A chauffeur is a professional driver but don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s as simple as that. Being a chauffeur requires a very specific type of person and the standards demanded within the industry are very high.
What do Chauffeurs Do?
Most chauffeurs either work for a single company that employs drivers for company purposes or they are employed by a limousine hire company. Their duties include:
- Collecting clients from one destination and ensuring a safe and timely trip to their destination.
- Assisting clients with any luggage or packages they are transporting with them.
- Making sure the vehicle is clean and well maintained at all times.
Who makes the Perfect Chauffeur?
It’s not enough to be ‘good at driving’. Many other qualities are required before you even consider your first step on a training course, for example.
The first hurdle, an obvious one, is that you have to really enjoy driving. Your career will be spent largely behind the wheel and any boredom or irritation will shine through in the service you offer.
As a chauffeur you must maintain a professional attitude to your work at all times. You must never let personal or private issues encroach on your driving.
Chauffeurs are hired to ensure that people reach their destination on time, so punctuality is key. In the event that routes are changed or blocked, you must show resourcefulness in order to overcome or circumnavigate the obstacle.
The minute you ‘clock on’ in your job, you are at the service of your client or passenger. This means adhering to the standard industry or company etiquette and being discreet about overheard conversations and journeys undertaken.
An important factor in the life of a chauffeur is their ability to keep their clients safe. Security is becoming an increasingly high-profile part of the job and it’s essential you are able to address this.
If you think you can frame your career with all these basic issues, you are ready to consider the practical requirements of becoming a chauffeur.
How Do I Become a Chauffeur?
If being a chauffeur is the career for you, the first thing you will need to consider is obtaining a Private Hire Permit or licence. The conditions of this qualification vary from location to location but the fundamental guidelines tend to be the same:
- Age is a big factor to take into account. Driving for such long periods, could be considered a high risk job. Also, you may be transporting high profile public figures in the world of business or celebrity. When you also consider that the vehicle you drive may be a large and expensive limousine, you won’t be surprised this is a cocktail of raised insurance premiums. The risk is reduced the older you are. Most companies and training courses won’t consider you until you reach the age of 25.
- Most permits require a mandatory check to ensure you don’t have a criminal record. Professional driving puts you in a position of trust and responsibility, your personal integrity must be beyond reproach.
- The licensing body will also need to check your medical background. A job as a chauffeur requires that you are physically sound, in good emotional health and that your eyesight meets or exceeds legal requirements for safe driving.
- Local knowledge is key to your suitability as a driver. Some licensing authorities build this into their criteria. You aren’t required to have photographic memory of the streets and geographical layout of an entire city. However, in the case of a diversion you would need to be acquainted with alternative routes to replace the original.
There are several options open to you with some very good courses run by the Institute of Advanced Motorists. A prominent body in the world of professional driving is the British Chauffeurs Guild. They also run several outstanding courses that will provide you with solid qualifications for your CV.
You can also study for various exams run by private companies who hire their staff directly. Although these courses can be excellent, you have to consider the accreditation of your exam once you’ve achieved a pass with them. Will your qualification be recognised across the industry?
Following a career as a professional chauffeur can be very rewarding. For the right person who fits all the personal and practical criteria, it’s an exciting and progressive career. You will come into contact with some very interesting people and of course, you will be driving some beautiful cars.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated November 2019