In almost all aspects of life, image matters. As superficial as this may sound, how people see us, and what they think of us matters. In terms of the business world, the most important thing is the numbers. If you can make a lot of money for someone, there is not much your mere image can do to tarnish the business; however, to prove to others that you can make them a lot of money, you must first get your foot in the door. This is where your image comes into play, and is especially true when doing business with international business people. Think of it this way:
You have a potential business person flying in from China, and you have the option to pick them up in a Toyota Prius or a Bentley. If you want that business person to have the immediate thought that you can make them good money, which car would you choose? When you show up in a Bentley to pick them up from the airport, they will have the first impression that “this person knows how to make money, that’s why they can afford such an expensive vehicle.” In a sense, this turns your choice of car into a business investment that can be used to lure in potential clients.
Even if you are not trying to impress someone or pick up a client, purchasing a chauffeur service may still be incredibly useful. If your time is valued at $700 per hour, rather than driving around in a car, and increasing your opportunity cost, you can hire a chauffeur for $100 per hour. This way, you can comfortably and safely sit in a car and do your work with the wi-fi provided by the chauffeur.
There are many things you must take account for if are trying to decide on how to make this particular business investment. Your decision must also take into account the purpose of the event you need a chauffeur for, along with the type of client you have. The rental price of a chauffeur is greatly correlated with the retail price of the vehicle, so one must always take account for the price of the vehicle when purchasing a chauffeur service.
Why You Should Hire a Chauffeur
Anyone can hire a chauffeur, but here are some of the main reasons people choose this option.
One main reason world travellers and executives choose to hire a chauffeur is to arrive at every destination with style. Your mode of transportation and the vehicle in which you arrive are the first visual clues that leave an impression on event guests and others. That’s why diplomats, high-level employees traveling for business, and cultural savants attending shows want to look their best. A sleek car will help you look and feel your best, and being able to travel without worrying about your own schedule enables you to feel relaxed.
Since your driver can assist you with your itinerary, you will free up your own time to accomplish everything you came to London for. If you are here for business, you can use car trips to send emails and review files; if you are here for pleasure, you can use the smooth ride to look at photos and find impromptu destinations.
High-profile travellers often choose chauffeurs for a higher level of discretion. With tinted windows and muted colours, chauffeur cars are optimised to give you the privacy you want or need.
Our chauffeurs earn the highest certifications and licenses, also helping you to feel physically safe while you are traveling.
Choosing the Right Chauffeur Service
When it comes to choosing the right chauffeur, there’s a few things to keep in mind. With so many services to choose from, you need to find a way to narrow down the competition and hone in on the companies that fit your needs the most.
Check references and reviews
You should always get at least three references before choosing a chauffeur for your next event or business function. Make sure the references are from people you trust who have the same standards as you. A second filter is checking the online reviews. While they may not be from people you personally know, a lot of times people use that anonymity to really speak their minds. You’ll read some very truthful concerns and earnest praises from reviews, but always remember to check for a response from the company as well.
Check the size of their fleet
Most chauffeur services should have a wide variety of vehicles, from sporty cars to party buses to stretch limos. This ensures there’s a vehicle for every need and every occasion. Think about your party size and the type of event and a certain method of transportation will most likely come to mind. The average size of most fleets is five and you don’t want to choose a place with any lower, since you’ll end up with limited choices and less availability. Check out Chauffeur Service London’s fleet full of luxury vehicles for a better idea of what you should expect.
Check their service range
Some chauffeur companies will only offer a few options, like driving you to and from an event. But then there are some companies, like Chauffeur Service London, that have a wide range of services to fit your every travel need. There’s transfer services, of course, like transport to and from an airport or even business travel. But then there’s VIP services and even security services. Whatever your situation, a company should have chauffeurs trained to deal with them properly.
