We often think of shofer drivers as employees for wealthy business people. The truth is, anyone can hire a shofer! Shofers are an easy solution to any transportation or ridesharing issues that arise. Below we talk you through what exactly a shofer is, the differences between shofers and drivers, and how to begin a career as a professional driver.
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What Is a Shofer Driver?
A shofer driver is a professional driver. They transport people from place to place on an as-needed basis. For example, celebrities often use a shofer car service to attend events. Shofer drivers provide a professional service specializing in transportation.
What Does a Shofer Driver Do?
A shofer driver does more than just drive. Shofer drivers have to maintain their vehicle’s cleanliness, both internally and externally. They also have to keep their vehicle functioning well to reduce the risk of car trouble during a reservation.
Shofer drivers must have extensive knowledge of their area of operation. A shofer who knows the trends of their area will know the best routes to take for any client. This way, they can avoid traffic and have accurate knowledge of events in the area to either avoid or suggest.
Many shofer drivers offer airport transfer services and shuttle travelers to hotels or business meetings. They also make suggestions for entertainment and restaurants in the area.
Along with driving, shofers also carry luggage and bags for travelers. They ensure that any luggage is stored correctly and will have bags ready for clients to grab as they leave. At the end of trips, shofers keep track of mileage and travel time to ensure they are paid accurately.
What Kind of Vehicles Do Chauffeurs Drive?
Chauffeurs can drive a variety of vehicles depending on where they work. Self-employed chauffeurs may drive a luxury vehicle, van, or even a limousine.
Company-based chauffeurs will drive vehicles provided by the company. A chauffeur service has a fleet of luxury cars and limousines that suit their clients’ needs. One of the most common vehicles chauffeurs drive is the luxury sedan.
Is Shofer the Same as Chauffeur?
Yes, a shofer is the same as a chauffeur. The word shofer is derived from the word chauffeur because the former is difficult to spell. When you use shofer in a web search, results for chauffeur will still pop up as most search engines interchange the two.
The most significant difference between a chauffeur and a rideshare driver is professionalism. A chauffeur handles all aspects of your trip in a practiced and professional manner. They aim to provide top customer service to all of their customers. A rideshare driver’s only priority is to get you from point A to point B.
Standards for a Rideshare Driver
The two most popular businesses that utilize rideshare drivers are Uber and Lyft. The guidelines for being a rideshare driver for these two companies are:
- You must be at least 21 years of age
- You must own and operate a four-door vehicle, 2009 or newer
- You must have a driver’s license and insurance
Rideshare drivers can utilize their personal vehicles and follow their own dress code. While there are options to rate and tip your rideshare driver, the standards for a good rating are typically low.
Standards for a Taxi Driver
Similar to rideshare drivers, a taxi driver’s primary focus is to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. A taxi driver doesn’t have to leave the driver’s seat at any point during the ride. They go through basic training to ensure they are adequate drivers, but there is no customer service training taxi drivers obtain.
The vehicle of a taxi driver is standard across the board. A taxi can be an average, four-door vehicle or a 16-seat minibus. Taxis are rarely, if ever, luxury cars. Taxis are one of the classic options when it comes to transportation services.
Standards for a Chauffeur
A chauffeur driver must provide a high level of professional customer service. No matter how a passenger is acting, chauffeurs are always pleasant and calm. They go through extensive training not only for professionalism but also for safe driving. As a result, chauffeurs will be up to date on safety regulations and road regulations.
Chauffeurs often wear uniforms when working with a company. However, self-employed chauffeurs typically dress professionally as well to portray the same level of service as large businesses. This dress code is an excellent example of how much pride chauffeurs take in their work!
How Much Do Chauffeurs Make?
With the popularity of ridesharing growing, the need for drivers has increased. Chauffeuring as a career is more viable now as more people are looking for a higher level of service for their transportation needs.
The average rate for a chauffeur is $18.20 per hour, but this depends on location. California houses the cities with the highest wage for chauffeurs; San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, San Mateo, Redwood City, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Santa Rosa, and Petaluma. New England is also a popular place for chauffeurs to make a living.
Do Chauffeurs Get Tips?
It is standard for passengers to tip their chauffeurs at the end of a ride. How much to tip is entirely up to the passenger. As with other professional services, the typical rule is to tip between 15% and 20%.
It’s important to ensure that tipping is okay with the chauffeur service. Some companies include gratuity in the bill, so keep an eye on that as well. It’s also imperative to keep in mind that not every passenger will tip. For example, a business person who’s in a rush to get to their meeting may be out the door before you can open it for them.
How to Find Chauffeur Jobs
If you’re interested in becoming a chauffeur, here are some tips on starting your new career.
- Complete a high school diploma or GED: If you prefer to work with a company rather than be self-employed, it is beneficial to earn your diploma. This isn’t a requirement for all chauffeur services.
- Obtain your driver’s license: You need a valid driver’s license to drive legally in any state. Most employers will also hope for a clean driving record when you apply.
- Obtain a chauffeurs license: A professional chauffeur service may require a chauffeurs license and a driver’s license to apply for a position.
- Begin searching: Many job-searching websites like Indeed and CareerBuilder have open listings for chauffeurs. Keep an eye on the job description posted for the company to ensure there aren’t any additional requirements for applying.
If you’re not having luck with third-party websites, look up local professional driving companies in your area. Again, be sure to see if there are any additional requirements for chauffeuring in your area.
Do you need a special license to be a chauffeur?
As mentioned earlier, some companies require you to obtain a chauffeurs license before working with them. Like a truck driver must obtain a license to drive a large truck, a private driver must obtain a license to operate a private vehicle. This document allows you to transport people for private companies or individuals. It also allows you to transport clients by bus or van.
Most areas require drivers wanting to obtain their chauffeur’s license to be at least 21 years old. Typically, they also require you to have had a driver’s license for at least two years before obtaining a chauffeurs license. A chauffeurs license remains valid for four years before needing to renew it.
Is a chauffeur a personal driver?
While the terms “chauffeur” and “driver” have been used interchangeably, the two titles are different. A personal driver can be anyone with a driver’s license and a car. A chauffeur will have gone through professional training to earn the title “chauffeur.”
A personal driver is similar to a taxi driver or a rideshare driver. They are only concerned with getting you to your destination and back. The same can be said for a limousine driver, depending on the company they work for.
Not every limousine driver is considered a professional chauffeur. Chauffeurs assist you with tasks along the way and strive to provide a professional experience. Personal drivers are usually hired as needed, whereas chauffeurs can be full-time employees.
A chauffeur is not just a driver. Consider hiring a professional chauffeur if you want to enhance your next business trip or a luxury vacation. In doing so, you won’t have to worry about transportation, and you’ll get inside information on the best places to visit. In addition, hiring a personal chauffeur will ensure you’ll get to your destination on time, and the journey will be incredible!