Private cars, taxis and public transport all have their uses. If, however, you want the utmost in convenience and privacy, then a chauffeur service is the way to go. To get the best out of your experience, you need to choose the right chauffeur service and use it in the right way
To give you the inside scoop, professional chauffeur, Kuldip Rait of White 7 Bedford, shares his expertise into what you should keep in mind the next time you hire a chauffeur.
Clarify your requirements
At a minimum, you need to know the basic details of your planned journey. These include:
- How many people will be travelling
- The starting point(s) and destination(s)
- The date/time of travel
- Any specific requirements (e.g. wheelchair access).
Once you’ve established your baseline requirements, you can then think about your preferences. For example, is there a particular type of vehicle you like? As a hint, however, be prepared to be guided by your chauffeur service. For example, your choice of vehicle may not be suitable or at least best suited to your planned trip.
Do your research
Choosing the right chauffeur service has become much easier thanks to the internet. Most chauffeur services will have informative websites. These will tell you everything you might need or want to know about their service. This will typically include:
- The vehicles they use and how they are equipped
- Their drivers’ qualifications and experience
- How they maintain safety
- The area(s) they cover
- Their pricing and payment methods
- Any value-add services they offer
- What guarantee (if any) do they give regarding punctuality
These sites will also usually have customer testimonials and/or a link to an external website where you can check independent references. You can also search for these separately.
Assuming you are hiring a chauffeur service in the UK, you can expect any reputable company to be able to provide wheelchair-suitable vehicles and baby facilities.
For completeness, this is not necessarily the case in other countries. In some cases, you may need to make prior arrangements. In others, you may have to look at other options.
Similarly, in the UK, you can expect vehicles to be fairly new unless they are actually classic vehicles. You can therefore expect them to be equipped with standard amenities including heating, air conditioning and internet. Most chauffeur services will also provide amenities such as food, drink and magazines.
Drivers really are what make or break a chauffeur service. At the end of the day, you could just hire a premium vehicle and drive it yourself. The reason you’re choosing not to is that you want the convenience of having a skilled and experienced professional driver.
When doing your research, what you want to see is that drivers have suitable training, background checks and insurance. Experience is very much preferable but, of course, everyone has to start somewhere. If a chauffeur has been through a reputable training course then they should still be able to offer a high standard of service.
If a chauffeur service is using new vehicles and employing high-quality drivers then safety should never be a concern. Vehicles will always be cleaned, maintained and driven appropriately. In particular, a reputable chauffeur service will have COVID19 precautions in place for as long as necessary.
If you establish a relationship with a chauffeur service, you may wish to use them regardless of your location. If, however, you tend to use chauffeur services on an ad-hoc basis then it’s generally advisable to look for chauffeur services with local knowledge.
As is often the case in life, small details can make a big difference. In this context, this means that chauffeurs who really know the local area are usually best placed to provide the very best service in it. This can mean anything from recommending places to eat to getting you where you need to be in the shortest, possible time.