Characteristics of a Great Chauffeur
A clean driving record: This may seem common sense, but it’s very important to ensure that your chauffeur has a clean driving record. A driver should be able to ensure your safety, as well as a smooth and comfortable ride. If they have anything on their record, you most likely want to go with another company.
Personal attire: More often than not, chauffeurs are hired for special occasions or important events. For this reason, the way they present themselves and appear to the public is very important. Showing up in a uniform to pick you up for a big meeting or prom can make all the difference.
The right training: Most chauffeurs will have the right license for the job, but you should also make sure they are fully trained. It’s fair to ask if they’ve completed certain courses, like a defensive driving course. There are also a lot of etiquette-related tasks that will be required of them that you should inquire about before agreeing to a contract.
Punctuality: Nothing spoils an event quite like being late. A chauffeur should always arrive early to the pickup location. A skilled chauffeur will always be prepared for this, no matter the weather or road conditions. They will also know alternate routes and anything else required to be at your event on time.
A good attitude: With traffic to deal with and high stakes customers to take care of, chauffeurs are often under a lot of pressure. For this reason, you definitely want to take into account their ability to stay calm under pressure. Sometimes companies will have evaluation forms online so you can better understand a driver’s ability to deal with various situations.
Discretion: A lot of times, you’ll want to hire a chauffeur to avoid detection or to get somewhere safely and without any stress. Chauffeur drivers should understand how to help you maintain that calm and anonymity as you make your way to any event.
Knowledge of the area: It’s 2020 and we all have a GPS on our phones and in our cars. But what makes a lot of chauffeur drivers stand out is their vast knowledge of the area. This helps them stay on top of the latest changes to the road, whether it’s construction or events.
People skills: One thing that sets a great chauffeur apart from a basic driver is their professional interactions with customers. They should have excellent conversational skills, but also be polite and observant enough to understand the right times to start or stop interactions.
How to Hire a Personal Chauffeur
So how do you even begin to hire a personal chauffeur? One easy way is by filling out a booking form online through a credible company, like the one we have at Chauffeur Service London. You’ll need to provide client details and contact information, details about your destination — including flight info if you’re getting dropped off at an airport — and your collection address, date, and time.
Chauffeur Service London also has a contact for a variety of cities across the globe. When you speak with a chauffeur service, you should be paying close attention to how they make you feel. Do they make you feel comfortable? Do they make you feel relieved? Are they knowledgeable enough to put you at ease? This is also a great time to ask about their certifications, training, and even their terms.
What to Consider When Finding a Chauffeur Car
Number of travellers
If you are traveling with a large group of people, pay special attention to the Mercedes Benz luxury coaches and SUVs. You will want a chauffeur vehicle with ample leg room and a large number of seats.
Comfort vs. Privacy
Larger cars with higher ceilings will have a higher degree of comfort, but they may draw more attention because they are bigger and less stylish. This is true for luxury coaches and Range Rovers.
All of our chauffeur vehicles reach our standard for high style, but some are more sleek than others. The more compact cars tend to have a higher quality in finishes and design, so look at the Bentleys and Rolls Royce.
Finally, consider how much you need to travel. Since the Mercedes hold the highest safety rating, these vehicles are best for long distances and frequent travel.
5 Chauffeur Driven Cars to Choose
Amongst the cars viable for chauffeuring people, Mercedes Benz has the largest variety of options to choose from. Starting from the lower end, you have the E-class, all the way up to the Maybach. The E-class Mercedes is likely the cheapest option on the list, that being said, you do get what you paid for. There is a general understanding that the E-class is not that high end of a car, though still luxurious. If you are on a budget, you should take the E-class, but otherwise, the S-Class and Maybach are probably much more desirable.
The S-class Mercedes is likely the most comfortable and best-engineered car on this list in respect to price. The S-class Mercedes comes with many packages, most notably, there is a package that allows for the back seats of the car to be able to recline. If we are speaking of getting a car to chauffeur people, the package is a very high-value purchase. If you are picking someone up after a long flight, it would be nice for them to relax and rest as you are driving them to the residence in which they plan to stay.
