5 Tips For Great Chauffeur Service
Your guide to choosing a great chauffeur service, as explained by Limo Plus founder, David Ramos.
By Teà Villamor
For frequent travelers, having a reliable and trusted chauffeur service you can trust that can take you around for your meetings and appointments, especially in a foreign country, is crucial. It makes for a seamless schedule and a stress-free day. But how does one choose a reliable company? David Ramos, owner of Knightsbridge-based Limo Plus provides some insights.
1. Choose a company that is professional and reliable.
“I’d worked in the service industry for many years before setting up Limo Plus,” says Ramos who set up the company in 1997. To get to the level of professionalism that Ramos required, he and wife Jo-Ann, trained their chauffeurs and staff themselves to the exacting standards they demanded. “It is so important for our clients to feel safe and confident in their chauffeur and car which is why we use the best in our industry,” he says. “I train the chauffeurs myself over a two-week period. Prior to that, the chauffeur has to take an in-house knowledge test and a driving test with me in the car. If they drive to my standard, and I have stupidly high driving standards, then they are through to the knowledge test and then through to the two-week training.” His wife took charge of training the operations team. “They came from good background in the industry but had habits that Jo-Ann and I didn’t like but no one else would really notice. It seems in this industry everyone expects an okay service, but Jo-Ann and I are not in the okay business.”
2. Ask detailed questions about their service, what it entails and their track record.
What is their track record? How well do their handle clients? What is their service philosophy? These are questions that one needs to ask before engaging a chauffeur service. In over two decades of operation, Limo Plus has had an excellent track record with their clients, most of whom have been with the company from the start. “We had built up an amazing relationship with our clients, their PAs and EAs so to deliver anything less than the best as we grew was not an option.”
Aside from a top chauffeur and operations team, Limo Plus also makes use of digital technology and an up-to-date global flight tracking system to monitor and track chauffeurs, private and commercial flights, cruise ships and yachts. However, Ramos still puts a priority on personal service. “I refuse to let technology take over,” he says. “You can’t keep a service personal to the needs of an individual if you take out the personal element and I don’t believe in an automated answering service. We are always at the end of a phone and our team monitor every hire and request before it is processed, confirmed and dispatched.”
3. Make sure the service has the best car makes and models that are well-maintained and -appointed, with an efficient operations team backing them.
After all, a chauffeur service is only as good as the vehicles on its fleet. Ramos ensures that his fleet of luxury long wheel-base Mercedes S-Class, E-Class and V-Class are well-maintained and ready to go. “A Limo Plus chauffeur drives the safest, newest most comfortable reliable luxury vehicles in our industry.” For Ramos, a Limo Plus chauffeur is more than just a guy behind the wheel. “A Limo Plus chauffeur has a professional operations team supporting them and the client every step of the way, making sure everything is in order before allocating the correct chauffeur with the correct vehicle for the hire. Our chauffeurs receive assignments ahead of time, which give them the opportunity to inspect their vehicles and plan ahead to avoid unwanted surprises. They always take pride in themselves and their vehicle and carry themselves with dignity and discretion. A chauffeur is uniformed and the vehicle clean and tidy, stocked with water, most popular mobile phone charger, tissues, onboard Wi-Fi and any other amenities you may want personally.”
4. Check how extensive their network is.
For a seamless experience, choose a service that operates in many key cities where you also travel. With very little marketing, Ramos and his team have grown the company over the last 22 years and now operates globally through very carefully chosen network of chauffeur companies. Says Ramos, “At times we need extra or specialised vehicles and have to use subcontractors, all of whom we have used and worked with for many years. They had to go through the same procedures as our in-house chauffeurs. We inspect their vehicles inside and out, take copies of all their relevant paperwork, which are entered into our database with dates on expiration and a passport photo. We also do random spot checks on them and our own in-house chauffeurs. I also book services for myself under an alias. This is also true of our overseas partners. Jo-Ann and I have been to all the countries we cover and used the services ourselves before they can be a Limo Plus partner.”
Aside from this, “we have also built up a very strong network in the private jet and yacht charter industries,” says Ramos. “This allowed us to give clients the best options at the best prices if or when they need either of these services.”
5. It’s all about going beyond what is expected.
Ask yourself what other add-on services do they have? Are they willing to go beyond what is expected? “Our passengers aren’t just corporate heads, well-known personalities or high-end individuals. They’re real people with real time constraints, deadlines and personal needs,” says Ramos, who has been known to get behind the wheel every now and then.
“Given that most of our clients lead very hectic lifestyles, anything we can do to reduce their day-to-day pressures is important. From making lunch or dinner reservations, booking theatre tickets, collecting the dry cleaning or even house sitting and taking the dog for a walk, whatever needs to be done can be done. When our clients are in London, they say it’s like having their own private chauffeur, friend and house manager rolled into one! That’s the Plus in Limo Plus.”
Give Limo Plus a call on +44 20 7748 8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.