A guide to chauffeur car hire in London. Find out how to book a licensed chauffeur car in London. Explore London in safety and style in a PCO licensed chauffeur car. Including information on private hire drivers and chauffeurs.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
London Chauffeur Vacancies
Would you like to chauffeur high-profile executives, celebrities and other nice people around London and the South East of England? Are you PCO registered? Do you own a modern, luxury chauffeur car? Do you know your way around London, and don’t rely on your satnav? Are you willing to go that extra mile to keep your clients happy? If so, then iChauffeur would love to hear from you.
iChauffeur are a premium, chauffeur hire company, with an emphasis on quality and service. They are actively searching for the best chauffeurs in the business to augment their existing chauffeur drivers and cars. They expect a great deal from their chauffeurs, but will reward the right drivers with some fantastic work and a very high income.
Experienced, chauffeur professionals need only apply please. If you think that your satnav will direct you to your pickups then, please look elsewhere. iChauffeur’s clients are generally professional and sometimes quite demanding with their requirements. If this all sounds like too much trouble, then becoming an iChauffeur is not for you.
Experienced and Professional
If you can drive smoothly, calmly and most importantly safely, under pressure, to tight deadlines, then please read on. It goes without saying that it is imperative that you have a current UK driving licence, valid PCO private hire licence and PCO car licence. You must be smart of appearance, and be expected to wear a dark suit and tie. Occasionally you may have to wear a chauffeur’s hat, but it is rare to be asked to wear the full chauffeur livery nowadays.
Your chauffeur car
Similarly, your car must be modern (normally less than 2 years old), in good repair, taxed and MOT tested every 6 months if more than 1 years old. Your vehicle should be a luxury model, some of the most requested cars are Bentley Arnage, Bentley Continental Flying Spur, Rolls-Royce Phantom, new shape Mercedes-Benz S Class (long wheelbase model), Mercedes-Benz Viano (Ambiente model), BMW 7 series (long wheel-base), Jaguar and Range Rover. iChauffeur will consider other cars, and in particular hybrid models for their Eco Chauffeur subsidiary. Whatever car you use, it must be fully insured for private hire, you should have full liability insurance too. It is extremely important that your car is valeted regularly and has mints, tissues, water and today’s paper on board. For wedding car hire, you will be expected to supply champagne and ribbons.
A good knowledge of London
You will be expected to demonstrate a good knowledge of London, an awareness of the major restaurants, hotels, theatres and nightclubs, as well as tourist attractions and places of interest. You will also be able to communicate clearly in English, and have a mobile telephone with text message facility, and a working email address. Before you can chauffeur for iChauffeur, you will have to supply at least two references, pass the PCO and CRB security checks and also sign a confidentiality agreement, which in a nutshell states that whatever goes on in the car, stays in the car. You will never discuss any of your clients business with anybody. Security and safety are the two most important mantras that an iChauffeur is expected to never compromise, so these details must always remain confidential.
Punctuality is expected at all times, you have to plan to be at least 15 minutes early of your scheduled collection time, if you are not 15 minutes early, you are late! If on a rare occasion you are running late, you will be expected to contact iChauffeur, well before the designated collection time, so that the client can be made aware of the situation, and contingency procedures put in place. Good planning is essential, you should have already planned your route well before the collection, unless it is an “as directed” journey. All journeys are booked in advance, so you will have no excuse if you do not know where you are heading.
Route finding skills
Yesterday’s Sun newspaper ran a story of an Eastern European driver, programming LIMINGTON, Somerset into his satnav, instead of LYMINGTON in the New Forest… If this was you, please do not apply here! An ideal candidate would be someone with years of London experience, and because of the nature of the work, retired Police officers often make good chauffeurs. If you don’t know London, iChauffeur are not interested. Admittedly satnav and other high tech aids will compliment your knowledge, but should not be used on their own.
You will be expected to demonstrate your driving skills and awareness to the iChauffeur chairman, an experienced chauffeur. He will be looking for safe, defensive driving with chauffeurs that preempt sticky situations and drivers that are looking ahead to make sure that their passengers are driven smoothly and in great comfort. Ayrton Senna’s need not apply, only in very rare circumstances would you have to take emergency or security evasion maneuvers. It won’t do you any harm to have taken Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Police, Advanced motoring and skid pan training, but the emphasis is on being smooth and slick. Drama should be reserved for the clients theatre or movie appointment, it should not show it’s face in the car, except in extreme circumstances. Remember: safe, secure and smooth, that is all you need to know. You should have good knowledge of your car, know how to operate interior lighting, air conditioning and sound and vision equipment, remember it is important that the car is set exactly as the customer wishes. You will not be expected to allow smoking in your vehicle, but drinks and sometimes food should be permitted, but the customer would be responsible for any damage caused as a result of this though.
