How to Hire a London Chauffeur Limousine Service
There are many variables to take into consideration when you are looking to hire a London chauffeur limousine service. Choosing the right limousine service for your purpose often depends on:
- The type of occasion – Business travel / Wedding / Airport Transfer / Private Hire / City Tour
- The number of people travelling
- The number of hours you require the limousine car or minivan for and how far you’re travelling
Most London chauffeur limousine companies will need to know if you’re hiring the limousines for a wedding, music concert, graduation prom night, birthday party or maybe an anniversary dinner at a restaurant. The reason for this is that London chauffeur limousine services often have specialized packages for certain types of events with many of the extra’s you wish to have provided already taken account of so they can deliver the best possible experience.
The more details you can provide of your reason for hiring a chauffeur limousine in London the better the value and service you’ll receive.
With the increase in the numbers of people traveling together the VIP minivan has become a London limousine service favorite with businessmen and celebrities due to its seating capacity and luggage space
- Consider what type of London Chauffeur Limousine Service you require.
Typically London chauffeur limousine companies charge based on the type of event.
Events are typically as follows:
- London Airport Transfers to and from Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City Airport, Luton, Biggin Hill and Northolt Airfield
- London Wedding Car Hire
- London City Tours
- London Concert / Sporting Event Transfers
- A to B Transfers in London
- London Corporate or Business Roadshows
- London Conference Transfers
- London Cruise Port Transfers
Most Chauffeur limousine services have special fixed airport transfer rates and special A to B rates for popular destinations. Many chauffeur limousine services in London have minimum hourly hire rates on Friday and Saturday nights so be careful you do not pay for hours you don’t really need.
London Chauffeur Services does not employ a minimum hourly weekend hire rate on its services.
- Write down a detailed itinerary of what service you really need.
Many services offered by London chauffeur limousine companies are charged by the hourly rate, so it is important you decide how many hours you will actually need.
If you over run your limousine service by as little as 15 minutes you may be charged an extra full hour !!
Ask your London chauffeur service providers when do their extra hourly charges start and what is their extra hour price as sometimes the more hours you use the limousine car for the cheaper the extra hour rate should be.
- Determine exactly how many people will be travelling in your limousine.
The number of passengers travelling is very significant as it determines what London limousine you can use for your service
You need to make sure that you hire a chauffeur limousine vehicle that’s large enough to cater to all of your passengers so they can travel relaxed and in complete comfort.
4. Decide on the type or model of London limousine you require.
Here are some of the types of London Chauffeur limousine vehicles available:
- Business Sedan mainly Mercedes Benz E Class or Audi A6
- Executive Sedan mainly Mercedes S Class or Audi A8 or BMW 740iL
- Mercedes Benz Vian0 6 & 7 Seated LWB Minivan
- Mercedes Benz Vito 8 seated Minivan
- Volkswagen Caravelle 7 seated
- Mercedes E Class Pullman Limousine 7 seats
- Mercedes S Class Pullman Limousine
- Mercedes Maybach
- Rolls Royce Phantom / Ghost
- Range Rover Sport / Vogue
- Mercedes Sprinter Minivan 8 Passengers
- Mercedes Sprinter Minivan 16 Passengers
- American Stretch Limousine
- Executive 55-60 passenger coac
- Focus on what level chauffeur service you are getting for your money
The best London chauffeur service at the best price but be careful not all chauffeur limousine services are equal. Your service price should not be the only primary factor in your search.
Much like renting a hotel room, different prices for the same service often mean different service levels. It good to have a budget determined ahead of time, but also know what type of experience you require and get your chauffeur hire company to state these requirements on your booking confirmation.
Examples to clarify could be, Will my chauffeur be suited?, How old is my limousine car, are there refreshments included in the car etc
6. Get the right London chauffeur vehicle fit for your purpose
Ensure the limousine car, minivan, SUV, or coach you’re getting has the space, features and look for your night out or event.
Try to book a vehicle that is profiled for at least one to two more people than are travelling in your party.
