Aqua Cars are dedicated to delivering the best possible service to all it's customers. Through this dedication Aqua Cars has become the largest private hire company in Portsmouth and the South Coast.
With a fleet of over 700 cars and completing an average of over 75,000 jobs each week the Aqua Cars headquarters will process close to 10,000 calls per day. 90% of all bookings arrive within 5 minutes. These figures have not been reached by any single contract or any large account customer but by the people of Portsmouth's growing support and custom.
Aqua Cars were formed from City Taxis when the company changed from Hackney to Private Hire in 1984. Still at the address of Somers Road it changed hands a number of times until the present owners, Ronnie and Barry Leng, bought it in June 1990. At that time there was only 16 cars in total.
The company enjoyed a steady growth and by 1994 it had reached 70 vehicles. Business was good and daily total was around 1,600 jobs. It was at this time that the brothers started looking for a Computerised Booking & Despatch System. After looking at different companies and how they worked, they finally decided on the Auriga System. This was installed in April 1994.
The effect was immediate. The efficiency of the system and the ability to be able to take more calls was a benefit to customers and drivers alike. Aqua Cars have continued to invest in the company and this is shown by the present growth of 700 vehicles. It is an ethos they continue to work to.
In the community
Not only are Aqua Cars based in Portsmouth, they are part of Portsmouth. Aqua Cars are proud sponsors of 2 youth football teams, and from 2008 to date Rowans Hospice is one of Aqua Cars nominated charities. Thanks to the generosity of Aqua Cars staff and drivers, over £10,000 has been raised, which included a copper bottle and The Moonlight Walk.
Local business partnerships
Aqua Cars participate in partnerships with a wide variety of companies within the city and surrounding areas. Please see links below for more detail:
Management & Staff
- Ronnie & Barry Leng - Co-Owners. These two brothers are the driving force behind Aqua, between them they have over 50 years experience and have made Aqua Cars the biggest and busiest taxi company in the South of England. They are both very active in the day-to-day running of the business and are always available to both customers and staff. They are totally committed to giving all their customers the best service possible.
- Bruce Hall - General Manager. Bruce has overall responsibility for the smooth running of the company. This covers a number of jobs, all of which give him a unique position to act as company representative. As such he will be happy to call on you, at any time, to discuss any requirements or questions you may have. He also has a vast knowledge of communications which make him an invaluable member of the team.
- Dave Campbell - Assistant General Manager. Dave joined the managerial team at Aqua Cars in February 2013 to help with the smooth running of the company working closely alongside Bruce Hall the general manager. Dave brings a wealth of knowledge of our industry as he was a private hire driver/hackney carriage driver for 14 years under Portsmouth City Council regulations. Dave also has extensive managerial experience, having run various retail businesses that were extremely customer service focused. This helps in his role when dealing with complaints.
- Rebecca Whiting - Office Manager. Rebecca started with Aqua Cars in 1992 and bought a wealth of experience with her. She controls all aspects of the office from wages and V.A.T. to organisation and administration. A task she takes easily in her stride.
- Ian Mc Niven - Repair/Install Engineer. Ian has been employed by Aqua Cars since February 2013 and works alongside our repair/install engineers to help maintain and co-ordinate the smooth running of vehicles. Ian is also the main contact for co-ordinating free phones and for the installation of the numerous ashtrays that are located around the city.
- Hannah Leng - Media Co-ordinator. Hannah is our media co-ordinator, Hannah's role within the company is to keep Facebook and our Twitter sites up to date with all the latest information and to keep our customer base informed on any updates and what the company is doing now and in the future.
- Telephonists and Operators. These people are our biggest asset. We employ 54 telephonists and 5 operators that work together 24 hours a day taking the enormous amount of telephone calls and making sure that customers are picked up on time and at the right place. The pressure rarely eases, and with the present traffic problems in Portsmouth, becomes even more difficult at peak times. To say they do their best is an understatement.
Become part of the biggest taxi company in Hampshire. We currently have over 700 self employed drivers and 74 employed telephonists. There are many others who always work behind the scenes to ensure the company runs smoothly. If you think you have what it takes to become part of our team then we want to hear from you.
As mentioned above we currently employ 74 telephonists. These are the people who man our telephone lines 24 hours a days taking bookings and answering customers questions. Vacancies become available at any time, full and part time, and full training is given. You will need typing skills and a reasonable knowledge of Portsmouth. If you think you have what it takes get in contact:
If you would like to become a Hackney or Private hire driver for the busiest company in Portsmouth you will need a license, otherwise known as a badge. To obtain this badge from Portsmouth City Council you will need;
- The support of an operator (that's us). This is on the application given to you by Portsmouth Licensing section.
- A medical certificate signed by your own G.P. or someone with immediate access to your medical records.
- Two persons who have known you for at least 3 years (not relatives, partners or someone in the taxi industry).
- That you have held a current driving license for at least 12 months and are over 18. (you must be over 23 to join Aqua Cars).
- Show that you have a good knowledge of Portsmouth by sitting and passing a geography test.
- A completed drugs test.
- A completed police check. criminal records bureau
More information and application forms can be obtained from; Licensing Section, Corporate Services, Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL or by calling 023 92 834830, Some of the garages listed in the garage section will also help you in getting your badge and can offer the vehicles to suit.
One of the best ways to start after you have obtained your badge is to hire a vehicle from one of the recommended garages below. They can supply a fully fitted and licensed vehicle. Recommended garages include:
- Hollam Leasing
- Andy & Richard
- 07525 835960 - 07736 877303
Using leading edge technology Aqua Cars have installed Global Positioning in all their cars. Taking signals from 24 satellites circling the earth, each vehicle is tracked on screen by the operator at Aqua Cars office using the latest computer mapping. It really is the eye in the sky. This, coupled with our automatic booking and despatch, means that all our cars and drivers are used to maximum efficiency to ensure your car is on time.
As well as state of the art computers, Aqua Cars have the latest Inter-Tel 5000 telephone system capable of handling the 85,000 calls a week we receive through our 70 telephone lines. Digital voice recorders monitor and record all calls for training and security purposes.
This and the use of Broadband also ensures that our e-mail, internet and credit card booking system speedily deals with your order as well as giving us up to the minute information on flight arrivals and departures.
We are looking to the future with in-car car swipe, enabling customers to pay by credit card at the time of the journey.
No need to look anxiously out of the window waiting for your taxi to arrive. No more listening for the bell that doesn't work. Callback uses the latest technology to enable our drivers to dial your phone when they arrive outside your address. It's free of charge and it's easy to order. When you book your taxi with the telephonist simply ask for callback. When you hear your phone ring twice your taxi is outside. No need to pick up the phone, just your keys and coat.
At certain times on busy days and weekends our phone lines can be constantly engaged. Provided you have a touch tone phone, autobook enables you to book your own taxi direct. Autobook has a priority number that connects you to an automatic booking system, which will ask for your individual pin number (supplied by us) By entering this number, a car is despatched to your address. This service is presently only available for immediate bookings but can be a bonus on those busy days.
Internet Bookings can be made for journeys in advance. Bookings can only be accepted during normal office hours (Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm) and need at least 24-hours notice. These bookings will receive a confirmation reply. Simply visit our internet booking form page and enter your details into the fields provided.
Real time Internet bookings are available to selected account customers. This allows direct access to the booking screen, instant confirmation with the job number assigned and the ability to suggest alternative times if our booking limits have been reached. Real time Internet customers always get through and book a taxi in a matter of seconds. They can also set up regular pick up points that can be easily recalled for future bookings. Customers have secure online access, which is password protected, and also allows department managers to obtain account details and previous bookings made by staff at a touch of a button.
Credit card payments are accepted visiting our offices. All telephonists have direct line facilities, enabling them to confirm payment on line. To allow our telephonists to pre-price journeys on your credit card, please tell them of any extra pick-ups with the addresses involved. We accept all the major credit and debit cards including American Express.
IVR stands for ‘Interactive Voice Response’, and it’s an automatic voice booking service which enables customers to book their own taxis in a matter of seconds. It’s like having an army of telephonists’ always available, and always 100% accurate. IVR also allows mobile phone callers to choose from a number of preselected locations.
We have accounts with many of the businesses in and around Portsmouth. From multi-national companies with different departments and cost centres to local businesses with 2 or 3 staff. With an account, we can offer a priority number that fast tracks you through to a telephonist and a priority service that will push your booking through.
Your staff can have different levels of access through password or P.I.N. You can have authorisation dockets that have number security. We can offer real time Internet booking with instant confirmation and we can also offer the autobook system.
If you require an executive service for special customers, Julian Staples will be happy to take your call and will make sure it gets special attention. Whatever your requirement, we will try to tailor it to you. Regular bookings, special vehicles, special drivers, out of hours or even out of area. For enquiries or to open an account, please call Bruce Hall.
Terms and conditions for account customers
1. Terms of Agreement
When you give us your bookings you agree to all the terms in this non-negotiable document, and in our current tariffs, service guides and in any specific service's terms and conditions, all of which are available on request. If at any time there is a conflict between these terms and conditions and our current tariff, the latter shall take precedence. The terms and conditions of our tariffs, service guides, and specific services are made part of this agreement, and no one is authorised to alter or modify those terms.
2. Carrier is not a common carrier
The Company is not a common carrier and will only accept goods for carriage under the terms and conditions in this document.
3. Terms of credit
All accounts are issued and maintained in strict accordance with the company's terms of credit, which are as follows:
a) Accounts are due when rendered and payment is required within 28 days of the invoice.
b) An understanding that the minimum annual payments to the company in respect of carriage charges for all services will amount to a minimum of £3000.00 per annum exclusive of V.A.T., and should that sum not be achieved the account facilities may at the company's discretion be immediately reviewed.
c) The account facilities are granted for an initial period of three months, and will continue thereafter subject to the terms and conditions being met in full, a satisfactory payment pattern and any response from referees as required.
d) Account customer invoices carry V.A.T. at the standard rate.
e) All invoices issued by the company are deemed correct unless queried within 14 days of the date of the invoice.
f) The customer shall not be entitled to defer or withhold the payment of any monies due or liabilities incurred to the company, by reason of having any claim or counterclaim, or any alleged claim or counterclaim, and the customer shall not under any circumstances be entitled to any rights of set-off in relation thereto.
4. Liability of the company
The company shall be liable for any loss or damage, occasioned during carriage unless and to the extent that the same has been caused by, is due to, or has arisen from:-
a) An act of God, force majeure or any other occurrence or cause beyond the control of the company, including but not limited to war, civil commotion, invasion, hostilities, riots and other like occurrences.
b) Seizure, damage, confiscation, requisition or destruction under legal process by or under the order of any government, local authority, or any other public body.
c) Any act of omission of the customer or the owners of any goods comprised in a shipment (or part thereof), including their respective servants or agents and anything done by the carrier at the express request or discretion from them.
d) Inherent liability to wastage, either in bulk, weight or quality, any latent or inherent defects or natural deterioration of the goods.
e) Insufficient or improper packaging, labelling or addressing.
f) Industrial disputes, lockouts and general or partial stoppages or restraints of labour of whatever nature.
g) Electrical, magnetic, injury, erasure, x-ray or other similar damage to electronic or photographic images or recording in any forms.
Under no circumstances shall the company be liable in any event for consequential loss, special damages or other indirect loss, howsoever arising, whether or not the company knew or ought to have known that such losses or damages might be incurred, including without limitation loss of income, profits, interest or loss of interest.
5. Time limit for claims
The company shall not be liable for any loss, damage or other liability whatsoever nature unless:
a) The customer notifies the company in writing of an impending claim within ten days after commencement of transit and
b) The company receives a detailed written claim, including any relevant documentation requested by the company within twenty-eight days of the commencement of transit.
6. Governing law
These conditions and each and every contract made pursuant thereto shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law and the customer hereby submits to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
7. Terms and conditions specific to passenger services
company in accordance with all the conditions undertakes all passenger bookings in this agreement and with the following additions:
a) In the case of any damage sustained to the company's property or vehicle's by you however caused, the customer will be liable for all costs pertaining to the matter, including but not limited to, damage repair, vehicle cleaning, reasonable compensation of the company's loss of earnings, and any other liabilities incurred by us in relation to the incident, all charges will be billed to the account.
b) The company shall not be liable for any property left by any customer in a vehicle provided by the company. Any such discovered items will be held at the company office.
c) Any property handed in to the company offices will be held for a period of 1 week, and the company shall make every reasonable effort to find the owner during this time. After 1 week the goods will be taken to the lost property section of the local Police station.
d) Any property being returned to you by a company vehicle will be chargeable; no charge will be made for any item collected from the company.
