Meet The Exhibitors: Castle Minibus
Castle Minibus are the trusted advisors to over 1250 educational establishments for minibus leasing, rentals and driver training throughout the UK.
As the UK’s Champions of Minibus Safety Castle have also launched the app The School Transport Manager to help with your section 19 compliance.
Tell us about the history of your company. When was it founded, by whom and why?
Castle Vehicle Leasing, was established in March 1995 to provide cars and vans to business customers, in 2007 we were approached by schools to provide them with a minibus, it became apparent quickly, that the standard of service and advice these schools were receiving was indigent, we felt that we had an opportunity to develop a much better provision within the Education sector and that under the name Castle Minibus, we would provide the only factory built minibuses; As factory built Minibuses are designed to have the maximum safety and comfort unlike the converted vans that many schools had to put up with, and some still do!
Since forming Castle Minibus in 2008, our aim is to continue to be a trusted advisor and be champions of minibus safety.
In developing relationships with schools, we established that the lack of services for Driver Training for D1 and assessment days (AKA Midas), so in 2013, we formed Castle Driver Training. Again, we set standards in this area by having highly qualified ADI top grade Driver Trainers, in the latest model Ford Transit minibuses. Very quickly, we were recording a pass rate that was near twice the national average. We ‘hand hold’ our candidates throughout the Theory and practical tests which minimise the time the Bursar or School Business Manager previously had to spend with colleagues trying to coach them in an area they don’t as standard have specialist knowledge of, and therefore the quality of coaching can be somewhat diminished.
Our innovations haven’t stopped at training either! With the long-lasting effects of the recession and the squeeze on budgets getting tighter, we recognised that not all education establishments or public sector bodies want to commit to a vehicle on a long-term basis and may only need something on a short term basis. So in 2016, we launched Castle Rentals to provide cars, vans, minibuses even a cherry picker for trimming the trees. In its first year, over 500 schools used this service and booked over 12,000 days of hire.
In 2016 we developed The School Transport Manager app. The self-proclaimed status Champions of Minibus Safety is backed up by the work we have done to develop a free App for all Schools to help keep their vehicle compliance obligations in check. This app allows drivers to record their vehicle checks through the app, once complete the school office or Head receives a compliance report via email. Once introduced at a school (so long as the procedure is adhered to) the Head can rest assured that every time a Minibus goes out on to the Highway a vehicle check has been completed therefore minimising the school’s risk and liability.
The School Transport Manager – Apple store The School Transport Manager – Google Play
Finally, we have launched our, website called cars4teachers.co.uk. This site will offer a selection of brand new personal lease cars at very competitive prices to staff and their families.
What products / services does your business offer to the education industry / education professionals?
– Minibus Leasing – Minibus Hire – Driver Training
What makes your business unique?
Our business is unique because we don’t want to just sell you vehicles or train you. Castle are a trusted advisor to over 1250 educational establishments across the UK, genuinely caring about our customers, keeping them safe in the ever grey area of minibus compliance and safety.
Beyond your products, how can you bring additional value to the buyer?
We feel additional value is added when you join Castle not just for our products or our exclusive customer discounts but our knowledge on all things minibus. From Section 19 to driver training Castle’s teams can help guide you through any sticking spots.
Why should people stop at your booth?
Not only will you be able to have a look at one of our vehicles, you will be able to chat to our experts about minibus leasing, D1 training, rental plans and much more.
Who do you currently work with? How do your products / services help them?
Working with over 1250 educational establishments it is difficult to pick out just a few, so we feel the best thing to do is show you what they are saying about Castle. Please scan the QR code to visit our testimonials page or alternatively visit: http://www.castleminibus.co.uk/testimonials.
Posted by marchesadmin on 14th June 2017, under The Marches Festival of Education 2017
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