Lastly, among the Mercedes is the Maybach. The Maybach is the highest end luxury sedan that is commercially available by Mercedes Benz. The thing with cars, in general, is that the cost of a car produces diminishing returns in terms of the marginal benefit of every added dollar inputted into the car. Although the Maybach is the nicest luxury sedan that can be obtained from Mercedes, it is about 150% the price of the S-class. At the elevated price, the value comes from conspicuous consumption; however, the Maybach has limitations when it comes to this. To explain why this is, we can take a look at Hyundai.
In 2014, Hyundai put a lot of money into marketing for their Equus model as it seemed to be dying. This effort was wasted even though, compared to their competition, the amenities of the car were greater in number and the many people found the car to be much more comfortable. The Equus was a car by Hyundai that was made to compete with cars like the Mercedes, but problem arose when you take account that Hyundai has an existing image. This is the image that Hyundais are low to mid-tier cars. The original MSRP of the car, was between $61,000 and $68,000 depending on the year and package that was bought; however, the general public would value it at around half that value because of the logo in the front. If Hyundai decided to sell their car for $40,000 instead of the original MSRP, and a customer had to choose between this marked down Equus, and either a BMW or Audi at $40,000, people would still choose the latter even if it was less value.
This is the same issue that the Maybach must deal with because Mercedes does not typically sell their car at the price range of the Maybach. The Maybach is simply an outlier, and the marketing of Mercedes does not allow them to easily make the Maybach appear to have a value equivalent to its cost.
- Largest Variety of Vehicles to Choose from
- Probably the best value for your dollar amongst these cars
- Highest safety rating on this list
- Cheapest/most affordable
- The diesel option is available for some models if you want to save a bit of money on gas
- The value peaks at the S class
- It does give a lot of room of conspicuous consumption
- Not the most stylish cars
- Less unique
When determining the status that a given car grants the driver, simply ask, “How often do I see someone driving this car?” These next two cars have gotten the majority of their value from this question. The Bentley, engineering-wise, is not hugely different from the Mercedes Benz cars, but the car is much more rare, better marketed for its price range, and a bit more comfortable to sit in. Bentleys, however, are a bit harder to drive and have much more rigid suspensions. If you do not master driving this type of car, the comfort gained from the seat design and high-end materials is lost from the discomfort of the driving. Bentleys specialise in sedans and designing these cars are their bread-and-butter. The design of Bentleys are generally much nicer than Mercedes, but note that the cheapest Bentley is more expensive than the Maybach.
- A great status symbol
- Very comfortable and very well designed
- Top end materials used
- You can buy 2 S-class Mercedes with the price of the cheapest Bentley
- Rigid and hard to drive
- Does not have the highest safety rating
The Rolls Royce is the epitome of luxury cars. In terms of status, Rolls Royce does to Bentley what Bentley does to Mercedes Benz. Rolls Royce’s are so rare and unique they only sold 3,362 units in the entire year of 2017. To put that into perspective, in 2014, Toyota was selling an average of 4246.5 units per day. In terms of the image that a Rolls Royce gives, this will let you truly stand out to a client, as it will be a very memorable experience being able to ride in one of these. The interior is unmatched in elegance and luxury, coming equipped with refrigeration and enough leg space for most people to have full extension of their legs as they ride.
- This is the highest tier of conspicuous consumption outside of buying a hypercar
- Car displays/is associated with authority
- The interior is top-notch and grants extremely high comfort
- The cheapest Rolls Royce has a higher MSRP than the most expensive commercially available Bentley.
- Rolls Royce makes incredibly heavy cars with curb weights that are around 5,445lb, roughly 1,000lb higher than its Mercedes Benz counterparts.
- Not fuel efficient/not good for your carbon footprint.
