Hiring a chauffeur service when you’re out on business can combine luxury with practicality. Someone else takes care of getting you from A to B (and deals with parking issues). That leaves you free to use your journey time as you wish. It is, however, important to remember that not all chauffeur services are the same. With that in mind, Kuldip, Director of White7Bedford; chauffeur specialists, shares his advice on things to check.
The company’s credentials
Make sure that the company has the relevant licence(s) and appropriate insurance. Then check their criteria for hiring drivers. If these look good, see if you can find any credible reviews of them. Be aware that newer companies may not have these. They may, however, still be worth considering if the other points check out.
Their track record on safety
A reputable chauffeur service will have practically no accidents. If they are involved in an accident, it will be the other party who is at fault. They will therefore be quite happy to talk you through the safety precautions they take and the processes they have in place to keep passengers (and chauffeurs) safe.
The type(s) of vehicles they use
Many chauffeur services will have a range of vehicles to suit different occasions. Some, however, will specialize at least to some extent. A lot of chauffeur services only use luxury vehicles but may have quite a bit of variety within that category. A few, however, will be very niche. For example, they may only have cars of a certain make or from a certain era.
Most chauffeur services will allow you to specify the vehicle you want, or at least specify the category of vehicle you want. For example, if you’re hiring a chauffeur service for business use, you may not care too much about the specific make and model as long as you know you’re getting a luxury sedan.
Reputable companies who offer corporate chauffeur services will be happy to give you full details of their fleet. In fact, they’ll probably have them on their website. Make sure you check them thoroughly so that you’re clear about what, exactly, is on offer, particularly the age of the vehicles. Also, check for information about how they are maintained.
What packages are on offer
Firstly, you want to know the headline cost, what is included in that cost and what other costs may be charged. Secondly, you want to know what service guarantees are offered. Thirdly, you want to know the company’s cancellation policy.
Most of this information is easy to find just by reading a company’s website thoroughly. With service guarantees, however, it can help to have an idea of what to look for. The key points to check are what guarantees the company offers with regards to punctuality and route planning.
Checking out the packages on offer is also a good time to look at the company’s overall approach to customer service. For example, how flexible do they look like they can be? How well can they handle standard special needs (e.g. baby seats and/or wheelchair space)? Do they have local knowledge of the areas they cover?
The payment method(s) they use
Be careful of companies which only use cash/cheques and standard bank transfers. With direct debits and payment cards, you do have some in-built protection if there are any issues.