The Citans were supplied by the fleet department of Dealer Western Commercial. All are 109 CDI models and powered by 66kW (90 hp) engines, offering fuel efficiency of up to 61.4 mpg. As Tourer models the new vehicles have second rows of seats and can accommodate a driver and up to four adult passengers in comfort.
They are the first Citans to be operated by Hampden Cars, but a significant proportion of the fleet is made up of Mercedes-Benz Vitos. Its Executive division also runs Mercedes-Benz C-Class and S-Class cars.
“Mercedes-Benz vehicles are not always the cheapest up-front, but we’ve learned from long experience that when it comes to value for money they’re second to none, while the three-pointed star on the grille is a well-known mark of quality and prestige,” said Hampden Cars director, Stephen Conley.
“Happily, these Citans were very competitively priced and certainly represent a step up in quality over the cars they’ve replaced. They also have all the attributes we need in a private hire vehicle – the large sliding doors make access for passengers with disabilities much easier, while our drivers rate them highly too, especially in terms of comfort and manoeuvrability.”
Hampden Cars buys its taxis outright, then rents them to its drivers. “Choosing the right vehicle is hugely important – it helps us not only to attract customers but also to retain the best drivers,” continued Mr Conley. “By investing so heavily in Mercedes-Benz vehicles we’re clearly demonstrating our determination to offer the finest taxi fleet available.”
Hampden Cars operates from purpose-built headquarters at Junction 1A of the M74, and just minutes from Scotland’s national football stadium, Hampden Park. Its new Citans are the subject of three-year Mercedes-Benz Service Care contracts, under which all routine maintenance costs are covered by a fixed regular payment, with work carried out in Western Commercial’s Glasgow workshop by factory-trained technicians fitting Mercedes-Benz GenuineParts.
The company’s Vito black cabs, meanwhile, undergo conversion by Cab Direct, the taxi division of Glasgow-based Allied Vehicles Group, which also produces a wide range of minibuses, ambulances and other specialised vehicles. As well as passenger seating, additions include features such as air-conditioning, electric folding side steps and lightweight wheelchair ramps.