousine.

Whilst not all local authorities will license stretched limousines, the fact remains that most do and the number is rising all of the time. But, because it is expensive, the test is both rigorous and exhaustive and many limousines would just not pass, many limousine operators simply don't bother. But it is your safety that is at risk, an unlicensed limousine, even though it is being used for fare paying passengers, faces the same test as your family car. In spite of the fact that most limousines carry children, an unlicensed operator is not obliged to complete any checks on their drivers, whereas, a licensed limousine operator can only use 'badged' chauffeurs and apart from other things, this includes a medical and a criminal records check.

In recent months, the Police and local authorities have started to take an interest, but enforcement remains sporadic and typically designed with headlines in mind rather than the genuine safety of the passengers. There is also a great deal of buck-passing, with central Government stating that it is a matter for the local authorities and Police, rather than getting their hands dirty and driving the whole thing. In the meantime, you can get a good 'feel' for the limousine operators attitude to their business and their customers by enquiring whether or not their vehicles and chauffeurs are licensed for private hire.

One over the EIGHT.....

There is a great deal of controversy over the issue of how many passengers can be carried in a stretched limousine, but it is surprisingly simple.

If the Operators' limousines are licensed by the local authority for private hire, the maximum number of passengers that can be legally carried is eight. No argument!

If they are not licensed with the local authority, then this may not matter to them, but it should matter to you. Of course, local authority licensing is not the only option open to legitimate operators, they could also apply for a small bus operators license which is issued by VoSA. However, in spite of what some may claim, they must still adhere to the rules. These state quite clearly that any vehicle that carries more than 8 passengers must have a Certificate of Initial Fitness (CoIF) and because of the costs involved, there are currently less than 20 vehicles in the UK that meet this requirement. If they have got a CoIF, you can guarantee that they will be shouting this from the tree tops, so it will be all over their website and they will not object to providing you with a copy.

In recent months, some more enterprising operators have found another 'legal' way to allow up to 14 passengers to be carried in a stretched limousine, without the need for a CoIF or, for that matter an operators or private hire license. They simply hire the vehicle to you on a self-drive hire basis, on the understanding that you either have an "appropriate" license or experience, or (most likely to be the case), you use a chauffeur from a 'pool'. From what we can see this is legal, certainly none of the authorities seem to be taking any action, but what does it mean for the hirer?

Well, of course, all of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the hirer. For example, if you were to share the costs of the hire, then you would be acting for 'reward', which means you need to be licensed for 'hire and reward', in other words a licensed private hire operator. If there was an accident, then you need to consider who would be responsible for any claims and for paying the excess, would it be you, the chauffeur or the company hiring the limousine on a self-drive basis? If you were to accept payment from a friend, would the limousine be insured, after all, most self-drive policies state that the vehicle cannot be used for hire and reward, and if the insurance company was to allow it to be used for that purpose, would they be admitting that the vehicle may indeed be used for hire and reward, with all the implications that has for them, the hirer and the hire company? Bottom line is this is a complex area, it has not been tested, it is probably legal in terms of current legislation, but it is fraught with risk, and from what we can see, most of this will fall on the shoulders of the hirer.

Aside from any of the legal implications, hirers would be well advised to consider the fact that the reason vehicles used for hire and reward are required to have a CoIF is for your safety, otherwise, why bother? This method of circumventing the rules to achieve the same end (to carry more than 8 passengers without having a vehicle with the appropriate certification and or license) may prove legal, but it makes the requirement for a CoIF for other passengers carrying vehicles a complete farce.

The industry is placing pressure on the Government and their agencies to amend legislation to allow the carrying of more than 8 passengers and we fully support this move. However, we will not use what we consider to by a 'loophole' to circumvent regulations and laws which were intended to offer some form of protection for fare paying passengers.

Cars for Stars Limited

Office:

Cars for Stars Limited

26 York Street, London W1U 6PZ

Telephone: 0845 500 3030

Administration:

Cars for Stars Limited

12 Boughton Road, Thamesmead, London, SE28 0AG

Telephone: 020 8317 8073

 

Registered Office:

26 York Street, London W1U 6PZ

 

Company Registration:

Registered in England & Wales No: 4747524