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Fleet finance - Buzzlines Travel Ltd

Buzzlines Travel

Dynamic coach and tour operator

Buzzlines Travel Ltd runs a modern fleet of approximately 30 vehicles, mostly executive tour coaches but also with a mix of midi-coaches, luxury mini coaches and bespoke contract coaches.

The company operates an extensive holiday and excursion programme and has a significant private hire operation that offers bespoke excursions and holidays for private groups and societies. Additionally, they provide commuter services between Kent and London.

Ambitious growth plans

A reorganisation at top level has brought about ambitious, yet sustainable growth in all areas of operations. The challenge for the company was to provide new coaches to service a major contract, and to replace the aged fleet operating the tour programmes.

Hand in hand with the tour programme enhancements was the requirement to introduce new luxury mini-coaches for private hire and to operate a newly-introduced Home Pick-up service and a feeder service primarily for tour departures.

Funding fleet expansion

The new management team at Buzzlines Travel contacted Close Brothers Asset Finance, with whom the company had been working with since 1995, to discuss their latest finance requirements.

After fully exploring the company’s goals in terms of fleet additions and replacements and working closely with both its CEO and Finance Director,  Close Brothers was able to structure a drawdown programme that included a combination of VAT deferments, balloon payments and negotiations on deposits.

Over a six-month period, Close Brothers provided facilities totalling £1 million, which allowed for the acquisition of two bespoke contract coaches, two 30-seat midi coaches and four mini coaches.

Value contracts and increased revenues

The update of the fleet has resulted in reduced repayment and maintenance costs and has positively impacted on the company’s presence within its target markets. Revenues have increased with new commuter routes and the renewal of several enhanced value corporate contracts. In addition to this, the quality of vehicles and greater choice of its holiday and excursion programmes is delivering significant growth and a concomitant financial impact.

Having satisfied its current fleet requirements, the company is now preparing to move its administrative and support functions to bespoke premises that will also provide a retail outlet. It is also expanding its social media presence, and is continuing to add more holiday and excursion destinations. In the last quarter, the company has recruited four new staff to bolster its sales and marketing operations.

Lynn Woods, CEO from Buzzlines Travel said: “Close Brothers are excellent to work with. They understand our business entirely, as well as working within the holiday, commuter markets; we also have strong corporate contracts with the likes of Unilever, MoD, The Border Agency, Saga/Titan and Kent County Council.  Close Brothers delivered exactly what they said they would, which is the most important thing.

“They’ve helped us completely replace our fleet and we just couldn’t have done that without their support,” she added.