If you are under the delusion that anyone with a driving licence can set up as a chauffeur, then this article may be a bit of a shock for you. Starting a Chauffer business involves both preparation and some essential skills. Thinking that you can start up with no preparation or training, both undervalues the chauffeur and is just plain misguided.
Skills and attributes
First of all, you need to be the type of person that people get along with. You have to understand that you will have early starts, late finishes, jobs at short notice that impact on your plans. If you turn down a job, the client will likely go elsewhere and never contact you again. You also have to be reliable and have a good understanding of customer service.
Do not imagine that there will automatically be a list of people just waiting for you to start your business. They are being served by existing companies already, and you need to demonstrate why you offer a better solution for them before they will change. Just because there is not a dedicated chauffeur business locally, do not imagine there is no competition. While most taxi drivers offer dirty vehicles driven by fat, scruffy drivers, some taxi drivers do take pride in their car, and their appearance and customers are satisfied with what they offer. You are going to have to be offering a package that is far superior to what is on offer.
Have you thought this through?
What type of customer do you think you will attract? What is the local market? If you are expecting to attract large numbers of business executives and your business is located in rural Lincolnshire, then you probably will be disappointed. In somewhere like rural Lincolnshire, you will probably find that airport-transfers are a significant proportion of your jobs. Not the most profitable part of the market because there is so much competition and discounting. If you call yourself a chauffeur service this will put off a lot of customers who will consider you to be out of their price range, so you need to be marketing yourself in the airport-transfer field as well.
Start-up costs, licensing and insurance
You will probably be surprised at the start-up costs for your new chauffeur business. The car, high insurance premium, licencing, business cards, flyers, a website. As an example, a Mercedes e-class is going to cost you between £38,550 – £68,250, depending on which version. You can lease, but many lease deals have limitations on the mileage (like 8,000 miles per annum) which will not be enough if you are running a successful business. If you are not successful, then you still have to meet the £400-£450 leasing fees each month. The average price of a private hire driver in England is £1893 per month. Add that to your car leasing and insurance, and that becomes a whopping £2330 a month. Meaning you need to be making at least £77 PROFIT every single day. Do not forget you will be driving a thirsty car and fuel prices never seem to go down. Can your locality support this level of business?
This short article was intended to bring some sense of reality to your idea. If you feel you can meet the personal requirements and believe that your area can generate enough business, then I wish you luck with your new business.