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A coach hire price comparison website has unveiled a rebrand to mark its 10th anniversary and has embarked on an ambitious plan to double in size.
Coach Hire Comparison was founded in July 2010 by husband-and-wife team James and Laura Stokes.
It began by providing quotes from 20 independent coach firms in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and now has a national presence offering price comparisons from more than 220 operators with nearly 2,800 vehicles on the roads in total.
Now the business, which is based in Shirland, Derbyshire, is looking to double in size over the next few years.
Fluid Ideas, a creative agency based in Derby, has been brought on board to help bring the couple’s plans to fruition.
The agency has designed the rebrand alongside technical and visual improvements to the website to improve the customer journey, and new social media and digital marketing strategies.
Ed Bowler, joint managing director of Fluid Ideas, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Coach Hire Comparison on a variety of projects in a milestone year for the company, as James and Laura look to take it to the next level.
“It’s a great family business which champions small, independent coach operators, is trusted throughout the industry and by the travelling public, has an innovative approach and a passion for its sector.
“The new look and feel for the brand reflect these qualities. Alongside the rebrand, we have implemented a number of measures to enhance the online user experience, for example by making quote requests simpler and ensuring communication between operators and customers is faster and more transparent.
“We are now preparing the next phase of this strategy, with further new features planned to improve website performance and a bold and ambitious social media strategy.”
James said: “We are really excited to be working with Fluid Ideas to help us develop the business. There is a plenty of scope to grow, and the agency’s team have the knowledge and expertise to help us realise our goals.”
Coach Hire Comparison handled 30,000 quote requests in the six months to December 2019, of which 80 per cent were fulfilled.
The operators which use the site are typically small, owner-driver businesses with up to five vehicles, ranging from eight-seater minibuses to double-decker coaches. They pay a monthly fee to be listed on the website.
Journeys include airport transfers, school and corporate trips, group outings, stag and hen parties, wedding parties and race days.
James said: “There are around 4,000 operators nationwide who fit our target market, so there is huge untapped potential for Coach Hire Comparison to expand, providing a significant new revenue stream for operators and saving travellers time and money.
“We have used lockdown to invest in our rebrand and website development to come out of this period even stronger and hit the ground running as the market gradually returns to normal.”
Before launching Coach Hire Comparison, James and Laura ran an executive minibus hire business, which they sold in 2012.