Cabbie Paul McCormick has made a ‘fare gain’ in the shape of the first Vito Taxi to be supplied by north-west Mercedes-Benz Dealer Ciceley Commercials.
Paul, who trades as Kamcabs, is based in Altrincham and spends his working days driving for passengers who have flown into Manchester Airport, typically clocking-up 60,000 miles per year.
He collected his new vehicle from the Dealer’s Bolton branch. Ciceley Commercials is only the second member of the manufacturer’s retail network to be awarded a franchise to sell the official Vito Taxi – the first is based in Hertfordshire and covers London.
A worthy successor to the vehicle that took the industry by storm, the latest Vito Taxi combines stylish lines with advanced, lower-emission Euro 6 engine technology, and with returns of up to 46.3 mpg in the combined cycle is impressively fuel-efficient. It also offers unrivalled levels of space and refined comfort for the driver and up to six passengers, as well as being fully wheelchair accessible.
Paul’s Compact-bodied 114 CDI has an optional seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox, which transmits the engine’s 114 hp output through the rear wheels. The National Vito Taxi is also available in front wheel-drive form, as the 109 CDI with 88 hp powerplant.
Standard equipment includes fuel-saving BlueEFFICIENCY measures, air-conditioning for driver and passengers, electric folding mirrors and electrically-operated sliding doors on both sides. All Vito Taxis also come with an electric near-side step but as an upgraded Taxi Plus model Paul’s vehicle is fitted with electric steps on both sides, along with the Active Parking Assist system.
Paul has been a professional driver for 14 years, and at one point Kamcabs was running three vehicles. He had purchased 13 traditional black cabs before he bought his first Vito, a Euro 5 model which had undergone conversion by a third-party specialist, in 2011. Kamcabs continues to run this vehicle alongside the first official Mercedes-Benz Vito Taxi to be sold in the north-west.
“The Vito is preferred by every cabbie I know in Manchester,” confirmed Paul. “It has the quality feel you associate with the three-pointed star badge, and is much more comfortable to drive than its main competitor, while there’s plenty of space for up to six passengers and their luggage.
“What may be more surprising to some, though, is that the Vito is also a lot more cost-effective to own and operate. Not only is it impressively fuel-efficient, but the service intervals of up to 24,000 miles are significantly longer too. And, of course, because it’s a Mercedes-Benz I know the vehicle will command a high residual value when I come to replace it.”
Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, the Vito Taxi is covered by a three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty and free MobiloVan roadside assistance. “I’ve only had to call them out once previously,” recalled Paul. “We were just back from holiday, and my first Vito had a flat battery.
“Despite the fact that it was midnight, the Mercedes-Benz technician was out to me very quickly. I’d parked the vehicle against a wall, which meant it was difficult to gain access. But he knew how to get round this – knowledge that a non-specialist from one of the major breakdown organisations would probably not have had – and started the vehicle in no time.
“I need my taxi to earn a living,” said Paul. “Fast, reliable, round-the-clock back-up like this is also, therefore, an important element of the Vito package for me.”
He added: “I’ve been very impressed with the service from Ciceley Commercials. The Dealer’s Sales Executive Michael Holmes and his Manager Jonathan Ramsay were both very attentive and helpful when it came to securing my licence for this new vehicle from Manchester City Council.”
Jonathan commented: “We’re very excited to have been awarded our new Mercedes-Benz Vito Taxi franchise, and look forward to putting many more cabbies operating in Manchester and beyond behind the wheel of one of these fantastic vehicles.