Some companies provide music (radio or satellite radio), so ask in advance or be prepared to take your iPod or a mix CD with enough music to last the whole ride. Also ask about features like the seating arrangement and luggage capacity for large group vehicles. Not sure which is the best ride for you? Check out our London fleet limousines at London Chauffeur Services.
7. Make sure your London chauffeur service driver is legal and registered
The most important thing to consider when booking a London chauffeur service is safety for yourself and your party. Legitimate London limousine companies have to be registered with London’s Public Carriage Office ( PCO) and every limousine or chauffeur driver has to have a valid PCO licence and registration number which can be looked up on the Transport for London website (TFL).
This registration is checked twice a year to make sure the drivers and owners have the proper levels of insurance and their limousine vehicles are properly road taxed and MOT licensed.
Never book a limo with a company that can’t promptly show you their licensing and insurance credentials – don’t take chances.
8. Plan your desired service in full and give the London Chauffeur service you itinerary
Think about all the details you would like to get from your London chauffeur service. Do you need ice or drinks in the car ? Do you have a preferred route for your ride? What stops would you like to make? Providing these details to your chosen limousine service provider in London will help them meet your demands needs – for the right price.
9. Get your full chauffeur driven quotation price in writing or email
Always make sure when you are checking chauffeur that your are looking at prices exactly like-for-like services.
Each London limousine Service will generally have their own unique pricing policies.
Most companies offer their services priced by the hour but they also offer fixed rates for airport transfers or sometimes all-inclusive packages.
Pay attention to “add ons” like extra mileage, parking fees or waiting time not included in the fixed price.
It is customary in many countries to tip drivers 18-20% of the chauffeur driven but this custom is not expected or asked for in London or the UK. Should you wish to tip or give your chauffeur a gratuity for a job well done then it is purely voluntary.
Be sure you get the full price up front when weighing your options and also check their terms and conditions which should come with your quotation or may be found on their website.
10. London Chauffeur Service Packages.
A chauffeur package is often the best choice for special occasions like weddings, concerts, prom, sporting events or other types of chauffeur hire with a predictable start and end time. London chauffeur hire ackages will generally provide a set number of hours in a vehicle that fits your party size and event profile for a fixed, all-inclusive price.
Some companies offer packages for every type of service and you can find substantial savings when price compared against a normal hourly rate price
11. Reserve your London chauffeur service early – especially for big events
Start searching for price quotations well before you need your chauffeur limousine service.
For a London wedding limousine car service many people book 12-18 months in advance. Other events, like prom nights, are best to booked a few months in advance. In general, it is best to start looking 3-4 weeks before you need your transportation.
After you’ve selected a reputable London Chauffeur service provider like London Chauffeur Services, get a booking confirmation remittance of them in writing or via email.
For special occasions, it’s generally a good idea to contact your chauffeur service provider a week before the event, just to ensure everything is still ok and confirmed.
12. Call some London Chauffeur companies and listen to how each company deals with your phone call.
On the day of your service it is important that your chauffeur or limousine company is responsive to your requests.
Call each name on the list and request a price quotation from each. Be sure to ask for hire rates including gratuity, cancellation fees, how much for an extra hour and their PCO license number.
13. Decide which company you feel will be on time, have the best vehicle and chauffeur, and has the best price.
For most people, price is not as important as service, so don’t automatically choose the lowest rate, you might end up with a 1980’s limousine and a driver in jeans and a T-shirt.
14. Book your limousine service with the London Chauffeur Service that best suits you and you are most confident with.
When booking make sure to get a copy of the contract and reservation, confirmation and reservation number, as well as their cancellation policy in writing or email. Make sure to confirm the total final price that will be charged to your credit card as some London companies charge between 3% and 5% to process your card payment, why not ask if you can perform a bank transfer for payment this should not be a problem to a legitimate chauffeur service provider.
15. Call 2 days before your event and request your assigned chauffeur driver’s mobile phone number.
Be sure to verify that everything you have requested is in order and correct and that there is a driver scheduled to be assigned. Most companies like London Chauffeur Limousine Service email and SMS text their drivers contact details to their clients as standard.