8 September 2023

What is the difference between a driver and a chauffeur?

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Although these two professions are often considered to be identical, there is in fact a difference between a driver and a chauffeur.

Both professionals are involved in driving a vehicle; what changes is the complexity of the service offered and the type of clientele served.

Let’s look at the differences between a chauffeur and a driver.

Who is a driver and what does he do?

A driver is a professional responsible for driving a vehicle. His or her responsibility is to transport people to their destinations using a means of transport, which may be public or private.

There are no specific requirements to be considered a driver, other than having the appropriate driving licence and complying with local driving regulations.

The main activities of a driver include:

  • Driving: the driver is responsible for driving a vehicle in a safe manner and respecting the Highway Code;
  • Transporting people: depending on the type of vehicle being driven, a driver is responsible for transporting goods as well as people;
  • Vehicle maintenance: drivers are often also responsible for vehicle safety. They are also responsible for activities such as checking oil levels, tyre pressure and cleaning the vehicle.

Who is a chauffeur and what does he do?

A chauffeur is a professional who specialises in high class and luxury driving services. Very often chauffeurs accompany important personalities such as managers, politicians, VIPs and celebrities on their travels. 

During the working day, a chauffeur is responsible for:

  • Driving high class vehicles: a chauffeur usually drives luxury vehicles such as limousines, high-end cars or official vehicles;
  • Accompanying important people: chauffeurs discreetly and confidentially accompany important people on business or leisure trips;
  • Offer tailor-made services: chauffeurs provide tailor-made driving services to their clients. This could include transporting groups in a van or catering for special needs such as transporting wheelchair users.

What are the differences between drivers and chauffeurs?

As you can see, although the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are some important differences between the professions of driver and chauffeur.

Let’s look at them together:

  • A driver is a person who drives a vehicle, regardless of their level of training or professionalism. The vehicle may be private, such as a taxi, public transport or a commercial vehicle. He or she has no special training other than the legal requirements to work, such as a driving license;
  • A chauffeur, on the other hand, is a professional experienced in driving high quality cars and managing services with important personalities. A chauffeur is specially trained to manage itineraries and accompany famous people on their travels, ensuring comfort and privacy.

What are the typical characteristics of a chauffeur?

Chauffeurs have some common characteristics. At LiMO we have a community of more than 5000 professionals and they all have the following in common:

  • Professionalism: as a chauffeur, you have to provide an excellent and classy service, respecting certain “rules of behaviour”. Therefore, professionalism is a must;
  • Discretion: a chauffeur manages the itineraries of famous people or managers and politicians. Discretion and respect for privacy are essential to gain the client’s trust;
  • Empathy: every chauffeur knows how to listen and anticipate the client’s needs. Observation and active listening are essential skills to ensure that the customer feels at ease and is always treated to a high standard;
  • A desire to improve: the chauffeur-driven car hire sector is always open to new challenges. Those who work as chauffeurs must always be willing to update themselves with training courses to learn new skills;
  • Knowledge of etiquette: a chauffeur must know the appropriate etiquette when dealing with high profile clients. Communication skills, manners and behaviour during the service are important;
  • Cultural sensitivity: a chauffeur may have to deal with passengers from all over the world. Therefore, he needs to be sensitive to cultural and behavioural differences to ensure impeccable service (and of course, speaking several languages is a plus).

What kind of service does a chauffeur provide?

Chauffeurs accompany customers on their journey, taking care of the itinerary and ensuring a comfortable journey. Any chauffeur can do this:

  • Business trips
  • Leisure travel
  • Diplomatic services
  • Private city tours
  • Business meetings
  • Airport transfers

Why join the LiMO Community?

If you are a chauffeur, the LiMO Community is the place for you. In our community you will find over 5000 professionals just like you who specialise in chauffeur hire. 

By becoming part of the community, you will be able to exchange surplus services with other chauffeurs and earn a percentage, train through the Academy and better organise your work with the help of the LiMO software.

To find out more, start here.

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