A likeable personality
Chauffeurs should be discrete, polite, well mannered and be able to demonstrate good etiquette and patience. You will ideally be a warm, and likeable personality, and use good judgment as to where and when it is permitted or acceptable to speak with your clients. This again depends on the clients wishes. Some like to communicate with their chauffeurs, others will only wish for a polite nod, and expect silence in the car – again, an experienced chauffeur will be able to ascertain this on a client by client basis. If you fancy yourself as a part time comedian, singer or therapist – then again, look elsewhere.
You will need to show great initiative at times, as even the best made plans can go wayward sometimes. A good clear head with bags of common sense is expected, but remember that iChauffeur are on hand to assist in these times. Sometimes though, it will be up to you to take remedial action, so you must be ready to make decisions and try and resolve problems, preferably before they become a problem.
The ideal iChauffeur candidate…
iChauffeur would love to hear from experienced, professional chauffeurs with great driving, topographical and people skills. You should not be a drug user, heavy drinker, or have a medical condition that may effect your work and already have a valid PCO licence. Your car will be immaculate and will be a luxury model. In return for this, iChauffeur will provide you with some excellent and rewarding work, a weekly pay cheque, and all the support you need to provide their clients with the top levels of service that iChauffeur clients expect. If you are a former Police officer, have a history in the military or similar responsible position, and have some good chauffeuring experience, iChauffeur would love to hear from you.
Call 020 8400 4829 or contact iChauffeur to find out more about chauffeuring opportunities with iChauffeur Ltd, London.
Friday, July 21, 2006
How to become a London Chauffeur
The procedure for becoming a licensed private hire or chauffeur driver in London is governed by the Public Carriage Office (PCO). The PCO are controlled by Transport for London (TfL). The primary role of TfL is to implement the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy and manage transport services across the Capital. The PCO are part of the Surface Transport section within TfL.
The PCO insist that private hire vehicles must be booked in advance through a licensed private hire operator, drivers are not restricted as to where in London they can work, as long as they only undertake bookings made through a licensed operator. In order to operate as a driver, you will need to obtain a PCO private hire driver’s licence.
Private Hire Driver’s licence
To become a PCO licensed chauffeur, a candidate must obtain a private hire driver’s licence. The first step towards obtaining a private hire driver’s licence is to apply for a private hire vehicle driver application pack.
Private hire driver’s licence requirements:
You must be over 21 years of age, there is no upper age limit, providing you meet the other requirements, and in particular the medical fitness requirement.
Driving and Criminal Records Checks
Applicants are subject to a criminal record check before being licensed. You will be asked to obtain an enhanced criminal records check from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
Your driving licence will also be examined to see if you have any driving convictions. You will need to have held a DVLA or other driving licence for at least three years before you can apply.
A driving or criminal record may or may not exclude you from obtaining a licence, which would be evaluated by the PCO when you apply.
A higher standard of medical fitness, called Group 2 Standards is required for a private hire licence. The standards are based upon DVLA Group 2, and are similar to those required for drivers of large goods vehicles, buses and coaches. You will be required to prove your medical fitness by undergoing a medical examination with your GP. Understandably certain conditions such as poor eyesight could result in an application being refused, and the PCO advise that you may wish to consult your GP before you apply.
Private hire drivers do not need to pass “The Knowledge” like London’s Taxi drivers, as jobs are always booked in advance, but the ability to demonstrate a range of route finding skills such as map reading and route selection are being implemented for the first time from April 2006, and the PCO have appointed a number of topographical testing centres for this purpose.
The range of topographical skills to be demonstrated are:
- map reading ability – how to use a map, index and grid reference
- route selection (local) – ability to identify and plan a route or routes (within a local area of London chosen by the applicant)
- route selection (intermediate) – ability to identify and plan a route (or routes) beyond their local area but within London
- route selection (long distance) – ability to identify and plan a route (or routes) to points outside London
- general topography – awareness of general geography of London, major arterial roads and locations beyond London (e.g. airports, towns, cities etc.)
A licence will not be granted without proof of topographical skills.
After you obtain your licence
Once you have successfully obtained a PCO driver’s licence you can then contact PCO licensed private hire operator’s for work. You would then either need to provide your own PCO registered vehicle or use one from the operator’s car fleet. This would largely depend on your own circumstances and preferences. Many drivers would prefer to buy and licence their own vehicle, as this gives them greater flexibility and a greater potential but you may prefer to use a fleet vehicle before you commit to purchasing your own car.
