29 September 2023

The origins of Hire With Driver: a brief history

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Chauffeur-driven cars are among the most prevalent mobility solutions today, particularly favored by managers, VIPs, and celebrities

Although many people may think that it is a new mode of transportation, in fact, the origins of chauffeur hire are far from the present day. 

Knowing how chauffeur hire was born is a common curiosity for many chauffeurs entering this profession. So let’s take a look at the history of chauffeur hire and how this service has changed to the present day.

What are the origins of Chauffeur driven cars?

The concept of car rental with a driver has ancient roots. Since prehistoric times, humans have always had the need to transport goods and people.

Obviously, the concept of transportation we have today has changed dramatically throughout history. For a long time, goods were transported by wagon and people by horse and carriage.

The first evidence of the existence of carriages dates back to the 13th century, where in Naples, Beatrice of Provence, wife of Charles I of Anjou, entered the city in a primitive form of carriage.

Instead, the closed carriage as we imagine it was designed in 1300 for the wedding of Galeazzo I Visconti and Beatrice d’Este. From that time on, the carriage became an increasingly popular means of transportation, exclusively among noble families.

This was until 1670, when the use of the carriage also became common among the bourgeoisie. In that year, the first “modern” carriage was invented by the Piedmontese architect Filippo Di Chiese

Prince Federigo Wilhelm of Brandenburg commissioned the carriage. This prototype carriage was designed near Berlin: for this very reason it was called “berlina”.

The use of carriages became widespread throughout Europe, especially in the 19th century. Professional figures, the “ancestors” of the chauffeur, pulled the carriages for the nobility and the bourgeoisie: the coachmen.

From coachman to chauffeur: the evolution of the chauffeur-driven car

With the invention of carriages, chauffeurs assumed the role of transporting nobility. Their job was to take the nobles wherever they wanted to go and to manage the routes for them. 

Nobles were driven by their coachmen to business appointments, receptions and parties. 

The coachman’s duties were not so different from those of today’s chauffeur: in addition to managing the journey, the coachman had to maintain the carriage, look after the horses and always ensure the utmost discretion and confidentiality. 

The figure of the coachman began to disappear with the advent of the car, which became widespread at the beginning of the twentieth century. The coachman was then replaced by the chauffeur.

What does a professional chauffeur do today?

Based on the history of the origins of chauffeur hire, we can say that today’s chauffeurs are the successors of coachmen.

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

During a working day, a chauffeur is responsible for:

  • Driving top of the range vehicles. A chauffeur usually drives vehicles such as limousines, luxury cars or executive cars;
  • Accompanying important people. Chauffeurs accompany important people on business or leisure trips, taking care of their itineraries and handling the entire transfer;
  • Provide tailor-made services. Chauffeurs offer customized driving services to their clients. This can include transporting groups in a van or accommodating special needs such as wheelchair users.

Each chauffeur follows a code of conduct which sets out the “rules” for the best way to do the job, from caring for the vehicle to choosing a uniform and how to approach and behave towards customers.

What is Chauffeur Drive Hire today?

Chauffeur-driven car hire is utilized by tourists, executives, businesspeople, politicians, and VIPs for urban transportation, airport transfers, attending events, and business appointments.

The use of chauffeur services can therefore be very varied and include a wide range of vehicles, from cars to vans, depending on specific needs.

Become a professional chauffeur

If you want to become a chauffeur and enter the world of high quality transport, LiMO is the right choice to boost your business, better manage your clients and improve your skills.

In LiMO you will find an international community of over 5000 drivers. You will be able to interact with drivers, exchange excess rides by earning a percentage and better organize your work with the software.

You’ll also be able to improve your skills with driving courses from our Academy. To find out more, contact us now.

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