Following early success, Driver Hire UK established its first franchise in 1987. Driver Hire UK grew rapidly, reaching a network of 102 territories by 2017. The Driver Hire UK franchise model has proven successful and has been shortlisted for the British Franchise Association’s Franchisor of the Year award for 11 of the last 12 years, winning in 2006 and more recently taking silver in 2017.
CEO Chris Chidley led a management buyout of the business then known as Driver Hire Group Services Ltd, backed by Aberdeen Asset Management.
Driver Risk Management was established to expand the Group’s offering to include training services following the introduction of EU legislation (Driver Certificate of Professional Competence) that requires all commercial drivers to receive at least 35 hours of training every five years if they are driving for financial reward.
The Group undertook a secondary buyout backed by LDC, in order to provide additional capital to support organic and acquisitive growth.
The Group expanded internationally, with Driver Hire Australia opening its first office in Perth. It has since established offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, and its fifth office opened in Adelaide in 2018.
The Group launched its online driving licence verification service, dh Licence Check.
SPS diversified into the rail infrastructure market in 2013, acquiring ISS Labour, an established provider of labour, site lighting and safety barrier fencing to rail infrastructure contractors across the UK.
The Rail Division extended its service offering to include staff with OLE skills, reflecting the increased demand for this service, and it also established ISS Labour Training to provide fully-accredited training both to ISS Labour’s staff and third parties in response to a shortage in skilled labour.