Guide to Becoming a Chauffeur
What You Need to Know
- Most modern chauffeurs work for specialists firms, but some make a living as freelancers.
- If you’re working in London you’ll need a license from the Public Carriage Office.
- In the rest of the country you’ll have to get a Private Hire License form your local council.
- You’ll also need to pass a CRB check and a medical check up.
- Due the insurance costs involved, it can be hard to obtain work if you’re 25 or younger.
- You’ll also struggle to gain employment if you have 6 or more points of your license.
- Taking an advanced driving course can help to bolster your CV.
- Top end jobs can bring perks such as international travel and live in accommodation.
What do Chauffeurs Do?
Chauffeurs are employed to drive a range of vehicles, but especially luxury cars such as executive sedans and limousines. While in the past, chauffeurs tended to be employed servants with one master, these days they are just as likely to work for specialist chauffeur service companies, though many do work on their own on a freelance basis.
To become a chauffeur, you will be expected to have a good moral character, a clean driving history and have the necessary licences.
Becoming a Chauffeur
- Getting Qualified: Before you can start working as a chauffeur, you will need to get a licence. Outside of London, this means obtaining a Private Hire Licence from your local council, for which you will need to find a company that would be willing to employ you. Within London, you are required to apply for a licence from the Public Carriage Office (PCO), which is part of Transport for London. As of 2012, you do not have to be attached to a chauffeur company to get this. However, in both instances, you will also be required to pass a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and a medical check-up to show that you can be trusted to get behind the wheel.
- Other Considerations: Generally speaking, you need to be at least 25 years of age, or even 30, to get a job as a chauffeur, mainly due to insurance reasons. Additionally, be aware that employers are highly unlikely to consider you if you have 6 points or more on your licence.
- Finding Work: The best way of finding work as a chauffeur is to approach chauffeur companies directly and the best way of doing this is to do a quick online job search and find firms in your local area. While you may dream of ferrying around diplomats, you may have to work your way up, so be willing to work weekend nights for a local limo hire firm so as to build up your experience. To boost your chances of landing a chauffeur job, you should consider getting some extra training in order to help you stand out from the competition. For instance, consider going on a course operated by the Institute of Advanced Motorists – this has the added benefit of lowering your own car insurance premiums – or sign up for the special training programmes offered by the British Chauffeurs Guild.
Benefits of Working as a Chauffeur: Life as a chauffeur can be very enjoyable, offering you the chance to meet interesting people while also enjoying plenty of time to yourself. Moreover, at the top end of the scale, you could land a job that offers not just excellent pay, but also live-in accommodation and the chance of national and international travel. And, of course, if you enjoy driving, then being a chauffeur lets you get paid while doing what you love.
Potential Downsides to Being a Chauffeur: The thrill of driving a top-of-the-range car tends to wear off very quickly, leaving you with a job that can be monotonous and involve long hours of waiting around on your own. Other potential downsides include having to deal with rude and demanding clients, poor health caused by a predominantly sedentary lifestyle and stress caused by having to meet strict time targets.
- Keeping a clean license is vital to landing a job as chauffeur. Read our guide to speed awareness courses to see how you can avoid picking up points.
- As a chauffeur your work could take you all over the world. Read our guide to driving in Europe and find out about the key differences in continental traffic laws.
- You can find advanced driving courses on offer from our selection of top driving schools.