V-Class Mercedes MPV’s are fully booked until Sunday 7th August. We still have availability for E-Class, S-Class and Range Rover this week.
Thank you for your understanding,
Your iChauffeur Team.
If you have not been able to reserve a chauffeur recently, we apologise. We are experiencing unprecedented high demand. We advise you to book your chauffeur-driven travel as soon as possible. We are an exclusive service, and have a finite amount of first-class chauffeurs. Discover what caused this “perfect storm”.
The private hire industry has a chronic shortage of chauffeurs after thousands left the profession when Covid struck.
We probably retained more chauffeurs than most licensed operators. But we are still saddened that we have lost some great chauffeurs. We have placed full-page trade advertisments, and other promotions to help attract new talent. But it takes time to find the cream.
More than half of licensed private hire drivers have not returned to the trade since the pandemic the BBC reports.
We do keep vehicles aside for regular clients, but in 17 years we have never seen demand on such a scale. It is heartbreaking to decline new bookings, especially for clients who have used our services since we started.
The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) have called the lack of private hire drivers in the trade “a perfect storm”.
The LPHCA estimates the industry is short of 160,000 of the previously 300,000-strong workforce.
“This is a real national problem that affects everywhere,” said Steve Wright, chairman of the LPHCA.
A startling 70% of regular cab users have struggled or completely failed in their attempt to book a taxi since December 2021.
IRU’s annual driver shortage survey shows unfilled commercial driver positions continue to increase at alarming rates across the globe.
The private hire industry is in a period of transition to electric vehicles. Our sustainability page offers more information on our vision. But the difficulties of Covid have meant that chauffeurs will struggle to finance new vehicles.
The cost of buying a new top-of-the-range luxury chauffeur car is getting much more expensive. A leap from about £80000 to £120000, a 50% increase.
Other operating costs have risen similarly. For example our TfL operators licence had a huge increase. And most of us must have noticed the substantial jump in fuel prices too?
The obvious thing to do would be to massively increase our prices. But we always look long term, and this doesn’t sit well with us. We have recently increased our prices by a small percentage.
But our goal, as always, is to provide the best chauffeur-driven cars. We have no aspirations to be the biggest. We are a relatively small family run business.
Moving forward, and especially over the summer, please book as early as possible. We are sad when demand exceeds supply, but we feel it is better to disappoint occasionally, rather than dilute the quality of our service.