Addison Lee buys Tristar – and £10-£20 off your first Addison Lee app bookings

Addison Lee, which seems to have been forgotten about with the rise of Uber in recent years, acquired fellow London-based executive car service Tristar last week.  If you have ever taken a Virgin Atlantic, Etihad or Emirates chauffeur car to Heathrow, you are very likely to have travelled in a Tristar vehicle.  The company has operations in Asia, continental Europe and the US as well as the UK.

Addison Lee claims that the Tristar acquisition makes it the global No 1 in the ‘executive car’ market.  Uber does not own its own vehicles, however, and I doubt the combined Addison Lee / Tristar fleet of 1,000 executive vehicles globally will trouble it much.

Tristar had revenue of £50 million.  The acquisition price was not disclosed which, based on my many years in the City, means that it was sold was a fraction of its turnover due to no or minimal profitability.  That said, the combined Addison Lee / Tristar fleet now comprises 5,000 vehicles and 800 full time employees which makes it a serious business.

It remains to be seen whether the Addison Lee founder, John Griffin, was incredibly smart in selling out to private equity for £300m in 2013 when he saw Uber coming over the horizon.  Uber is not known for paying up generously to buy its competitors – it would prefer to spend its money grinding them into the ground by undercutting on price.  Addison Lee has also been protected so far by the fact that Uber For Business has been fairly low key, something which is changing.

The alternative view is that, if you take Uber’s valuation based on its current customer base, AddLee is worth far, far more than £300m …..

Addison Lee sign up bonus

Sign up bonuses with the Addison Lee app

Faced with heavy competition from Uber, Gett and Hailo, Addison Lee has finally got an app on the market which is competitive with its rivals.

There are two sign up bonuses available at present.  HELLO10 gives you £10 off your first Addison Lee ride in London booked via the app.  Alternatively, enter code HELLO20 after downloading the app and you will receive £5 off your first four bookings.  Up to you!

You can download the Addison Lee app via this page here if you are reading this on your mobile or tablet.

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  1. I’d like to get an estimated price/quotation, something I can easily do on the Uber website.

    I’ve played around with the AL website, and it seems the only way to find out, if at all, is to sign up for an account and book. Surely not?!

    • You don’t need to book but you do need an account & have to go so far as telling them what time you want the car before it will confirm the price. Advantage with AL is that the price is fixed (no time element) and – unlike the fixed fares on Gett – you will get a driver at that price.

  2. I always assumed that AL got most of their business from corporations. I always seem to end up with them when I have work travel anyway (which I don’t book myself).

  3. OT: what do people think of driving from Leeds to Heathrow ( catching an evening flight)? We have so much luggage and 3 kids in tow so I think train will be too much.

    • Check europcar one way £1 hires

    • The_Real_A says:

      I do it often, and provided you have a comfortable vehicle is perfectly convenient. Remember if you are paying for 1-2 weeks of parking you can often get a hotel+parking deal for very little more. There is an MSE and AMEX credit from holiday extras right now that stacks and gets a substantial discount.

    • Mr Dee says:

      Should be easy enough, check JustPark out as well for price comparisons

      • Thanks all. Other half was getting worried about traffic and thinks we may take 6 hours plus!

        • Your other half is right, if you’re going to be prudent. in normal traffic it’s 4 hrs. However, you are of course flying. You need to allow extra time for traffic/ accidents then dropping the car off.

          4 hrs journey + 2 hours prudent extra time & car park + 2 hrs check in before flight means you should allow 8 hrs before your flight.

          Cutting it fine means missing your flight, angry family, bad start to holiday, huge extra cost.

          Adding in a bit of extra time = you catch your flight and at worst kick your heels for an hour or so extra, that can be quite pleasant in a lounge.

          • Put it this way: in the old days I used to literally fly by the seat of my pants – I loved getting to the airport just in time and breezing onto my flight. Once I forgot my passport in Glasgow, realised & asked check in to hold the flight whilst I drove home to grab it, they said they couldn’t but they did actually hold it once I got back to the check in desk a second time & whisked me to the gate! Plane left 10 mins late but I got my flight.

            Those days are gone. You really do need to allow 2-3 hrs check in time depending on airport – Bristol says 3 hrs and 3 hrs at Bristol is exactly what you need sometimes.

            (Anybody not paying for their flights probably doesn’t care too much lol)

            The only time I ever missed my flight was with my wife & her strange sense of timing, & who still insists on cutting it fine.

            Guess what? A few months ago I got a strangulated call from my wife asking me to change her car park booking to chauffeur meet @ airport so that she could actually catch her flight. She won’t learn.

            Don’t be a ‘cuts it fine’ if you are with your family & paying for everything with your own money!

    • There are roadworks on the M1 between J20 and J18 and the bottom part tends to get very busy at certain times. If you come off at J20 (Lutterworth) and take the A5 down as far as the A43 at Towcester, you can then either rejoin the M1 or cut down the A43 to the M40, which is usually much less busy.

  4. Thanks to Tony upthread who said: ‘You don’t need to book but you do need an account & have to go so far as telling them what time you want the car before it will confirm the price’. I did just that and got to the Thank You screen.

    Since then, nothing. The credit check can’t be taking two days, so I’m left wondering if they don’t want my non-West End address.

    Anyway, if I can’t even get an estimate – unlike Uber – I’m unlikely to bother with them.