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Did You Know..?

We drive on the left because the congestion was so bad on London Bridge in 1722, the Mayor had to introduce a keep left policy to help the traffic keep moving? The reason he chose left rather than right will all be revealed during the tour!

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About smallcarBIGCITY...


Robert Welch, founder and MD of smallcarBIGCITY, believes that when you visit a new city, there is nothing better than feeling like a local resident - knowing all the best places to eat and drink and never getting ripped off. He felt that conventional ways of discovering a new city, whether that be via a guide book or on a bus tour, were outdated and something needed to change. He dreamt of running a company that could make tourists feel like locals every time.

smallcarBIGCITY was born on 29th August 2009, exactly 50 years after the first Mini rolled off the production line and onto the swinging streets of London. Since then we have taken over 10,000 happy customers round the capital and shown them London from a different perspective. We only use a fleet of vintage Mini Coopers to get around town so we can travel down all of the little back streets and show you only the best bits and hidden gems.

#livelikealocal and discover something new about London.


Belief


For everyone who visits London to feel like a local.


Goals


To aid the recovery of the economy -
click here to find out how

To improve the condition of our planet -
click here to view our carbon promise

To give back to the local community - click here to find out about our charities

To help other business's grow - click here to find out about our mentoring program.


History


Robert Welch was given a bright red Mini Cooper for his 17th Birthday and began a relationship that was to take him from student to entrepreneur.

Upon driving round London throughout his time at university, Robert noticed hundreds of tourists stopping to take photos of his little car.

Robert dreamt of running a company that steered away from conventional methods of touring the capital, to found a company that only used a fleet of classic Minis, quintessentially English guides, music from the greatest decade of all time on the stereo and personal recommendations based on the clients individual requirements.

Despite identifying a potential niche in the market, Robert wanted to cut his teeth in the City of London. Little did he know, his dream was far closer than he would have ever thought due to the economic instability at the time. Securing a job in the financial industry in June 2008 was virtually impossible due to the ressesive economic climate at the time.

It wasn't until a fateful interview for a less than desirable sales job that he met Oliver Knight. Oliver also happened to own a classic Mini Cooper and had also noticed the attention they created in London. It was not long before the two budding entrepreneurs were creating business plans and pitching for investment towards the very banks they were applying for jobs in only months before.

Upon seeking outside investment, suitable premises to operate from and a welcome third pair of hands, Alastair Bruton became the third smallcarBIGCITY director in June 2009.

smallcarBIGCITY officially opened for business on the 26th August 2009 - exactly 50 years to the day that the first ever classic Mini rolled off the production line, bring the swinging little Mini back onto the streets of London.

Since then things have been moving thick and fast – buying Minis, setting up the website, obtaining the required licences, acquiring premises and staff, the list was endless! Despite the worsening economic constraintes, 2009 was the best possible time to launch a new business in the tourist industry; the appreciation of foreign currencies lead to a boom in visits to the capital.smallcarBIGCITY were able to go from 864th position on TripAdvisor's list of London's attractions, all the way to 3rd within 6 months!

smallcarBIGCITY are expanding rapidly in order to cope with the demand that these little cars currently find themselves in! Click here if you own a retro Mini and would like to sell it, fancy joining the team to become a tour guide or want to hire out your Mini to create some extra revenue.

It is their aim that tourists should not feel like tourists at all – they should be immersed in London's culture rather than viewing it at arms' length. When they first came to London, they wanted to see all the sights and sounds the city had to offer, but didn't want to feel like they were at a zoo. They wanted something tangible, something concrete.

Since opening their doors over 4 years ago, smallcarBIGCITY have taken over 10,000 happy customers around London. Thier guides have been trained to the highest standards and know the secret, undiscovered London. The founders have mentored with Richard Branson and worked with key brands such as Aston Martin, Expedia and Vodafone to name but a few.They won New Business of the Year in 2010 and were lucky enough to meet the Prime Minister in 2011 at the launch of Start Up Britain. Most recently they were listed as the NO.1 Greatest Thing To Do In London by Time Out, an accolade that we are immensely proud of. We look forward to showing you round this wonderful city.