Manchester private hire company Cresta Cars has taken on five new Mercedes-Benz minibuses.
Powered by 136 hp engines, its Vito 113 CDI Traveliners each seat eight passengers and are now working across North Manchester and the City Centre.
With a fleet of approximately 350 vehicles, Cresta Cars is one of the biggest operators in the area. Managing Director Julian Barnes said: “We’ve had some eight-seaters before, but they’ve been used vehicles. This is the first time we’ve invested in brand new minibuses.
“We chose Mercedes-Benz partly because the brand has such a strong image – everybody knows the three-pointed star. In this job you need a vehicle that people want to get into, and passengers recognise that in our new Vito Traveliners they’ll be both comfortable and safe.
“The vehicles are already getting noticed out on the street,” he continued. “I recently took a call from a corporate customer who’d seen them and wanted to book three. They look so smart that they’re effectively acting as mobile advertisements for themselves!”
Supplied by Yorkshire dealer Northside Truck &Van, the five new vehicles are the subject of a CharterWay contract hire package arranged by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, under which all maintenance costs are covered by monthly payment.
They are operated by Cresta Cars and used day-to-day by self-employed drivers – the taxi company provides vehicles and radios, and a central control centre, but the drivers work for themselves.
Barnes added: “Fuel efficiency is important too, and although returns vary widely according to the nature of the journey, our new Mercedes-Benz taxis are already performing well overall. Their economy is certainly impressive for such a big vehicle.
“Our drivers are delighted, and with good reason. I took a Vito out myself and found it very nice to drive, more like a luxury car than a van. It also handled well and was highly manoeuvrable, given its size.”
Vito Traveliners are available in three body lengths – Cresta Cars chose the Extra-Long option – with seating arrangements for seven, eight or nine people.