The business of travelling in style
No you may not drive Dennison Grant's white limousine.
Let's get that out of the way, because when Mr Grant or his wife Ana turn up, clients often like the white Mercedes Benz sedan so much, they want to drive it.
“Sometimes the client says they want me to sit in the back, while they drive,” Mrs Grant laughed.
The Grants started limousine service Bermuda Lux Limo in June 2017.
They thought running their own business would be something good to do together as a couple. When they got married last April, the limousine featured heavily in their wedding pictures.
“Transportation is in my blood,” Mr Grant said. “My father, Dennis Grant, had a cab and a minibus. My brother Mikko Ingham is a car enthusiast. He gave me a lot of advice about importing cars.”
They chose a Mercedes Benz sedan simply because they considered it a top car.
“Mercedes calls it their flagship car,” Mr Grant said. “Mercedes has that name alone. You don't have to say anything after that. And it is just the perfect size. Mercedes are really good with luxury.”
They can seat three passengers comfortably, but can take five in a pinch. The hope is to soon expand to begin offering a larger car.
Airport transfers are the mainstay of the business. They do about four a week, but they also do weddings, graduations, birthday parties and even special date nights.
“Most of the time, this is a treat for people, but there is a certain clientele that look for this type of service,” he said.
Bermuda Lux Limo offers the only white limousine on the island. The Grants picked the colour because they wanted to do weddings. The car ended up featuring heavily in their own wedding pictures last April.
They both work full time jobs. Mrs Grant is an accountant and Mr Grant is a biomedical engineer, so they employ three other people to drive the car during the week. They take over the wheel after hours and on weekends.
No matter what the occasion, they always turn up in a black tuxedo.
“I don't like to brag,” Mr Grant said, “but we stand out at the airport, waiting for a transfer. All limousine companies in Bermuda have their own style, but I'm usually the only one in a black tuxedo. Many people are very impressed with our presentation. We show up with our iPad with the name of the client. We greet them. They are just blown away with the professionalism.”
One of the Grants biggest challenges is maintaining their own high standards.
“We have to clean the car every time we go out,” Mr Grant said. “The wheels are the most challenging thing to keep clean. But that is one thing I always look at.”
Occasionally, they've had celebrities in their cars.
“Of course, we can't tell you who they were,” Mr Grant laughed. “But their security guard had to sit up front.”
“We've also had clients with dogs,” Mrs Grant said. “We can handle that.”
Everything they do has to be prearranged. They are not allowed to pick up people on the side of the street. They often work with hotels or other limousine companies to pick up large parties.
“When we first came about, we told Belmont Newstead about the business and asked if we could start up a business relationship as far as their clients that needed a limousine service,” Mr Grant said. “We had some meetings with [Newstead general manager] Bushara Bushara. He was okay with it and took some pictures and put us on their website.”
Mr Grant said one of the rewards of the job is getting to meet lots of people.
“There is the adrenalin rush of organising the transportation and delivering a good service, something they will always remember and, hopefully, come back to one day,” He said. “Ana is an accountant by trade, so she helps out a lot in the background. She is very good at communications. We have noticed that to be communicating effectively seals the deal, most of the time.”
Mrs Grant said responding to a job request quickly was key to getting the job, in most cases.
“Our rates, would be $165, standard,” Mr Grant said. “But when it comes to a local rate, we offer to locals $150 an hour.”
There are other terms for parties who want to use the car long term, for a week or so.
For more information see them on Facebook under Bermuda Lux Limo, call 599-5466 or e-mail email@example.com