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Chauffeur Monkey up for sale
9:58am Tuesday 15th April 2014 in News
An entrepreneur is looking for a business brain to take on the responsibility of getting drinkers home safely – with the added perk of a drive in a supercar or two thrown in.
Tony Murrell is looking to sell the car service company Chauffeur Monkey, which he founded more than six years ago to help get pub goers and their cars home safely from a night out.
The Lewes-based businessman is looking to sell on his company to someone who can take it to the next level and allow him to focus his entrepreneurial energy on his burgeoning Lewes Supper Club as a semi-retirement project.
Mr Murrell said one of the perks of the job was getting behind the wheel of the cars of his wealthier customers, including top-of-the-range BMWs, Land Rovers and a £210,000 Ferrari Scuderia.
One recent executive client asked the 56-year-old if he could drive his new Mercedes SL 63 AMG so he could use the 500 horsepower supercar at his Cork holiday home.
The business has four mini bikes which chauffeurs drive to meet up with clients, the bikes are then folded up into the boot of the customer’s car and the chauffeur drives the client home.
Mr Murrell said he hoped to sell the business, which has the backing of local police forces and has customers across Sussex and beyond, as a bolt-on to an existing chauffeur or taxi service.
The company, which makes an annual profit of £15,000 from a turnover of £41,000, is available to buy for £25,000.
As a way of easing any new owner into the business, Mr Murrell is offering to give his time free of charge for up to two months to ensure a smooth handover.
He said: “The business is very profitable, more profitable than I thought it would be, but I have not been able to increase the turnover as I was hoping for the effort I have been putting in.
“I am now nearer 60 than 50 and I am too old to get up at 3am to rescue somebody.
“It would be a real shame if it had to fold so it would be great to see somebody take it to another level that I haven’t been able to.”
Mr Murrell said part of the difficulty he had found in reaching new customers was the willingness of Sussex drinkers to take a risk behind the wheel of a car.
He said: “I don’t think that anybody deliberately sets out to drink and drive but people think the likelihood of getting caught is very slim.
“When you are driving somebody home and you go past a traffic police car people do a short intake of breath to say that could have been me getting stopped.”
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