It might provide the livelihood that makes it a full-time job, or you might be using it to earn some welcome extra cash during your spare time.
Either way, if you are thinking of setting yourself up in a chauffeuring business, you need chauffeur insurance.
Whatever your business model, you are also likely to want to cut the costs of this essential overhead. So, how might you save money on your chauffeur insurance?
Choose a specialist provider
Even a brief search of the internet is likely to turn up many potential providers of the private hire insurance – or “hire and reward” insurance – you need as a private chauffeur.
The sheer number of websites might make it appear that getting the chauffeur insurance you require is a simple and straightforward matter. In fact, the product is a highly specialised product and one for which you might want to draw on the expertise and experience of a specialist provider.
The potential complexities and the seriousness with which suitable hire or reward or chauffeur insurance is viewed may be gleaned from the application forms likely to accompany any application for a license to drive a private hire vehicle.
Before any private hire vehicle licence may be granted, Sheffield City Council, for example, makes clear – in its guidance dated the 23rd of February 2018 – that you must first hold a certificate that covers private hire use of your vehicle and that the insurance is valid from the date on which the licence starts. Other local authorities responsible for issuing private hire licences may have similar requirements.
In London, responsibility for such licensing is with Transport for London. Although minor changes have recently been made to its licensing regime, hire or reward insurance must be in place when you apply for a licence and at all times that your vehicle is being used for private hire.
Private hire or chauffeurs insurance?
By choosing a specialist provider, you may also arrange cover that is designed specifically for chauffeurs, rather than ordinary private hire operations.
Chauffeur insurance reflects some of the subtle differences likely to be encountered by chauffeurs rather than other private hire drivers.
You are likely to be carrying a different – and probably more demanding – clientele, for example. Rather than taking the money for the fare in your car at the end of any journey, you are more likely to invoice your clients separately. You may also choose to drive a more luxuriously appointed vehicle than one that might be offered to other private hire passengers.
The status of your chauffeur-driven clientele may also make the reliability and extent of the cover for passengers – against injury and loss or damage to their baggage – more important than for other private hire insurance policies.
These subtle distinctions are likely to be reflected in the cover offered and the competitively priced premiums charged for your specialist chauffeur insurance.
The car you choose
Choosing the appropriate car to drive as a chauffeur may call for a fine balance between the relative luxury demanded by your passengers and the cost of running, maintaining and insuring such a vehicle.
Although size matters when it comes to chauffeur insurance, the more critical factor is likely to be the car’s performance. You might want to avoid the higher premiums invariably charged to insure a high-performance vehicle by choosing a suitably well-equipped and larger car of more modest performance to secure cheaper premiums.