What is a private driver?

A private driver operates a vehicle to transport passengers to various locations.
Mercedes blur in traffic

The private hire driver

Private hire vehicle drivers are licensed to be hired by prior arrangement only. They are not licensed to be hailed in the street. Unlike a public hire taxi which is allowed to do so.

Private hire is different from public hire in several ways. All private hire bookings need to be undertaken by a licensed private hire operator and carried out by a licensed private hire driver. It’s illegal for a private hire driver to accept a passenger without a prior booking.

A chauffeur is the ultimate private driver, going above and beyond the duties of a ‘regular’ driver. We have written about the differences between a driver and a chauffeur previously.

The chauffeur will typically be of impeccable appearance. All of our chauffeurs wear a dark suit and tie. A ‘regular’ driver may dress less formally.

Driving is obviously at the heart of what the driver does. A good driver will drive safely and smoothly at all times. Never rushed, always calm and serene. The primary duty of this role is to provide safe transportation from one location to another.

It is vitally important that the driver has exceptional time keeping. The job demands that the driver is always on time. At iChauffeur our chauffeurs are mandated to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the booked time.

A good driver will plan their routes in advance. Taking note of possible detours and monitoring traffic volume helps keep the driver on track. Satellite navigation is useful but the driver’s prior research ensures that the journey is as smooth and swift as possible. Taking into account the journeys possible pain points means a driver has a plan to negotiate many problems before they occur.

Private drivers should have a calm and pleasant demeanour. The ability to engage in light conversation with all types of people is essential. A driver should have good customer service skills, and they need to be thorough and pay close attention to detail. They ought to be patient and remain calm in stressful situations. With the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.

A chauffeur will open doors for passengers. They will also carry luggage as required and pack and unpack the boot of the car.

A private hire driver is responsible for maintaining and operating their vehicle. Duties include checking tyre pressures and fluid levels and other routine maintenance tasks. They should keep their vehicle in tip-top condition, inside and out. Polishing the exterior, wiping down the interior surfaces between trips.

A chauffeur during an as directed hire period is available for errands during any waiting time. For example, they can collect coffees, dry cleaning, shopping and book restaurant reservations

A chauffeur will use a luxury vehicle such as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or V-Class.

All private hire drivers can use vehicles licensed to carry up to 8 passengers. In London, Transport for London (TfL) licensees need to have their vehicles MOT’d every six months (For vehicles older than one year).

The term ‘private hire’ suggests that the journey will be private. Our chauffeurs sign an NDA and are experienced and trained to make sure that every journey is private. Our support team are also trained to keep the clientele’s information secure. Discretion is very important in this industry. After safety, discretion and privacy is one of the most important qualities our clients expect from our service. It is one of the reasons many will choose us rather than a train. Our clients can take phone calls in the back of the car, knowing that the call will be kept private and confidential.

Often described as a ‘black car’ service, at iChauffeur the majority of our cars are black, but we also have grey and silver vehicles.

How to book

Head over to our booking form to get a price and book. Or contact us to speak with our friendly support team.

Black Mercedes S-Class with private hire driver in London
Can I hire a private driver in London?

Looking to hire a private driver in London? Look no further.

Female model at St Pancras railway station
Private Car Transfers

The ultimate private car with driver experience

Chauffeur holds umbrella over passenger in front of Mercedes
How much does it cost to hire a driver for the day in London

Looking for a competitively priced luxury private driver?

“It’s called a private life for a reason – it’s mine, and it’s special and sacred.”

Lili Reinhart

Related news articles

Redefining Luxury Travel