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Chauffeur vs. Driver: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Chauffeurs and drivers are both responsible for getting people from one place to another. Though these roles share some similarities, there are several key differences between them. In this article, we discuss the differences between chauffeurs and drivers, and we provide additional transportation-related professions you may be interested in pursuing.

What is a Chauffeur?

A Chauffeur is a professional driver who is hired to drive a specific person or persons around in a vehicle. Chauffeurs are often hired by celebrities, politicians, business executives or other high-profile individuals who need someone to drive them to and from various events or appointments. Chauffeurs are responsible for knowing the best routes to take, avoiding traffic, and getting their passengers to their destination safely and on time. They may also be responsible for maintaining the vehicle and keeping it clean. In some cases, Chauffeurs may also act as bodyguards or security for their passengers.

What is a Driver?

A Driver is a professional who drives a vehicle for a living. This can include driving a taxi, bus, truck, or other commercial vehicle, or it can simply be someone who drives their own car for a living, such as a delivery driver or Uber/Lyft driver. Drivers must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. They must also be familiar with the area in which they will be driving and the best routes to take to get their passengers or cargo to their destination safely and on time.

Chauffeur vs. Driver

Here are the main differences between a chauffeur and a driver.

Job Duties

Chauffeurs and drivers share some job duties, such as driving vehicles and transporting passengers. However, chauffeurs have additional job duties that drivers do not. As professional drivers, their primary responsibility is to operate vehicles safely and efficiently. Chauffeurs also have the responsibility of ensuring the comfort and security of their passengers.

Chauffeurs often act as an escort or personal assistant for their passengers. This means they may provide assistance with things like luggage retrieval, boarding procedures and destination locations. Additionally, chauffeurs are responsible for maintaining proper vehicle maintenance and keeping detailed records of vehicle usage.

Job Requirements

Chauffeurs typically need to have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. Some companies may require chauffeurs to complete a training program before they can start working. These programs usually teach students how to safely operate the vehicles they will be driving and how to provide excellent customer service.

Drivers also need to have a valid driver’s license, but their job requirements vary depending on the type of driving they do. For example, bus drivers usually need to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which requires additional training and testing. Taxi and Uber drivers might not need a CDL, but they might need to pass a background check and have a clean driving record.

Work Environment

Chauffeurs and drivers work in different environments. Chauffeurs typically work for limousine companies, transportation services or private clients. They may travel to various locations throughout the day and night. Drivers usually work for a specific company that provides them with regular routes and schedules. Some drivers work for taxi companies, while others drive for ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft.

Skills

Both chauffeurs and drivers need to have excellent driving skills. Chauffeurs, in particular, may need to be able to drive in a variety of conditions, including inclement weather or heavy traffic. They also both need to know the area in which they are driving well enough to navigate without difficulty.

Chauffeurs typically provide a more personalized service than drivers and, as such, need to have strong customer service skills. This includes being polite and professional at all times, being able to deal with difficult customers calmly and providing any special services that their employer or the customer requests. Drivers, on the other hand, may not need to interact with customers as much and can focus more on getting them to their destination safely and on time.

Salary

The average salary for a chauffeur is $50,110 per year, while the average salary for a driver is $49,524 per year. Both salaries can vary depending on the type of work you’re doing, your location and your experience level.

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