Bugs could be ruining your paintwork

Extensive research carried out by the UK’s leading car care expert, Autoglym, has revealed that insect remains are equally as damaging to car paintwork as bird lime. Findings show that similar levels of acidity can be found in both deposits, which, if left untreated and in direct sunlight, can lead to the deterioration of lacquer on paintwork. As part of their continuous product testing regime, Autoglym’s laboratory technicians called upon 25 year-old British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) contender, Tom Chilton, and his Team AON Ford Focus at Snetterton race circuit in Norfolk. Following several high-speed laps, Autoglym evaluated its Active Insect Remover on baked-on insects, which had hit the front of the 270bhp LPG-powered BTCC Ford Focus at an impact speed of up to 144.5mph, more than twice the UK’s maximum legal speed limit.  Despite the extreme conditions, the purpose-designed formulation proved highly effective in removing the remnants of insects which had bonded with the leading edge of the Focus’ bonnet. Paul Caller, Autoglym’s CEO, said:  “It’s important in these summer months, when the flying insects of various types are most prevalent, that motorists are vigilant in removing bug splats as soon as possible.  Acidic deposits – bug splats and bird lime – can begin to degrade lacquer after just 10 minutes. “We’d urge motorists to use one of the pH-neutral products on the market, such as Autoglym’s Active Insect Remover, which when used as soon as possible on insect remains, should prevent damage to paint finishes.  Additional treatments, such as a premium wax, will serve as further protection against acidic deposits of future bug...

Read More

Luxury vehicles recognised in chauffeur awards

The most prestigious awards for the chauffeur industry has revealed four winning vehicles following a stringent judging programme. The Chauffeur Car of the Year Awards tried and tested fourteen shortlisted vehicles to find out their suitability for the industry to award the most affordable, yet luxurious and profitable car on offer. The Bentley Flying Spur Speed, BMW 730Ld, Mercedes-Benz E220 CDi and the Hyundai i800 have all been awarded as the best in their class. Judges from the chauffeur industry marked all the vehicles on their economy, comfort and ride, boot space, desirability and for the first time, vehicles were scored for the manufacturers chauffeur programmes on offer. Split into four categories, the Bentley Flying Spur Speed won the £100,000 and above sections, whilst the BMW 730Ld was awarded the best chauffeur car costing between £50,000-£100,000, the Mercedes-Benz E220 CDi was awarded the highest points in the £50,000 and Under category, whilst the massive Hyundai i800 received the MPV award. Editor of thechauffeur.com, Paul Gibson commented; “It has been an extremely difficult task to judge The Chauffeur Car of the Year Awards this time around because of the massive amount of vehicles now on offer to the industry. The most amazing fact of all, is the top four winning vehicles in the £50,000-£100,000 category were only three points apart, which proves there is no such thing as a bad car these days.” He added; “Each vehicle tested by the judges was driven at least 300 miles on all road types which gave us a great feel as to what both the chauffeur and client can expect. We found that driving each vehicle the same route gave us an excellent comparison between all the cars. The awards are too important to be rushed – it has taken us around four months to actually decide the winners for this year.” thechauffeur.com which created the awards in 2005, has awarded vehicles in the past such as the Audi A8L, Jaguar XJL and the Lexus LS600hL, but for the first time, BMW has scooped the most competitive category because of its great value chauffeur programme and excellent all-round luxury and performance. All judges were from the chauffeur industry and are experienced in operating a variety of vehicles, and know exactly what is required to run a successful chauffeur firm. thechauffeur.com will be publishing the full judges report on each vehicle over the coming months, which will make it the most comprehensive chauffeur car guide in the...

Read More

BMW 7-Series scoops award in competitive category

A total of seven vehicles were judged in the £50,000-£100,000 category which made it the toughest section of all. Even though the winner of this section, the BMW 730Ld was awarded the highest points, the top four vehicles were only three points apart, making it the closest year ever. For the first time in the awards history, two vehicles took second place by scoring exactly the same amount of points. The all-new Jaguar XJL and the Audi A8L both impressed the judges and scored 80 points, just two points away from the overall winner of this category. The all-new Audi A8 long wheelbase will not be available in the UK until the end of 2010, so the older model was judged, but still scored impressively high. Hopes are high for the latest model which will now be entered into the 2011 awards. Judges were also excited to test the all-new Jaguar XJ, which met all expectations with its dramatic looks and stunning 3.0 diesel engine. The XJ’s revised chauffeur programme now makes the Jaguar a serious option with a massive list of benefits which were marked high by the judges. Boot space is still a little tight but greatly improved from the previous model, and passengers over 6 feet tall might suffer with a slight lack of headroom in the rear seats. Third place was taken by the 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 350 Long wheelbase. Scoring just one point less than the joint second place vehicles, the S-Class simply offers everything a chauffeur would expect from it. Judges continued to praise the brand and marque desirability, but marked the S-Class down for the lack of chauffeur programme details and massive list of options on our test vehicle which took the price to almost £90,000. The winning vehicle, the BMW 730d took the award for its excellent chauffeur programme prices, acres of boot space and pure luxury interior and technology which makes it the perfect vehicle for any serious chauffeur company. Full judges test report coming soon on...

