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Modern vehicles such as these will find their way to The Bus Shop after three to five years on Mistral’s rental fleet. THE BUS SHOP

Jonathan Welch paid a visit to the North Anston premises of The Bus Shop to find out how it is growing its business

Founded in 1992, the Mistral Group is a well-known and respected name in the coach and bus rental sector. Its new offshoot, though, is quickly establishing itself with the same reputation and values in the second-hand bus sales segment; under the watch of enthusiastic Used Vehicle Sales Manager Andrew Biggs, The Bus Shop offers a range of Mistral ex-rental vehicles for sale, as well as acting as a sales agent for third parties.

I paid a visit to the company’s premises at North Anston, near Sheffield, for a chat with Andrew to find out more about the new offshoot, and to have a look at some of the vehicles in stock. I started off by finding out a bit about Andrew and his background. “I first entered the industry in 2009 with Dawsongroup,” he explained, “I had two stints there, initially until 2016 before leaving the bus and coach scene for a year, then returning to Dawsongroup in 2017 until departing in 2020 after being approached by Mistral.

“I started with Mistral right at the beginning of the first lockdown, and like a lot of people I wondered if I’d still have a job to go to, but Mistral remained very good to me, standing by their convictions for bringing me on board. For the first few months my role was more aligned to whatever the business needed me to do rather than the job I’d accepted, which I was happy to do – I didn’t qualify for the furlough scheme as I’d only recently joined. At the time, lots of operators were asking for payment holidays on finance and rental packages, and in the early stages I got involved, supporting the staff who were still working. It gave me a good feel for our fleet and the shape of market. The sudden drop off in normal day to day activities also afforded me more time to develop the Bus Shop brand and website content in a relatively quieter environment, with opportunities to practice and launch the vehicle preview videos that we now routinely offer on all used stock.


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