How To Become A Private Chauffeur
A private chauffeur is a skilled driver who transports their employer between different locations, typically in a luxury vehicle. Working as a chauffeur can be a very rewarding career choice because you will typically get to visit many different locations and regularly meet new people.
This is an ideal career choice for people who enjoy driving and delivering high-quality customer service. Chauffeurs must be polite, professional, well organised, mechanically minded and discrete. The following information will give you a clear idea of what you need to get started in this exciting career!
What Does Being a Private Chauffeur Entail?
The duties of private chauffeur vary greatly depending on the requirements of your client. Generally, their tasks will include:
- Driving your client and their associates between various locations
- Driving the client’s family members between locations including to school or social events
- Helping passengers with their luggage
- Opening doors for their passengers
- Helping passengers step into or out of the vehicle
- Keeping the vehicle clean and in excellent running order
- Restocking the vehicle with refreshments and other items that passengers might wish to use during their journey
- Giving passengers information about their journey
- Performing small errands for your client
A private chauffeur may also be asked to perform some other duties including going shopping with the client and carrying shopping bags. The hours that chauffeurs work can vary a great deal depending on the unique requirements of each client.
What Are The Entry Requirements For Becoming a Chauffeur?
At a minimum, a chauffeur must have a valid UK driving license. Having a clean record for safe driving is also important because most employers will not hire a chauffeur with any penalty points on their driver’s license. A chauffeur should have at least 3 years of driving experience.
Some employers will require chauffeurs to have completed a safe driving course or an advanced driving course. The courses available for chauffeurs in the United Kingdom include:
The Institute of Advanced Motorists Driving Courses
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) offers a wide range of courses and seminars including:
- Driving for a work course
- Avoiding collisions seminar
- Alcohol awareness seminar
- Confidence post-incident training
- Speed awareness seminar
- Night driving for work (workshop)
- Familiarisation with UK Driving
They also offer a range of tests including the Commercial Advanced Driver test and the Advanced Driver test. Having successfully completed these tests can dramatically improve your chances of becoming a chauffeur!
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
The RoSPA has a chauffeur-training course that is designed to improve the level of safety and security that chauffeurs provide to clients. Attendees will learn:
- Potential safety and security risks that occur when chauffeuring VIPs to their destinations
- Defensive driving techniques
- Professional car cleaning techniques
- Chauffeur etiquette
- How to develop the attitude and skills required to be a chauffeur
The British Chauffeurs Guild
The guild has a home study training course which teaches the fundamental aspects of being a chauffeur including:
- Car care
- Personal presentation including attire and personal hygiene
- Pickup and drop off procedures
- Safe motoring and driving techniques
- Information about IAM and RoSPA tests
- How to be a security-minded chauffeur and much more.
Successful completion of the course gives participants the Standard Diploma of Merit and the Guilds ‘Chauffeurs Permit’. Membership to the British Chauffeurs Guild requires approval, which is determined by your skills and experience as a chauffeur. Membership significantly boosts your prospects of finding work as a chauffeur.
What Skills Does a Good Chauffeur Have?
In additional to being a qualified driver with a strong safety record, other skills that are useful for being a chauffeur include:
- Basic knowledge of vehicle maintenance
- Experience in a customer service or hospitality role
- Security awareness and self-defence skills
- First aid qualifications
- The ability to speak one or more foreign languages
- The ability to be polite, considerate and diplomatic
- The ability to be flexible and accommodating for clients
- Strong geographical knowledge and ability to navigate in difficult traffic environments
- Discretion and the ability to maintain a client’s privacy
Finding a job as a private chauffeur does require some effort at the outset, but it is a very rewarding career path for the right individual.