The term ‘chauffeur’ comes from French language meaning a stoker. The stoker used to be an operator for stoking the engine of the first steam-powered automobiles.
Contemporary vehicles don’t require stoking anymore, but the chauffeur as a profession remained.
A chauffeur is a person hired to drive a passenger motor vehicle, most often a luxury one such as a limousine. They can either work for companies that offer limo services or for individuals, usually rich or VIPs, as personal drivers of their private cars.
The first limousine was developed in 1902 and it took 26 years to develop the first stretch limousine. In the beginning, only wealthy people could afford automobiles and employ a personal driver. Soon enough, the demand for this type of service increased and limo companies began to sprout.
Limousines are still connected to style, elegance, and luxury, and, fortunately, they are affordable to the majority. People hire limos for various occasions and their popularity only increases across the world.
With the increase in popularity comes the increase in demand for professional chauffeurs. Possessing a Driving license is not enough, though. To become a professional chauffeur, the following criteria must be fulfilled:
- Developed excellent defensive driving skills,
- Having clean driving and criminal records,
- Having a calm and courteous personality,
- Being respectful towards clients,
- Being punctual,
- Having impeccable appearance,
- Being discreet and patient,
- Being able to stay calm under pressure,
- Developed assertive communication skills,
- Developed organization skills.
If you are interested in this profession and if you possess some of these characteristics, read further to find out why being a chauffeur in Zurich, Switzerland, is great. We give you 5 reasons:
1. Chauffeur in Zurich get to drive amazing vehicles
All chauffeurs share their passion for luxurious and exclusive vehicles. Your dream for driving impressive and powerful cars can come true. As a chauffeur, you get the opportunity to lay your hands on steering wheels of anything from the sedan, over Hummer stretch limo to big party buses and everything in between.
A full-sized luxury vehicle is the standard ride, but many eccentric customers request exotic or unusual rides. Therefore, your task would be to familiarize with the vehicles in a fleet. You should learn all about the types and sizes, their features and amenities.
Also, your job would be to take good care of each of the cars you will get to drive and service it regularly. Fill it up with gas, check the oil and the condition of the tires. Make sure the air conditioning, or heater, works 100%. And always make sure that your car is immaculately clean – inside and out. This way, you will be able to drive excellent cars for many years.
2. Chauffeur gets to know Zurich better
You will probably make multiple runs to and from the airport, but you will also chauffeur people to fine dining establishments, top-drawer affairs, and even to some upscale homes and mansions.
Drivers of limousines also share their love for their city and enjoy exploring it. Actually, a professional chauffeur does have to know all parts of the cities his company provides the rides to, all ways to reach the address and how to arrive there in the shortest and smoothest manner.
But don’t worry, it takes only a couple of weeks on the road to develop an intricate and beyond compare the knowledge of Zurich and the roads within it.
A chauffeur job is an opportunity to see all the secretive and intriguing places, fancy and deluxe venues, as well as the corporate side of the city.
Additionally, you will be a silent but important part of people’s lives – of ordinary people as much as of businessmen and women’s and of celebrities’. You will be a witness to some of the most important moments of their lives.
3. Professional drivers get to expand their knowledge
Some general requirements, such as age range, possession of a driver’s license, clean criminal record, not having a history of major traffic incidents, etc. have to be met.
No specific formal education is required to become a driver in Zurich, but a good command of English besides the languages spoken in Switzerland is a must.
Non-formal education necessary for the professional operation of the job considers:
- Driver’s safety,
- Knowledge of the traffic laws,
- Overview of routes and traffic patterns,
- Operation of specific vehicles,
- Operating communication equipment,
- Customer-service practices,
- Building organizational skills.
In Switzerland, you can attend the Chauffeur Limousine Academy. There you can get a D1 certificate of professional competence for commercial road passenger transport. A successfully completed driving test is recognized both in the country and the EU. The Academy provides training in the following areas:
- Driving school,
- Police services (safety and security),
- Vehicle maintenance and care,
- Diplomatic service,
- Operational management,
- Fleet management,
- Account management and hotel concierge,
- Business and hotel training management,
- Long-standing and experienced limousine chauffeurs,
- Limousine entrepreneurs,
- Business leaders,
- Event and incentive organizations (agency).
4. Chauffeurs get to dress elegantly
In the limousine industry, the dress code is of great importance. As most jobs nowadays don’t require a suit and tie anymore, it’s like a sort of a lost art.
In chauffeur job, you are required to wear a suit, a tie, and a chauffeur’s hat, sometimes even elegant white or black leather gloves. It is all part of the atmosphere and etiquette.
As we mentioned before, limousine chauffeur’s appearance has to be impeccable – suit and shirt always clean and well pressed with matching tie, belt, and shoes. The bow tie is also acceptable, but unusual. The belt must be classic, without big belt buckles with logos or symbols. The top button of the collar of the shirt must be done up. The overcoat can be worn if weather requires it, but not over a single shirt.
Better wear a suit or any good quality dark jacket – your limousine company may have a color preference for it. A wedding or engagement ring is always allowed. But except for the watch, other accessories should be kept away. Chauffeur’s and limousine’s look must be the same, spotless and with a good smell.
The purpose of such a strict dress code is to represent the company, make a great first impression, and make your customers feel in good hands. By following these rules, you will always look professional and trustworthy.
5. You can make a good living as a chauffeur in Zurich
The salary may depend on the flexibility of the driver’s schedule. But nevertheless, the base pay for a limousine chauffeur in Zurich is above average. If you are able to work extended shifts or late nights, the pay will increase.
Also, most clients are pretty generous and will leave you a great tip. People who regularly hire a limo service have a lot of money and when they book the vehicle they often figure in the additional sum for the driver. Another convenience when you work as a driver in Switzerland is that you get to choose whether you want to work fulltime or part-time shifts.
Therefore, by being a part-time chauffeur you can make an extra income. And if you are a student, you will have plenty of opportunities to keep up with your studies. You might not get weekends off, but the hours are usually pretty flexible while at the same time you can earn good money.