Differences between a Chauffeur Service and a Taxi.


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What is a chauffeur?

Most people associate a chauffeur with a luxury/executive car, and in some countries, it's considered a status symbol to have a man dressed in black driving you around. The question is, what is the difference between a taxi and a chauffeur? Why would you want a chauffeur for your special event instead of hopping into an ordinary taxi? Or are taxi vehicles the same thing as chauffeurs cars? Let's find out below.

But first, we answer the question: What is a chauffeur? What does a chauffeur word mean?
The term chauffeur is a French word meaning “to heat” and was used to describe the former drivers of the first cars or carriages. Early steam-powered cars didn't have electric ignition, therefore they had to be pre-heated before the engine would start. So, chauffeurs were drivers who operated those vehicles, but they also were skilled mechanics. Driving vintage cars was a laborious task, and those drivers had been paid very well to do that. Later, a chauffeur in meaning has evolved dramatically and nowadays describes a professional driver who operates a luxury vehicle.

Chauffeurs use only luxury vehicles

Cars used as a taxi will vary from country to country and city to city. London's original "black cabs" are famous and may be seen as an attraction for tourists, but the reality is different. These cars can be as 15 years old and some don't even meet the EURO 4 emission limit. In other UK cities, taxi drivers use old Toyota Prius, Vauxhall Zafira or Skoda models. For sure, some drivers keep their vehicles in pleasant condition, but the point is, you never know what car will turn up and in what state it will be. In short, there is a big gamble when you book a taxi.

When it is time to move a busy executive, the last thing you want is to be caught with a vehicle that is not ready to handle the demands of an important business trip. Chauffeurs need to have the proper vehicles to handle this job, and they always strive for only the best. Chauffeur service companies rely on top-notch vehicles and only use high-end models from BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and some others. For very special occasions you may want to go for Rolls-Royce, Bentley, or Range Rover.
As your luxury transportation provider, we want to make sure you arrive in style. That’s why all our vehicles are equipped with the latest features and amenities - technology that allows you to stay connected while on the go and security features that ensure a safe ride for you and your loved ones. Whether you’re taking a trip with the family, going on a romantic dinner date or journeying with clients, our chauffeur service has just the right vehicle to help you travel in comfort, safety and style.

Chauffeur service offers a unique experience even before the journey

What makes an exceptional customer experience? Is it the chauffeur in a suit or the luxury vehicle? No, it is the sum of all things that make up the unique combination of circumstances working together. Great customer service starts well before the chauffeur starts the drive. From the first email, quotation, price negotiation to advising on car choice and finally the ride. All these aspects make a great chauffeur service.
The best customer service is one that’s customised for each client. You deserve a chauffeur service you can rely on, and when you work with us, you’ll never have to worry about recommending our service to your friends and family. We provide a high level of attention to your unique needs, right from the minute you reach out to us.

BMW 7 at Marylebone

What about drivers themselves?

To be honest, London taxi drivers are very knowledgeable. Every driver has to memorise 25,000 streets along with 320 routes within six miles of Charing Cross. The taxi drivers have to learn the layout of the capital and must know landmarks and business locations before they pass "The Knowledge", which is the toughest taxi exam in the world. Respect for them. But what about taxi drivers in other cities? Well, it depends, but in many places, it is very easy to become a taxi driver as long as the applicant knows how to drive a car. The principles are simple, these drivers will take you from point A to point B and move onto the next job. You can't expect much more from this service.

Chauffeur drivers are the complete opposite of taxi drivers. You should, and you will expect much more from their services. The manners are impeccable. They always wear a suit and will open the door for you. They hold your umbrella and will help with luggage without asking. Chauffeur drivers are very proud of what they do. For them, they feel like they're protecting the President daily. These drivers have very strong feelings about being a part of something special and upholding the brand image of the organisation they work for. They are carefully selected from many candidates and inspected by the criminal records bureau. London chauffeurs hold licenses issued by Transport for London.
Understanding the differences between these professions will make your transportation decisions better. At the end of the day, it is only your decision and you will make it based on your expectations and the budget.

Are taxis cheaper than chauffeured services?

To answer this question, we need to look closer at how prices for these services are calculated. London taxis use meters and will calculate the price on-the-fly, which will depend on the route taken and the amount of traffic on the road. Yes, they will charge you, even if they're stuck in traffic. According to the "Transport for London" website, a typical journey from Heathrow Airport to central London can cost you between 49GBP and 92GBP depend on traffic conditions. 92 pounds! And they charge an additional 2.80GBP if you start the journey from the taxi rank at Heathrow.

Chauffeur services, like "London VIP transfers" don't use meters, and calculate prices before the journey through the cloud-based reservation system. On regular routes such as mentioned Heathrow to London, we have fixed prices that can beat this whopping 92GBP taxi fare. You can have a chauffeur-driven Mercedes E-class for as little as 75GBP. And that's inclusive of meet & greet service, waiting time at the airport and car parking charge. The chauffeur will help you with luggage, offer a bottle of water and a Wi-Fi connection. The value of the service you receive is incredible. But only if you can plan and book in advance.
Of course, most times prices for hiring a chauffeur will be higher than a taxi. They must reflect the use of expensive cars, top-rated drivers, and many small extras. However, we can surely say that getting an ordinary taxi is not always a cheaper option.

Taxi or chauffeur - final verdict

Taxi or chauffeur? What's the best way to get to Central London from Heathrow Airport? In this post, we compared taxi versus chauffeur service. We focused on the advantages and disadvantages of both ways of transportation.
Which is better? This question can be answered depending on what you need. If you stuck in the pouring rain in central London and need to go home straight away, take the first available taxi. In all other cases, when you can plan your journey in advance, consider the use of chauffeured services. Going to the airport? Special events? Business meeting? Perhaps a date? At "London VIP transfers" we have answers for all your needs and we will be happy to listen to your requirements.

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