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Six things to know before hiring an executive chauffeur service

To help you better understand how executive chauffeur hire works, we’ve compiled a list of helpful hints below when enquiries about your needs.

The businessman or woman with a busy work schedule is increasingly relying on a personal chauffeur service in this modern age, allowing them to be productive rather than spending time sat behind the wheel in traffic. Choosing the wrong company for your chauffeuring needs could lead to missing out on important business events because of a lack of preparation and subsequent reliability. During your initial enquiry, you may have queries about the pricing, quality of service provided, the qualifications of your driver, and the vehicles that the company use. To help you better understand how executive chauffeur hire works, we’ve compiled a list of helpful hints below when enquiries about your needs.

1. Are the chauffeurs professional and experienced?
Reputable chauffeur companies should only hire drivers who are highly skilled and experienced, so ask what their backgrounds are. If a company is protective of this, it could indicate a lack of experience in their drivers. Certain variables should be taken into account while selecting and hiring chauffeur drivers, such as their familiarity and understanding of the local area. When interacting with VIPs and celebrities, it is crucial to maintain a professional demeanour and a level of confidentiality. Some companies may also offer close protection services if there is a high risk to the client. You should receive the phone number and email address of your designated chauffeur before your journey. 

2. They should be able to answer customer questions.
Customers who are looking for a vehicle service frequently inquire, ‘What uniform do your drivers wear’ or ‘How many passengers can fit in the car?’ Hiring more than one vehicle and driver is perfectly normal, especially in the close protection industry where security teams travel in transit A company that cannot do this or provide similar vehicles will likely be a small business rather than a reputable organisation. A variety of refreshments and snacks are generally available for passengers in the vehicles’ refrigerators – if not, find out what the extra costs are as a cheap price could include hidden charges. If you have any questions, the chauffeuring company should be more than happy to answer them. Look elsewhere if the company's staff are irritated by your questions or doesn’t answer them simply.

3. They should be fully insured and licensed
This is a critical consideration. If you choose a premium chauffeuring service, make sure they are insured with a reputable insurance provider as a lot of smaller chauffeur businesses may get the bare minimum cover. The company should be able to provide proof of their coverage, so don’t use them if they can’t provide it. Vehicles and drivers must also be suitably licensed, and each location may have different licencing requirements. Even if you don’t know what licence they should have, by asking the question you will likely notice hesitancy if they are unsure. There should be full confidence in confirming the insurance and driver/vehicle licencing requirements.

4. They should provide a contract
Don’t book the service if the company hasn't got the documents to prove their credibility. Everything from the cost of wait time to insurance information must be included in a written and signed agreement between the parties (which can be electronic through a platform such as DocuSign). If they try to charge you for something and you don’t have a contract, you run the risk of losing money. Make sure you’re working with a trustworthy, prestige company that gives all the documents you need to make sure you know exactly where you stand. Having a contract with a chauffeuring service indicates that they are confident in the quality of their service. Due to new emissions changes, make sure that you aren’t going to run a daily bill for a non-ULEZ compliant car too!

5. They should be reliable and punctual
Luxury chauffeur service providers may bill customers for the time they spend driving from their base. For a distant location, you may end up paying a lot more than you bargained for. Some chauffeur firms purchase local phone numbers and pay a service to the phone provider to divert the calls to their out-of-town offices to rack up excessive ‘travel from’ charges. Don’t fall for it. Ask for a ‘travel to’ estimate or their postcode before booking.

For the most part, you can expect your chauffeur for the day to arrive on time, since he or she will always plan and depart in plenty of time to get to your destination. Chauffeurs may be delayed owing to traffic in extreme cases. Itinerary and traffic technology should be accessible to your chauffeur on the day of booking to ensure a pleasant and productive journey for you. Your car should also be gleaming, clean and fresh.

6. They should offer secure payment methods
The chauffeur should use a card machine with a payment provider or direct you to their office for payment. Some companies may offer credit terms with regular service. Avoid any 'cash only' and be careful with pre-paid bank transfer requests. If they do not have access to card machine it is likely a very small organisation without an office which causes concerns for ensuring quality standards are in place. When making a card payment, you will most likely be asked for your full address where your payment card is registered, and you should ask for a copy of your receipt.

How much is chauffeur service?
For an executive chauffeur service in London, the hourly rate for a chauffeur-driven car is between £50 and £130 plus VAT. The cost depends on the type of vehicle that is rented. From a Mercedes E-Class to the luxury of a Rolls-Royce Phantom, typically, a three-hour minimum charge is in effect.

  • E-Class Mercedes – £50.00 per hour
  • V-Class Mercedes – £60.00 per hour
  • Bentley Mulsanne – £100.00 per hour
  • Rolls-Royce Phantom – £130.00 per hour

For overseas services, such as a Dubai City Tour expect to pay from 400 AED for half a day (5 Hours) or 700 AED for a full day for an economy vehicle such as a Lexus/Chevrolet, or 3500 AED (half day) or 4500 AED for a full day for a Rolls Royce Ghost.