Chauffeurs operate limousines, vans, and private cars. They provide transportation for special occasions, and for times when it’s inconvenient for customers to drive their own cars or use public transportation. They may work for hire, or they may work for private businesses, government agencies, or wealthy individuals. Many chauffeurs transport travelers in large vans between hotels and airports, bus terminals, or train stations. Others drive luxury automobiles, such as private cars or limousines. In addition to regular point-to-point services, some drivers offer sight-seeing services.
Chauffeurs cater to passengers by providing attentive customer service and paying attention to detail. They keep their vehicle clean and neat, and perform routine maintenance. They help riders into the car by holding open doors, holding umbrellas when it is raining, and loading and unloading packages and luggage.
Chauffeurs may perform errands for their employers such as picking up clients arriving at airports. To ensure a pleasurable ride in their limousines, many chauffeurs offer conveniences and luxuries such as newspapers, magazines, music, drinks, televisions, and telephones.
Chauffeurs should be able to communicate effectively, use basic math, read maps, and have a basic understanding of auto mechanics. They need to be patient when driving in heavy traffic, and dependable since passengers expect to be picked up at a prearranged time and taken to the correct destination.
Chauffeurs must drive safely and avoid sudden stops, turns, and other maneuvers that would jar passengers. Good drivers are familiar with streets in the area so they can choose the most efficient routes. They know the locations of frequently requested destinations such as airports, bus terminals, railroad stations, convention centers, hotels, and points of interest.
Chauffeurs are often on call and have to report to work on short notice. Evening and weekend work is common for chauffeurs employed by limousine services. Other service workers sometimes moonlight as chauffeurs. Some people purchase their own limousines and go into business for themselves. A chauffeur’s license is required in many states, and independent owner-drivers need an additional permit allowing them to operate as a business. Many chauffeur companies require drivers to have a neat appearance. Thus, chauffeurs often wear formal attire such as tuxedos, suits, dresses, or uniforms.
This occupation is attractive to college and postgraduate students due to its flexibility and potential for good pay, but all applicants will need to have a good driving record, and many chauffeur positions have age restrictions and other requirements such as fingerprinting and drug tests. This is to ensure a high level of service, which is expected from a chauffeur. Chauffeurs must also be able to get along well with all kinds of people. The months of May and June are particularly busy for chauffeurs due to all of the proms, graduations, and weddings.