Read More
E-Class sets standards in under £50,000 category
Sep20

E-Class sets standards in under £50,000 category

Surveys conducted by thechauffeur.com have always revealed the Mercedes-Benz E220 CDi to be the most popular choice for the UK’s chauffeur industry. The all-new E-Class Saloon was entered into this years £50,000 and Under category and was awarded 77 points, beating other vehicles such as the BMW 530 saloon, 530 GT, Jaguar XF and Skoda Superb. With its 50 plus MPG figures and class leading boot space, the E-class certainly provides everything for the chauffeur offering a premium executive service. Although, judges did feel a little more development is needed in making the suspension a little softer, and perhaps more attention to detail inside the cabin. Chauffeurs like the fact little advertising is required to promote the Mercedes-Benz marque, therefore making it an extremely popular vehicle. Away from the badge, the E-Class does offer a great quality ride, standard equipment levels and looks the part from the outside. Although judges were unaware of the chauffeur programmes on offer, the base model priced at a shade under £29,000, it proved excellent value for money when put alongside other cars in the category. Full judges test report coming soon on...

Read More

Commissioner to decide Excursion limos fate

A court hearing is due to take place next month to decide what will happen to two Ford Excursion limousines which were seized from a West Wales company. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) are holding the vehicles following two separate incidents which are costing The Full Stretch, based in Camarthanshire, thousands of pounds in lost business – it is a situation which owner, Daniel Rosemeyer describes as ‘completely ludicrous’. The company’s first vehicle was seized following an inspection which highlighted some faults, and on another occasion, an apparent VOSA trap meant his second vehicle was also seized, due to not meeting COIF regulations and carrying more than eight passengers. The Full Stretch has been operating since 2003 and grew dramatically during the limo hire peak in 2008 to own six limousines including a GMC, Yukon, Chrysler and Hummer H3 – but now, Mr Rosemeyer says there is no licence available to suit his business as a whole. His Chrysler 300C limousines were built by Royal Coach by Victor, and cannot be bought up to SVA standards, and on top of this, Mr Rosemeyer argues that if he COIF’d his 4×4 limos, he would not qualify for an Operators Licence anyway due to the other vehicles on his fleet. Daniel Rosemeyer told thechauffeur.com; “The whole situation is totally unacceptable. When I registered my vehicles in 2005, the government was happy to take my import duty and VAT, but now I am left with a fleet of vehicles which cannot be brought up to their standards – two of which are sitting at the pound.” He added; “I am completely happy to bring the Excursions to the standards required under the guidance of VOSA. I will get them through the COIF processes, but even then, I fear I will not be operating legally in their eyes, so it is a catch twenty two situation.” If the Traffic Commissioner decides The Full Stretch should not receive the vehicles back then they could eventually head for the crusher. Mr Rosemeyer says he will continue to fight for them and take the issue as far as it can go for their return. The meeting is due to take place on 1st October...

Read More

Guide to the ultimate chauffeur software solution

With the ever-increasing amount of software packages entering the chauffeur and limousine industry over the past few years – we are on a mission to find out which is the best! thechauffeur.com has been approached by a small operator confused about how to choose the perfect booking software solution for his company. More and more systems are being advertised, but what package suits the busy chauffeur business and offers the ease of use and ultimate flexibility? This is your chance to tell us the issues and problems you experienced when making the important transition between paper and pen, to complete computerisation. This can be a daunting time for any business, so why not give us your reviews of the systems you have tried, why they didn’t suit you and  how you managed to find the perfect one! Perhaps you are a small business and it took you several years to make the transition, or perhaps you are a larger operation and invested in having your own system designed just for your business. Email your experiences to us to share on this website. Send your review to editor@thechauffeur.com We will be reporting on the findings and will put together the ultimate guide for other chauffeurs and limousine firms looking to move from the old-fashioned diary to the computer...

Read More