Chauffeurs drive, clean and maintain high value cars. They look after and assist their passengers by opening and closing doors for them and carrying and loading their luggage.
For insurance reasons, chauffeurs need to be aged 21 years or over. No qualifications are required for chauffeur jobs, but a clean driving licence is essential. Some employers request that candidates possess several years driving experience as well as the Institute of Advanced Motorists advanced driving certificate. Employers may also require their applicants to be physically fit and have a Criminal Records Bureau clearance.
The majority of chauffeur training is carried out on-the-job and usually involves learning a company's standards. Chauffeurs may also work towards NVQs in Road Passenger Transport or take specialised driving courses covering safe driving techniques and defensive driving skills.
The majority of chauffeurs are employed by limousine companies. However, employment openings are also available with hotels and tour operators, car-hire firms, private individuals and business corporations. Chauffeurs do not tend to work regular hours and may be required to spend nights away from home. Chauffeur jobs are commonly found through recruitment agencies specialising in vacancies for chauffeurs.
The starting salary for a chauffeur is around £25,000 a year. Many chauffeurs earn considerably more by working overtime, receiving bonuses from their employers and accepting tips from their passengers. Since chauffeurs are usually accountable to their employers, there are few prospects for promotion. However, experienced staff may choose to buy their own vehicles and apply for a licence to work as a Private Hire Vehicle operator.