Wednesday, March 20, 2019

It was all style and class when Professional Driver magazine (­prodrivermags.com), a publication for the U.K.’s livery industry, held its first ever Quality, Service and Innovation (QSi) Awards ceremony this November 21 in Effingham, West Sussex. The awards honored Britain’s best private for-hire transportation operators.

qsi awards uk Team Reliance: Top Row (L to R): Ikbal Hussian, Moksud Miah, and Abul Hasanath; Bottom Row (L to R): Michael Griffin, Karen Thompson, Reza ­Choudhury, Michelle Choudhury, and John Archer The event, attended by over 300 people, was hosted by TV personality and racing driver Amanda Stretton and included a champagne reception followed by a three-course dinner. Sponsors included Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Skoda, Ethos Finance, and Ssang Young. Publisher Chris Weiss of Chauffeur Drivenalso made it out to support our industry peers across the pond.

“The team at Professional Driverreally know how to put on an event,” says Weiss. “The level of sophistication was outstanding for any ceremony, let alone their first one.”

Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards were broken up between nine categories and judged by Motor Trader Deputy Editor Mark Bursa, Drivertax FCPA Gary Jacobs, and Professional Driver Contributor Ed Halil. The awards, according to Professional Driver, were given to “operators and individuals that demonstrate excellent standards of quality, service, and innovation.” Awards went to the following:

Chauffeur Company of the Year
Small Operator

Gold: Parkers Executive of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Silver: Driving Force Chauffeurs of Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Bronze: Location Chauffeurs of South Mimms, Herts

Mid-Size Operator
Gold: Club Class Chauffeurs of Hailsham, East Sussex
Silver: Fylde Executive of Warton, Lancashire
Bronze: England Limousines of London

Large Operator
Gold: Tristar Worldwide of London
Silver: Cabot Global of London
Bronze: Brunel of London


Private Hire Company of the Year
• 1-80 vehicles
Gold: On Time Travel of Warrington, Lancashire
Silver: Cloud Cars of Nottingham
Bronze: Bolton Airport Transfers & Executive Minibuses of Bolton, Lancashire

• 81+ vehicles
Gold: GLH of London
Silver: The Keen Group of London
Bronze: Climatecars of London

Community Award
Gold: Fylde Executive of Warton, Lancashire
Silver: Pryors of Didcot, Oxfordshire
Bronze: GLH of London

Marketing Award
Gold: White 7 of Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Silver: Reliance Worldwide of London
Bronze: Tristar Worldwide of London

Environment Award
Gold: Climatecars of London
Silver: GLH of London
Bronze: Cloud Cars of Nottingham

Professional Driver of the Year
Gold: Robert Mroczek of England Limousines
Silver: Andrew Fowler of Location Chauffeurs
Bronze: Maurice Holman of Tristar Worldwide

qsi awards uk Dean DeBeer (left), Patricia Gardiner, and Maurice Holman of Tristar Worldwide Professional Driver has also named its Car of the Year awards for 2013. The judges included veteran chauffeurs, heads of private hire firms, and motor industry editors and journalists. Judges tested over 40 vehicles on scrupulous grounds—driving in urban and open roads, riding in the back seat as well as the driver’s seat, and using test luggage to gauge space. After scores were tallied, the winners were selected, and from those winners, judges selected the ultimate Car of the Year. The winners were:

Chauffeur Car of the Year
Gold: Audi A8L 3.0TDI SE
Silver: BMW 730Ld 3.0 TDI SE
Bronze: Jaguar XJL 3.0 D SE

Luxury SUV of the Year
Gold: Range-Rover Autobiography 3.0TDI
Silver: Mercedes ML350 CDI SE
Bronze: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI SE

Green Car of the Year
Gold: Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC Hybrid SE
Silver: Volvo S60 Plug-in Hybrid
Bronze: Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4


MPV of the Year
Gold: Mercedes-Benz Viano 3.0TDI
Silver: Ford Galaxy 2.0D Titanium
Bronze: VW Caravelle SWB 2.0 TDI

Executive Car of the Year
Gold: Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC Hybrid SE
Silver: Volvo V70 D3
Bronze: Audi A6 2.0 TDI SE auto

Private Hire Car of the Year
Gold: Skoda Superb 2.0D SE
Silver: VW Passat 2.0D SE
Bronze: Skoda Rapid 1.6D S

Car of the Year
Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC Hybrid SE

“It was great to see so many smiling faces [that] night,” says Professional DriverEditor Mark Bursa, “Nobody has ever done anything like this for our market before, and the response was fantastic, with winners from as far afield as Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West Lancashire, and the South Coast.”

Professional DriverPublisher Paul Webb says the night was best captured in the words of finalist Kevin Willis of Chirton Grange Chauffeur: “With open arms I welcomed the awards and the night proved to be a triumph. With people of this quality, this industry can only get stronger and we will be back next year to win.” [CD01.14]