Taxi Driver/Chauffeur

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High school preferred +

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What They Do

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs Career Video

Insider Info

Forget the image of the stuffy chauffeur taking the aristocrat to afternoon tea. While many still work for wealthy private families, chauffeurs today are just as likely to drive a movie star to a big premiere, a top corporate executive to an important board meeting or a high school student to the junior prom.

Chauffeurs drive people to their destinations in luxury automobiles. The automobile could be an ultra-cushy sedan or a 25-foot limousine. Some also offer sightseeing tours and explanations of points of interest along the way, as well as advice on hotels and restaurants. Some even offer the time-honored tradition of opening doors and providing beverages.

According to Michael Boimoil, the term "chauffeur" is rarely used anymore. "It's an old-fashioned term," he says. People no longer expect the white-gloved man with a top hat and a crisp tuxedo. They don't expect a driver who opens the door and serves cocktails on a silver platter.

"The regular corporate guys will wear a suit. Most people call you a driver or a limo driver. Chauffeur is actually not a term that's used."

Most chauffeurs are expected to dress in formal clothing to help present the right image, and the ultra-fancy drivers do exist. Most male drivers wear tuxedos or formal suits, while female drivers wear pantsuits.

Some drivers are known for their quick wit and storytelling, while others maintain a quieter image. According to Boimoil, a talented chauffeur knows within seconds whether a client wants to talk. If your passenger wants conversation, be prepared to dish it out. If you're not a dynamic character, says Boimoil, you will have a hard time as a chauffeur. "If you have zero personality, then forget it. You're not going to make it," he warns.

Some chauffeurs are employed by private individuals, but most are either self-employed or work for limousine companies. Clients range from corporate executives, movie stars, musicians and international dignitaries to newlywed couples and prom dates.

Chauffeurs who work for a single employer may be on call much of the time, and may have to be ready to jump into uniform at a moment's notice. For those who work for a limousine service in a busy city, evening and weekend work is common.

Drivers are responsible for the day-to-day inspection of their vehicles. Before hitting the road, they give it a thorough examination. They keep the interior and exterior clean and shiny, check fuel and oil levels and make sure the lights, tires and brakes are in good working order. A basic knowledge of how cars and engines work is essential, especially in emergency situations.

Sometimes, chauffeurs load luggage and other heavy items, and may have to change a tire once in a while. Being in reasonable physical condition is important.

Working conditions can depend on the type of job a driver has. Some work requires long periods of waiting for customers outside a function, which can mean keeping yourself occupied.

Weather also has an impact on a driver. Bad weather can make for a tough day at work. Chauffeurs are expected to drive safely in all conditions, and they have to make sure their clients don't get wet.

Recent technological developments have been very useful to the chauffeured transportation industry. Specifically, scheduling, route and monitoring software have helped companies to become more efficient and well-organized.

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.

At a Glance

Get people to where they're going

  • Technology is making chauffeured transportation more efficient
  • Hours can be long
  • A high school diploma and appropriate licensing are required