How to Become a Chauffeur Driver
To become a chauffeur driver, you must start by obtaining the appropriate licensing. Licensing for chauffeurs may vary from one area to another. You will need to obtain a 'Private Hire' license from your local taxi licensing office. There are over two hundred local taxi licensing offices in the United Kingdom and each one has their own set of rules and regulations. These offices also regulate the type of vehicle that you are allowed to use for chauffeuring so be sure to check the requirements before you enter into any vehicle purchase agreements.
Being a chauffeur means that you are in a position of trust and licensing authorities will review your application to ensure that there are no concerns about your health or background. You will be referred to a general practitioner chosen by the licensing office. The doctor will complete a medical examination and determine if you are healthy enough to be a driver. Certain medical conditions such as epilepsy or visual impairment may cause your request for a license to be declined.
You will also be required to complete a Criminal Records Bureau check. If you have been convicted of any crimes, they will show on your criminal record check. The licensing authorities will review your records and may deny your application if your history suggests that you have the potential to harm your passengers. A history of drunk driving, drug-related arrests or assault may cause your application to be automatically denied. The authorities may take a more understanding view of a small crime such as shop-lifting if it happened a long time ago and there are no other issues.
The next step is to decide if you want to work for as an employee of an agency or to be self-employed. If your choice is to be your own boss, you will have a greater set of responsibilities to consider. To start, you will have to acquire your own car and be responsible for insurance, maintenance, gas and other expenses. You will also need to work hard to run your company. Besides being a driver, you will also be booking appointments, finding new clients, keeping your financial records and marketing your business.
If you choose to be a self-employed chauffeur you can look forward to greater independence and a more flexible schedule. But realistically, running a chauffeur business means working long hours, hustling to find clients during the day and driving for long hours at night.
You may also choose to be employed by one of the many thousands of chauffeur agencies in the United Kingdom. This is usually the more stable option with a steady paycheque that may even include a benefit package and vacation time.
You should also consider what type of chauffeur you would like to be. If you are a night owl who likes to sleep in, then your best bet is to work the night clubs and parties. This kind of work tends to be seasonal. You might find yourself working long hours during the Christmas party and graduation seasons and then having long dry spells in the off-season.
If your preference is to have the flexibility to work around family commitments or a class schedule then working with a large company may be ideal for you. With a large number of chauffeurs available, a large company is more likely to allow for flexible scheduling. Businesses also have more daytime and early morning work involving conferences, corporate events and airport transfers and tend to work with larger agencies.
A chauffeur's clients can be a difficult group of people. In a single day you may transport a difficult to please businessman, a hen part or a celebrity with a secret. Whatever type of chauffeur work you choose, you will need to have the discretion and professionalism to deal with difficult situations in mature and appropriate manner.