ONE of York’s biggest private hire companies has been saved, after it had entered administration.

A group of 17 minority shareholders in the old business, most of them drivers, has bought Six Five Nine Cars Ltd in Layerthorpe, which trades as 659 Taxis.

The firm had been continuing to trade while a buyer was sought by York business recovery practice Begbies Traynor, who were appointed as joint administrators after a hearing at Leeds county court in November.

A spokesman for the shareholders said the firm’s future was bright and improvements were being planned, including a new operating system and a booking app which would be launched shortly.

He said 659 was the first private hire firm in York to have used its telephone number for its name, which helped passengers remember the number to dial.

It currently had about 80 drivers and provided an average of about 9,000 lifts a week in the York area.

“All the drivers are local and DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked, and are licensed by City of York Council,” he said.

He said some drivers who had left when the firm went into administration had already come back, and he urged any others who had not yet done so to follow suit, adding that the subs payable by drivers to the firm had been reduced. He also thanked ‘loyal’ customers for their support.

York Press:

Rob Sadler and Dave Broadbent, of Begbies Traynor, said in November that the business, which had traded in York for over 15 years and had one of the largest fleets of private hire vehicles in the city, had recently suffered from management issues and cash flow problems, which led to a creditor asking the court to put the company into administration.

They confirmed on Friday that, after a period of trading and marketing of the business, a sale had been agreed to 659 Private Hire Limited.

Mr Sadler said: “When we first took control of the business, it quickly became clear that it had significant debts‎ and issues arising from its management and aggressive competition.

“Having steadied the ship, we have now agreed a sale that should see all creditors repaid in full, which the purchaser was keen to achieve.”

He thanked the council, drivers and staff for their assistance and co-operation in completing the sale, which had preserved all jobs and the name of one of York’s best known private hire fleets. “We are confident that the business has a bright future ahead in the hands of such an experienced team,” he added.