Hertfordshire entrepreneur Peter Hilton has launched his latest business venture – with a little help from a long-term business partner in the shape of Mercedes-Benz dealer S & B Commercials.
His new company Hilton Rental offers a range of vehicles for hire including budget, prestige, sports, 4×4 and even wedding cars, as well as campervans and minibuses. But the most recent addition to the fleet is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.
Hilton Rental operates from Bishops Stortford and its new Sprinter chassis cab arrived via S & B’s Stansted dealership. The 313CDI Long is fitted with a Luton body with aerodynamic, cab roof-mounted pod by GM Billings & Sons, of Epping, as well as a Ratcliff Palfinger 500kg column tail-lift.
Mr Hilton began his career more than 25 years ago, when he started a car body repair business from his parents’ double garage – today, accident repair centre Hilton Coachworks is approved by 17 manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz. Other Hilton Group businesses include classic car retailer Hilton & Moss, new Lotus and TVR dealer Castle Sportscars, and windscreen, tyre and fleet leasing operations.
A Mercedes-Benz enthusiast, Mr Hilton relies on trucks and vans bearing the three-pointed star to keep his businesses running smoothly. But the launch of Hilton Rental marks the first occasion on which he has purchased a Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle for use by his own customers.
Vehicle Rental Manager Adam Sydes said: "These are still early days but we’re getting busier by the day and are very excited about the potential for growth of our new venture.
"We’ve already seen a lot of demand for our new Sprinter – it’s proving particularly popular with private customers undertaking their own house or office moves, as well as for retailers and couriers needing an additional vehicle for a short period during a particularly busy time."
He continued: "We’re looking to build our business at Stansted Airport, where we’re competing with the major national ‘players’. But we’re competitively priced and, unlike them, can offer the highly personal service which is a Hilton Group trademark."
Hilton Rental purchased its new van with funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Like its Vito stablemate, the Sprinter boasts an unrivalled reputation for reliability and durability, and offers class-leading standards of driver comfort and safety. It is also backed by a three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty.
Hilton Rental customers are also benefiting from the vehicle’s fuel-efficiency. Powered by a state-of-the-art, 129hp Euro 5 engine, the 313CDI model is 15 per cent more frugal than its equivalent predecessor. That equates to an extra 4.5 miles per gallon, while CO2 emissions are down by 13 per cent.
"Mercedes-Benz is a prestige brand and the three-pointed star speaks volumes for the quality of our own business," added Mr Sydes. "We already enjoy a great relationship with S & B Commercials, not only as a customer but also as a supplier of services to the dealership, and look forward to returning with more orders for new vehicles as our business takes off."