The lap of luxury

If you are going to be working as a chauffeur, both you and your vehicle need a private hire licence, together with appropriate private hire chauffeur insurance. Each local authority may exercise slight differences in the licensing details involved, but an illustrative example is published online by Basingstoke and Deane.

Some licensing authorities, such as Manchester City Council, however, have also introduced a sub-category of private hire vehicles designated as “non-standard private hire vehicles (PHV) or private hire limousine vehicles”. Included in this special category are typically stretch limousines, chauffeur driven executive cars, and airport and station shuttle car services.


Private hire or chauffeur-driven?

So what distinguishes your non-standard chauffer-driven car from the likes of other private hire vehicles, such as minicabs?

One difference is that the minicab passenger is likely to pay for his journey by passing the money directly to the driver before alighting from the vehicle. The chauffeur-driven client, on the other hand, is more likely to be sent an invoice and billed for the service at a later date, or by way of a personalised monthly account.

More than that, your chauffer-driven client is likely to be a different class of customer than one who takes a minicab and is going to demand a higher level of convenience, comfort and luxury from the vehicle he or she travels in.


Levels of luxury

If you are running a private hire chauffeur business, however, it may be difficult striking the appropriate level of luxury for your customers.

Large, high-end – and potentially high-performance – vehicles might provide the edge you need to attract the most well-heeled clientele, but such cars usually come at a cost, not just in the capital outlay, but potentially in the running costs and the expense of the private hire insurance they involve.

Striking the right balance, of course, is a business decision which may impact on the financial viability of your business.

Rather than increasing the level of investment you need to make in an especially high-specification vehicle, you might instead consider more economical adaptations and modifications which may be available to provide that extra lap of luxury your customers expect.

The extent of any modifications to the vehicle might, of course, may affect the premiums you need to pay for your private hire chauffeur insurance– and you always need to tell your insurer about any vehicle modifications that have been made– but they may provide a cheaper, more cost-effective solution.

Modification kits come in several different styles and levels of comfort – with an article in The Chauffeur magazine on the 13thof February 2018 highlighting one of the top of the range conversions that has recently been unveiled for the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz S350d.

So, if you are thinking about modifying or converting your private hire vehicle to attract a better class of clientele, remember that the changes also need to be reflected in your chauffeur insurance.

As specialists in the provision of insurance for Chauffeurs, Aston Scott is able to advise on suitable cover for you and your business.  Please contact us today on 03300 085045 to see how we can help.

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