Spain’s Coach Hire is one of the best in the West


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Operating out of Gurtymadden, Loughrea, Co Galway, Spain’s Coach Hire specialises in executive transfers, transporting teams on match day, stags, hens, airport transfers, school runs and more. Irish Trucker touched base with its Managing Director Keith Spain to discuss the ins and outs of the company, its impressive modern fleet and double award success in the last 12 months.

Up and running seven years now, Spain’s Coach Hire was founded by Keith and Claire Spain and offers its customers a range of vehicles to transport them from A to B.

The company can provide a door-to-door service and currently operates with approximately 50 vehicles on the road, with a sister venture called ‘Executive Travel Solutions’ also backing up its service.

From its base in Gurtymadden, Loughrea, Co Galway, Spain’s Coach Hire employs 55 staff and has further designs on adding to both its personnel and fleet out west.

Building Ireland heard more from co-founder Keith on the overall state of business at the moment, along with the origins which first brought him into this particular line of work.

“My family would’ve been in the business when I was growing up many years ago and they exited it themselves in 2000,” he outlined.

“So, I would’ve grown up around the business, if you know what I mean, and that was where the grá for it came from really. Prior to that I would’ve been working in the service industry.”

Come 2017, Keith took the decision to go out on his own and hasn’t looked back since, having started with just a single vehicle from the outset. 

Of course, just a little over two years after getting his new business off the ground, the Covid-19 pandemic would change the world. Thankfully, by that stage, Spain’s Coach Hire the right contracts in place to continue carrying out runs that were deemed essential at the time.

“When I first started out, it was with just one mini-bus and grew it from there,” he outlined.

“I started doing local private work and then we were fortunate enough to get work with Bus Eireann and some school runs. We started with Bus Eireann and upped the standard of our vehicles and gradually got more tourism work, along with high end tourism work as well.

“So, the two main parts to the business were obviously contract and tour work then.”

He added: “Of course, we’d only two years trading when bloody Covid hit, but we were very fortunate that we traded through it quite successfully with contracts that we already had in place.”

Fast-forward to today and the company is currently thriving and in the process of expanding as well.

With more than 50 vehicles on the road, Spain’s Coach Hire will be adding another 10 to its superb fleet during the first two months of 2024 in order to keep up with the current customer demand.

For Keith, it's part of the vision that both he and his wife Claire had when they first set up shop six years ago.

“Business has been very strong. There’s a big demand for public transport at the minute,” beamed the Galway native.

“Passenger numbers are increasing and inbound tourism is very, very strong from the US, so there’s been a very fast rebound from Covid. I suppose, we expected that things would take a number of years to return from pre-Covid levels, but it has rebounded very fast.”

In 2023, the company’s feats and overall quality service were recognised when it won two awards over the course of the year.

The first was the Bus & Coach Care of the Environment Award, which was based on its contract with the University of Galway over the past year that sees it with two electric buses on the campus on a full-time basis.

The fact that Spain’s Coach Hire only commenced its business with University of Galway in 2023 makes the award success all the more impressive.

The second honour came this past November when Executive Premier Travel won Silver for the Fastest Growing Business at the annual Energia Family Business Awards, which were held at the Mansion House in Dublin.

So, all of that considered, the burning question is what has been the secret behind the success of this family-run transport venture?

How has a small start-up grown into what is now very much a thriving business with a golden reputation among its customers?

For Keith, it comes down to a number of different factors that see the business providing a quality service week in, week out.

“I suppose it’d be down to reliability and the diverse fleet that we have. We’ve quite a large fleet, so we can accommodate a lot of requests from customers whether it’s a small event or a large event,” he pointed out.

“We have a full-time office there with four working in it and we also have the support staff as well. We built a new workshop there last year, so from the support network we have our work workshop as well.”

Indeed, since ‘Day One’, Spain’s Coach Hire has always tried its best to go above and beyond for its customers, and Keith and Claire have always prided themselves on keeping their customers satisfied.

Looking towards the months ahead, and 2024 as a whole for the business, Keith is optimistic with what he says and also very excited by what could potentially be around the corner.

“We have a lot of opportunities in the pipeline. We’re working on one or two projects for the last one or two years and we’re hoping that they’ll flourish.

“We also want to continue to improve the fleet and hire good staff. That’s the plan anyway,” he concluded.

Spain’s Coach Hire
Co Galway
Tel: 091 423 020
Mob: 086 193 0213
Email: [email protected]

First published in Irish Trucker magazine March/April 2024, Vol 27-1