Business travel changed in a dramatic fashion over the past year. While businesses continue to adapt to a different travel landscape full of new risks and regulations, those traveling will have a variety of options available to them. If you need ground transportation, you may wonder what the difference is between a driver and a chauffeur. They do the same thing, right? They get you from point A to point B, so why bother with the details?
To travel safely, in style and comfort, read on to learn the differences between a driver and a chauffeur.
Why Hire a Car Service or Personal Driver?
The main reasons people hire chauffeurs or drivers are the same. Often, business travelers are in a city they’re not familiar with, and a car service gets them to where they need to be without any trouble.
If that’s the case, why wouldn’t companies provide a transportation stipend for their workers to use ride-share apps or cabs? Some do. Though the success of using these services often depends on the city you’re in.
Cabs and ride-share services are not available in all cities. Some major urban centers lack a taxi-cab or ride-share infrastructure suitable to what your worker needs to meet with clients and navigate a city safely.
You can research all you want, but it’s hard to know where the blind spots in these driver services will be. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, service in many areas across the country is spotty at best.
Hiring a personal driver means safety. It means convenience. It means getting your worker where they need to be on time.
Driver vs. Chauffeur
Not all car services are the same. When considering a car service, consider what your transportation needs will be before you book.
There’s an old saying about brandy and cognac. All cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is cognac. The same is true for drivers and chauffeurs.
All chauffeurs are drivers, but not all drivers are chauffeurs. Though the terms are used interchangeably, they are not the same. Let’s talk more here about the main differences.
Drivers offer impersonal service designed to get you where you need to be and nothing more. They carry no specialized licensing or training other than what is needed for a state driver’s license.
Drivers are not trained with any customer service specifications. Nor are they required to wear a uniform. If they drive for a ride-share service, their vehicles meet very basic requirements.
For these services, all a driver needs is a four-door vehicle that holds up to four passengers. Aside from not being rebuilt, salvaged, and not older than 15 years, there are no other requirements. This also includes any posted or not posted sanitary standards that the world is now adjusting to.
Every trip in a driver’s car is a game of Russian Roulette. You could wind up in a smoker’s vehicle. Without any specific requirements, the driver’s car might be filthy, unsafe, and/or uncomfortable.
Even worse, you may be matched with a reckless or aggressive driver.
This relaxed, impersonal service style might be fine for a quick trip across town. Vacationers and tourists often turn to drivers as a less expensive transportation method while in a strange city.
For important business trips, the lack of professional standards from drivers could be ruinous.
A chauffeur can only be classified as one after they receive specialized training and licensing from the company they work for.
In other words, a chauffeur doesn’t just drive a car. A chauffeur is a trained driver.
An hourly chauffeur offers an exceptional customer service experience. Do you need a cup of coffee en route to your morning meeting? Your chauffeur will get it for you.
Will you have dinner and a few drinks with an important client? Don’t worry about how you’ll get home. Your chauffeur will be there when you’re done with the car running.
Another huge difference between drivers and chauffeurs are the standards they must follow. As they are held accountable by the company they work for, their vehicles are always clean. They always drive with a defensive posture.
What’s the Right Vehicle for You?
Luxury car services offer their chauffeurs in many different types of vehicles. The great thing about hiring a chauffeur from a chauffeur service is the options available.
When you use a ride-share service to get a driver, you can never be sure what vehicle will pick you up. Do you want to show up for an important meeting in the back of a 15-year-old minivan? What impression does that create?
These services allow you to pick a vehicle that meets your specific needs. If you’re out on the town for a night of fun, a stretch limousine with an expert limo driver might be what you want.
If you plan on having many passengers, you can rent a refined luxury van or mini-bus. For many business travelers, a four-door luxury sedan is all that’s necessary.
With any of these vehicles, you’ll receive the personalized and discreet services only a chauffeur provides.
Book Ahead of Time
A hotel or airport concierge will be a resourceful tool for finding a driver or a cab service. Why depend on them if you don’t need to?
Why wait at an airport cab stand or ride-share post for a driver who may be half an hour away?
One of the ways chauffeurs and chauffeur services differ from drivers is that you can book them ahead of time. You can guarantee a warm, safe car as soon as you land. Your chauffeur will wait for you inside the airport and handle your luggage.
Book a Chauffeur Service
Drivers are suitable for many travelers. They are a cost-effective way if you need to get from point to point in a city. They do have their drawbacks.
Lacking professionalism and service standards, drivers are not ideal for your business travel. If you’re looking for a safe and exceptional customer service experience, book with a chauffeur service.
Are you ready to drive in style? Contact us today to reserve a vehicle driven by one of our chauffeurs for your next trip.