Becoming an iChauffeur driver
In addition to holding a valid and current PCO licence, iChauffeur require that you demonstrate and possess the following criteria and vehicle:
- A Transport for London licensed vehicle (usually under two year’s old)
- If required, a copy of the MOT
- A copy of the vehicle insurance
- 2 Character References
- 3 years chauffeur experience
- A smart suit
- You will asked to sign a confidentiality agreement – what is said in the car, stays in the car !
- A calm and professional attitude
- You will be asked to take our Chairman on a dummy chauffeur run to demonstrate your driving, topographical knowledge and chauffeur skills.
Please contact iChauffeur if you feel you possess the correct criteria for becoming an iChauffeur driver.
Friday, July 07, 2006
After the jubilation of yesterday’s Olympic Bid Celebration, today London is a lot more sombre.
A year ago today, 52 people lost their lives and many more were injured in the London bombings.
London will never forget those we lost on July 7 2005 and we will build a better city as the best way of remembering them.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
London 2012 Olympic Celebration
Today, crowds are gathering in Trafalgar Square to celebrate the anniversary of London winning its 2012 Olympic bid. They will be able to try out different Olympic sports and listen to music in the square.
Then the Olympic roadshow will cross the UK in a move to get the British public behind the games. A double decker bus, swathed with images of British Olympic stars, will make a 3,000-mile, 50 stop journey, before ending in Liverpool on 27 July, marking exactly six years before the games open in Stratford, East London.
How to book a safe London Journey
Step 1 – Find a PCO Licensed Chauffeur
All iChauffeur drivers are licensed PCO professional drivers. The Public Carriage Office since 1850 has been setting the standards for public carriages for hire in London. In order to offer a chauffeur service in London, a chauffeur must have passed PCO requirements and security checks. The chauffeur car have to be tested as well, ensuring a safe service for London travellers.
iChauffeur’s PCO Licence No: 04080
Learn more about the Public Carriage Office
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Tickets and Hospitality
iChauffeur have many affiliations with event companies, so if you are looking for those hard to find tickets or a complete hospitality package let us do the work for you. As well as booking tickets for you we can arrange for you and your guests to arrive in style in one of our Limousines.
England Vs Ireland
Situated very close to Twickenham Stadium, iChauffeur are in the perfect spot to chauffeur you to the England-Ireland rugby game on the 18th March. No need to waste precious time getting in and out of the stadium, when our chauffeurs are only too aware of where the busy spots are and how to avoid them.
For five glorious days in summer, Royal Ascot provides the perfect day out for you and your guests. From the 20th-24th June this annual event is a must for socialites. Thursday is Ladies day which is the most popular day for racing.
Starting Monday 26th June to the 9th july, no other tournament in the world can boast the prestige attached to Wimbledon fortnight. Let us chauffeur you and your guests to this fabulous event in style.
Chelsea Flower Show 2006
For four days each May, the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea come alive with the sights and smells of the finest collections of flowers in the world.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Chauffeur Car Service and Chauffeurs London
iChauffeur provide a proffesional chauffeur car service for all your London chauffeured airport transfers which include Heathrow Airport transfers, Gatwick Airport Transfers and Stansted Airport transfers.
List of our services in London
Chauffeur service, chauffeur driven limousines, cruise terminals, ferry ports, proffesional chauffeur drive, executive Mercedes cars, Bentley wedding car service, luxury cars, limousine tours, bussiness travel, hospitalty tickets, executive MPV’s and minibuses, chauffeured limo’s, chauffeur driven Mercedes saloons, airport transfers uk, airport meet and greet, executive travel, executive chauffeurs, dock transfers, Harwich, Dover, Southampton, London City airport, executive saloon cars, railway stations, sea port, full and half day London Tours, Chauffeur UK, airport limo.
London chauffeur driven tours: The London Eye
The London Eye is the world’s highest observation wheel, 135 meters above the River Thames. During your 30 minute flight you can experience amazing panoramic views of London, and on a clear day you can see Windsor Castle which is 25 miles away.
iChauffeur can chauffeur you to and from The London Eye, and if you book in advance we can help you secure one or more private capsules, with a wide variety of packages including Champagne and wine capsules to a fast track ticket.
What better way is there of taking in the many sights of London than from The London Eye. Call our team now and have a chauffeur driven limousine take you there.