“This isn’t a Ford Focus.”
Despite the pleas of the boss of an executive car hire firm, Scarborough Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee today refused to grant his Mercedes a private hire licence as it was one year too old.
Eric Taylor, of Executive Cars Ltd, appeared before the committee asking for a licence to carry paying passengers for the silver Mercedes S350L, which was first registered in 2013.
Scarborough Borough Council’s private hire and taxi policy states that apart from for exceptional circumstances cars cannot be granted a licence if they are more than four years old.
Mr Taylor told the committee the car would be used to take account holding clients who did not want to use traditional taxis to and from important meetings.
He said: “At the end of the day, there is a difference in the quality of a Honda Civic that’s licensed as a private hire as opposed to a Mercedes 350 S or a Rolls Royce or a Bentley. One of the main things you are buying is enhanced safety features in the car and the build quality of the car.”
He added: “This isn’t a Ford Focus.”
Mr Taylor told the committee that the company was part of the Qdos Entertainment group, owned by Scarborough-based husband and wife team Nick and Sandra Thomas, and the Mercedes had been used initially just to transport Mr Thomas and his family, often to London.
Mr Taylor was questioned by the committee on the car’s MOT history.
It showed that after the car was purchased by Executive Cars Ltd it was sent for an MOT on 8 December 2016 which it failed as it was deemed “dangerous” due to a damaged wheel and had an illegal tyre.
When it was presented for a re-test six days later, which it subsequently passed, the car had travelled an additional 387 miles.
Mr Taylor said the while he took “full responsibility” for the cars he said that a driver previously employed by the firm at the time of the MOT failure had been let go as a result.
The car passed its most recent MOT test in October of this year.
In refusing the application chairman of the sub-committee, Cllr Neil Price (Lab), told Mr Taylor that he had not shown “compelling” reasons why the policy should be relaxed in this case.
He added that the make of the car is not a material consideration for the committee.
Mr Taylor has 21 days to appeal the decision starting when he receives the full written decision.
Carl Gavaghan , Local Democracy Reporting Service