Chauffeur

Last updated

A chauffeur in Japan standing next to a Nissan Fuga Japanese chauffeur.jpg
A chauffeur in Japan standing next to a Nissan Fuga

A chauffeur is a person employed to drive a passenger motor vehicle, especially a luxury vehicle such as a large sedan or limousine.

Contents

Originally, such drivers were often personal employees of the vehicle owner, but this has changed to specialist chauffeur service companies or individual drivers that provide both driver and vehicle for hire. Some service companies merely provide the driver.

History

The term chauffeur comes from the French term for stoker because the earliest automobiles, [1] like their railroad and sea vessel counterparts, were steam-powered and required the driver to stoke the engine. Early petrol/gasoline-powered motor cars, before the advent of electric ignition, were ignited by 'hot tubes' in the cylinder head which had to be pre-heated before the engine would start. Hence the term chauffeur which, in this context, means something like "heater-upper". The chauffeur would prime the hot tubes at the start of a journey, after which the natural compression cycle of the engine would keep them at the correct temperature. The chauffeur also maintained the car, including routine maintenance and cleaning, and had to be a skilled mechanic to deal with breakdowns and tyre punctures en route, which were very common in the earliest years of the automobile.

Only the very wealthy could afford the first automobiles, and they generally employed chauffeurs rather than driving themselves. A 1906 article in The New York Times reported that "the chauffeur problem to-day is one of the most serious that the automobilist has to deal with", and complained that "young men of no particular ability, who have been earning from $10 to $12 a week, are suddenly elevated to salaried positions paying from $25 to $50" and recommended the re-training of existing coach drivers. [2]

Scope

While the term may refer to anybody who drives for a living, it usually implies a driver of an elegant passenger vehicle such as a horse-drawn carriage, luxury sedan, motor coach, or especially a limousine; those who operate buses or non-passenger vehicles are generally referred to as "drivers". In some countries, particularly developing nations where a ready supply of labor ensures that even the middle classes can afford domestic staff and among the wealthy, [3] the chauffeur may simply be called the "driver".

People currently sometimes employ chauffeurs full-time to drive themselves in their own personal vehicles, yet there are also professional services offering limousines or rental cars [4] driven by chauffeurs. This is very similar to but much more luxurious than taking a taxicab. A variety of benefits are cited for using chauffeurs, including convenience, productivity and time savings, [5] and driving safety for business people [6] and seniors. [7] Insurance costs for luxury vehicles are often lower if the designated driver is a chauffeur. [3]

The legal requirements to be a chauffeur vary depending on the local jurisdiction and class of vehicle. In some cases, a simple permit is all that is required, but in others an additional professional license is needed with certain minimum standards in areas such as: age, health, driving experience, criminal record, local geographic knowledge, [8] training attended. [9]

Training

In addition to the minimum legal requirements, limousine companies often require their chauffeurs to undergo specific extra training. [10] These courses may involve evasive driving or defensive driving techniques, the proper methods to ensure safety in the most extreme conditions such as inclement weather, a flat tire at high speeds, or other exterior influences for loss of vehicular control, etc. Most companies also have their own courses as to what they expect from their chauffeurs. Chauffeurs may be taught proper etiquette for use when they are in presence of their clientele. They may also be trained for services to the client beyond the car itself, such as for a personal valet or bodyguard. Many companies and local licensing agencies currently require random drug screening [11] – in the United States this was especially the case after professional ice hockey player Vladimir Konstantinov's career-ending injuries when his recently hired chauffeur, Richard Gnida, lost control of their limousine and crashed. [12] [13]

Dress

In many places (or at times in the past), proper physical presence is presented by the chauffeur at all times. This usually includes a well-groomed individual, conservatively dressed in a clean and crisply pressed black or dark business suit or tuxedo, dress shirt, and appropriately matching tie, with black leather gloves and freshly polished matching footwear. In some areas, such as Japan, white gloves are the norm. Some companies have complete uniforms for their chauffeurs, and some require that hats be worn as part of the uniform.

Notable chauffeurs

In fiction

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lincoln Motor Company</span> Luxury division of Ford Motor Company

Lincoln Motor Company, or simply Lincoln, is the luxury vehicle division of American automobile manufacturer Ford. Marketed among the top luxury vehicle brands in the United States, Lincoln was positioned closely against its General Motors counterpart Cadillac. The division helped to establish the personal luxury car segment with the 1940 Lincoln Continental.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Driving</span> Operation of a vehicle

Driving is the controlled operation and movement of a vehicle, including cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, and bicycles. Permission to drive on public highways is granted based on a set of conditions being met and drivers are required to follow the established road and traffic laws in the location they are driving. The word driving, has etymology dating back to the 15th century and has developed as what driving has encompassed has changed from working animals in the 15th to automobiles in the 1800s. Driving skills have also developed since the 15th century with physical, mental and safety skills being required to drive. This evolution of the skills required to drive have been accompanied by the introduction of driving laws which relate to not only the driver but the driveability of a car.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Self-driving car</span> Vehicle operated with reduced human input

A self-driving car, also known as an autonomous car, driver-less car, or robotic car (robo-car), is a car that is capable of traveling without human input. Self-driving cars use sensors to perceive their surroundings, such as optical and thermographic cameras, radar, lidar, ultrasound/sonar, GPS, odometry and inertial measurement units. Control systems interpret sensory information to create a three-dimensional model of the surroundings. Based on the model, the car identifies appropriate navigation paths, and strategies for managing traffic controls and obstacles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luxury car</span> Car that provides increased levels of comfort, amenities, quality, and status

A luxury car is a car that provides increased levels of comfort, equipment, amenities, quality, performance, and associated status compared to moderately priced cars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marmon Motor Car Company</span> American automobile manufacturer

Marmon Motor Car Company was an American automobile manufacturer founded by Howard Carpenter Marmon and owned by Nordyke Marmon & Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, US. It produced luxury automobiles from 1902 to 1933.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lincoln Town Car</span> Motor vehicle

The Lincoln Town Car is a model line of full-size luxury sedans that was marketed by the Lincoln division of the American automaker Ford Motor Company. Deriving its name from a limousine body style, Lincoln marketed the Town Car from 1981 to 2011, with the nameplate previously serving as the flagship trim of the Lincoln Continental. Produced across three generations for 30 model years, the Town Car was marketed directly against luxury sedans from Cadillac and Chrysler.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coupé de ville</span> Car body style produced from 1908 to 1939

Coupé de ville — also known as town car or sedanca de ville — is a car body style produced from 1908 to 1939 with an external or open-topped driver's position and an enclosed compartment for passengers. