As someone who is completely neurotic about getting to the airport early, this relatively new car service is a great discovery. Capstar Chauffeurs is the epitome of punctuality and faultless service. Founded in 2013 in London by two former UK army officers, Robert Bassett Cross and Lord Charles Bowmont, it was started to provide meaningful full-time employment to men and women leaving the armed forces.
Capstar now has 30 drivers in total – having extended its reach from London to New York three months ago – and a fleet of Jaguar XJLs in both countries, plus Mercedes-V Class and Range Rovers in the UK.
My maiden voyage was a delight, largely due to my driver, former helicopter pilot Mike. He arrived 30 minutes before our scheduled departure time (just as I like!), texted me only 15 minutes before so as “not to make me feel rushed”, and hit the balance of pleasantries, radio selection and temperature just right.
“When you have an ex-soldier or marine behind the wheel, you know they will be respectful, immaculate and utterly reliable,” explains Casey Martinez, CEO of Capstar’s US operations.
You have to ring to book a car, versus using an app, which, for me, is a nice touch that made me feel attended to – as did the company’s precise email confirmation of my booking. You can also request a specific driver and add security details. Overall it’s a price-competitive alternative (from £60/$95 per hour; £90 from central London to Heathrow) to leading car services – and I feel as though I am doing some good at the same time.