If people do not know cars very well, they do not realise how expensive the purchase was. They had a study showing people an image of the Rolls Royce Phantom, and they asked people how much they believed the car sold for. Many people would take account that it is a Rolls Royce and guess that the Phantom sold for around $200,000, but it actually sells at an MSRP of $417,825.
If you need to drive larger groups of people or you need to have more trunk space, this second half of the list has a larger application to your necessities.
The Range Rover is the highest class of the available cars that are not from the brands that primarily sell sports cars. Lamborghini and Porsche sell SUVs as well, but that is obviously not their specialty. Though they are more expensive, they are generally more expensive for the sake of being more expensive, whilst Range Rover backs up its price with actual value. The interior is made with leather and is built for comfort. Furthermore, the back seats have screens to provide entertainment for passengers during long drives. Like all SUVs the Range Rover comes with a lot of trunk space, so picking up a client from the airport is made easy as they can store their bags in the trunk without much difficulty.
- Well priced. You will have gotten good value for your money.
- 4 wheel drive, allowing you to drive wherever you want.
- Very comfortable car
- Not the most stylish car, but its style is not awful, just mediocre
- Very expensive for a 4-wheel drive SUV, so maintenance is rather costly
- It does not hold 7-8 people like most other SUVs, generally only holds 5 people comfortably.
Mini Van & SUVs
If you have a small group of people, selecting a minivan or SUV may be necessary. If you choose one of these and are also hoping to display a level of prestige, you are most likely going to want to buy either a Mercedes Benz V-Class or a Cadillac Escalade. These cars are generally very comfortable and have a lot of space for passengers and luggage.
- A lot of space and seats
- Fulfills a niche usage that other types of cars do not.
- Conference Seating
- More than adequate range for budget to luxury prices
- Not very eco-friendly
- There are limitations on how much wealth you can reasonably display with this type of car.
- Lower car maneuverability and does not accelerate very fast.
If you have a very sizeable group or you need to travel extremely long distances, having a luxury coach is very ideal. Luxury coaches are often also known as party buses and are often used to go clubbing, or for things like prom. However, they are not exclusively used for this; instead you can use them for long road trips or driving people to conventions. There is an issue when it comes to driving as busses require special licenses to drive.
- Very comfortable and usually allows for walking if passengers feel a need to stretch their legs.
- Can hold the largest number of people of any commercial land vehicle.
- Can come with restrooms inside so people do not have to go down for rest stops.
- Very bad/inefficient gas usage.
- Requires special licensing to drive
- The drivers for these cars will often cost a bit more due to their specialization.
In Summary: The Right Car for the Right Event
Since your car says a lot about you, it’s essential to be able to choose the right vehicle for the right occasion. Some cars may be perfect for business travels, while others are for the entertainment industry, social gathering, and much more.
Mercedes is the perfect date car. If you just enter a new relationship or going on a date, then the Mercedes is an impressive car to drive your significant other around. It’s classy and elegant, and when you drive up to a high-class restaurant, people will know that you have a fabulous life.
If you are thinking about a family outing, then an SUV/van is something to consider. The SUV provides an ample amount of space for a big family, including pets. After all, you want to make sure that your friends and family are comfortable throughout the ride.
For business meetings or trips, consider a luxury sedan with a chauffeur to escort to you. This type of car can reflect a sense of confidence and reliability, which are characteristics that a lot of businesses are looking for.
With that in mind, we hope that our suggestion can help you find the perfect ride for the right occasion.
Now that you have seen some of our highest quality vehicles, look through our fleet to decide which best suits your needs. The use of a chauffeur can accomplish efficient, safe, and luxurious travel. Here at Chauffeur Service London, our chauffeurs are certified by ROSPA to ensure your safety as you ride to your destination. Complete work or simply sit back and relax with the knowledge that you’ll have gotten to your destination with no bumps on the road. With our services, show off a premier level of status to impress clients and others that may potentially do business with you. There are many unique vehicle options that may suit you based on your needs.