How To Become a Chauffeur: A Guide With Tips and Examples
Becoming a chauffeur could be an ideal career if you enjoy driving and using your customer service skills to assist other people. Working in this profession allows you to visit new locations, meet interesting people and have the opportunity to drive luxury cars. Knowing which steps to take and the skills required can make it easier to plan for your career as a chauffeur. In this article, we explain how you can become a chauffeur in eight simple steps.
How to become a chauffeur
Learning how to become a chauffeur is simpler than you might think. Becoming a chauffeur may involve both improving role-specific skills and obtaining relevant formal qualifications. Consider following these simple steps to become a chauffeur:
1. Have a valid driving licence
To ensure you're qualified for becoming a driver, you can check the legal obligations of drivers. One of the first things that a potential employer may ask about during recruitment is whether you own a valid driving licence. Many people start learning to drive when they're 17. Depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive, you can apply for different driving licence categories, including:
category B: cars
category C: lorries
category D1: minibuses
category D: buses
2. Gain a few years of driving experience
Many employers require that you have at least three years of driving experience before applying for a chauffeur role. It's also common for some chauffeur agencies to only accept applicants who are 25-years-old and have a clean driving record. They do this to ensure that you have enough experience and can drive responsibly. Gaining this experience while driving your own car is helpful because it makes you more confident driving on different roads, including motorways.
3. Ensure you're in good health
To qualify for working as a chauffeur, consider checking if you meet the vision standards for car drivers or licensed taxi drivers. You can check your sight at home and schedule an appointment with an optometrist. It's also important to check for general medical conditions, such as epilepsy.
4. Get a chauffeur licence
Although not always required, many agencies prefer their chauffeurs to have a role-specific licence in addition to their driving licence. A good example is the PCO Private Hire Licence, which you can obtain through the Public Carriage Office (PCO). It usually takes around 12 to 16 weeks to go through the application process. The licence is then valid for three years.
5. Complete a driving course
Completing a safe driving course or an advanced driving course improves your qualifications as a professional driver. It shows an employer that you're committed to getting the job and that you can prioritise your clients' safety. There are several options to consider, including driving courses organised by the IAM RoadSmart, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the British Chauffeurs Guild. Completing a relevant driving course teaches the fundamental aspects of being a professional driver, including:
car care and cleaning
alcohol and speed awareness
defensive driving techniques
pickup and drop-off procedures
6. Improve critical chauffeur soft skills
When working as a chauffeur, you can keep improving your soft skills. Engaging in self-development maintains your employer's good reputation or increases your marketability if you're looking for a job. You may have experience in customer service and hospitality. It is also necessary to maintain clients' privacy and understand the basics of personal presentation, including appropriate work attire.
In addition to being polite and considerate of your clients, you may also benefit from learning foreign languages. The ability to speak at least one foreign language significantly improves your qualifications for the job. It makes your job application more attractive to potential employers, including luxury chauffeur agencies, because they often market their services to international clients.
7. Update your CV and write a cover letter
Preparing for changing careers or finding your first job as a chauffeur requires an effective job application. A standard job application consists of a CV and a cover letter. It's important that while crafting those documents, you tailor them to the job you want. For example, you may identify what keywords the employer used to describe job requirements and duties. Including those keywords in your application shows that you've spent time preparing and highlights your qualifications.
8. Consider different job offers
Although applying for jobs in your location may be the first thing to do after completing your application, it's important to consider more options. For example, you may apply for jobs in bigger cities as there are more clients. Exploring different options can help you find better professional opportunities that meet your expectations and salary requirements.
What does a chauffeur do?
Chauffeurs are professional drivers responsible for driving vehicles and transporting clients from pickup locations to their destinations. Most chauffeurs work for a single company, such as a limousine hire company. Chauffeurs who work at luxury agencies may work with high-end clients, including celebrities, CEOs or public figures.
If you'd like to work in this profession, you'd be responsible for ensuring safe and timely trips for your clients. You may also assist them by carrying any luggage or packages that they have. Another important responsibility you'd have involves making sure the vehicle that the employer assigns you is clean and well maintained at all times.
What makes a perfect chauffeur?
When interviewing for a new job as a chauffeur, you may find that a hiring manager asks about essential qualities in this role. Here are some key qualities of a successful chauffeur:
Displaying excellent time-management skills
Professional drivers need excellent time-management skills to ensure their clients get to where they need to be on time. Drivers use these skills to avoid traffic, find the best parking spots and make sure they meet company requirements, for example, regarding mileage. To improve how you manage time, consider always leaving a little early when travelling to new destinations. You may also benefit from using time management tools, such as digital calendars and reminders.
Having a professional attitude
Your professional attitude is how you conduct yourself in a professional setting. Handling situations in a professional manner is essential to working as a chauffeur. A professional chauffeur is typically someone who always arrives to work on time, knows how to dress appropriately to the situation and understands the importance of greeting and helping clients. Being professional at work usually works to your advantage because it allows you to do your job well and stand out among other employees. By showing your employer that you're committed and follow company policies, they're usually more likely to reward your efforts.
It's common for clients to use chauffeur services on a per-day basis. This means that they require you to assist them throughout the day and take them to their meeting, shopping or work locations. After securely transporting them to their destination, they may require that you wait for them in the car until they finish running errands. Working on your patience and having something to do in the meantime, such as reading books or listening to podcasts, can keep this interesting.
As a chauffeur, you may work with celebrities and public figures. Many clients who use chauffeur services could discuss their personal or professional matters while in the car with you. Being discreet and professional is important to retain clients. Keep all the information you hear to yourself to affirm your position as a dependable employee.
How much do chauffeurs make?
The national average salary of a chauffeur is £30,569 per year. It's important to highlight that your salary in this profession may vary depending on where you work. For example, private chauffeurs who work for luxury agencies may earn more than professional medical drivers.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.