8. Terms and conditions specific to all goods services
All goods bookings are undertaken by the company in accordance with all the other conditions in this agreement and with the following additions:
a) Hazardous, illegal or dangerous goods, as classified by either English or International law, will not be carried, and the customer not the company shall be liable for any consequences or actions of any kind, resulting from the carriage or attempted carriage of any such items.
b) The company shall not be liable for any loss, damage or other liability of any kind whatsoever resulting from goods deliveries arriving late for whatever reason, including but not limited to all the conditions in Section 4 and in addition, mechanical breakdown, excessive traffic congestion, adverse weather conditions, customers delays and any other delays out of the company's control.
c) Unless otherwise agreed in writing the method and route of transit shall be at the absolute and sole discretions of the company.
9. Credit Card Payment
At the time you register a credit or debit card Aqua Cars Ltd will make a "pre-authorisation" attempt of a minimal amount to establish that the card is a valid one. This is for our protection and your security.
No money will be taken from or charged to your account or card in respect of this “pre-authorisation” it is merely a way of checking that the card is valid. Your bank or credit card company may show this “pre-authorisation” (which will typically be £1.01) as a ‘payment’ in the sense that it may restrict you from withdrawing up to the maximum of your account limit for the duration of the “pre-authorisation”.
Aqua Cars Ltd has no control over when your bank or card issuer will release this “pre-authorisation”, however usually it will be within 1 to 5 days. For the avoidance of doubt, the “pre-authorisation” does not represent any actual money changing hands and Aqua Cars will only charge your card or account for actual journeys undertaken and booked and for which you have indicated you wish your card or account to be charged.
Aqua Cars acts as intermediary in respect of card payments on behalf of your driver. Card payments are made through our third party, registered merchant services payment provider and will in turn be passed onto your driver. You agree that you will pay for all journeys booked with Aqua Cars and that Aqua Cars can charge your registered credit/debit card for those which you select are to be paid by card.
You are responsible for timely payment of all fares. If your card payment fails, then you will be liable to pay the fare by other means directly to the driver at the time in the vehicle.
Your credit/debit card details will be held in whole by our third-party payment PCI compliant merchant services provider. Aqua Cars employees or sub-contractors will at no point have access to your personal information.
Although Aqua Cars do not retain full details of customers credit/debit cards, they are held on our third party, PCI compliant merchant services provider’s systems. A tokenised system stored within your mobile phone, other electronic device, or Aqua Cars system identifies you and your credentials based on your telephone number. Any person with access to your mobile phone or telephone number and credentials could in theory use our service, payment for which would be made through your credit/debit card and for which you will be liable. It is imperative that you notify Aqua Cars if you lose your mobile phone to enable your account to be stopped and no bookings to happen. You will of course have also notified your credit card provider and/or bank and, once the card is stopped by the bank, no more card bookings will be possible using that card.
If, for any reason, a refund is due to be made to your credit or debit card it will be made to the same card and account used for the original payment. Any refunds may take up to seven working days to be processed through our merchant services provider and your own bank or credit card company. This time is beyond the control of Aqua Cars and, other than committing to act on and instruct any refund in a timely and prompt manner, Aqua Cars has no control over the time it may take for the refund to appear in your bank or on your credit card.
Aqua Cars uses a third-party payment provider to manage payments from your credit/debit card account for journeys booked. The processing of payments or credits, as applicable, in connection with your use of the Aqua Cars service will be subject to the terms, conditions and privacy policies of the payment processor and your credit card issuer in addition to these terms and conditions. Aqua Cars is not responsible for any errors by the payment processor.
10. Payment by Credit Card - Fraud
Any credit/debit card registered with Aqua Cars and/or on the Web Service or the App must be your own and registered at your home address. Should we suspect any fraudulent activity, your account may be suspended without prior warning and the relevant authorities will be informed
Knowingly using someone else’s credit or debit card to pay for goods or services without their explicit authorisation is theft and/or an act of fraud. Aqua Cars will notify the relevant authorities if it is aware of criminal activity including disclosing names, addresses, contact numbers and booking details pertaining to the crime. It will also pursue any charges and all costs associated with the fraud in county court civil proceedings against the perpetrator.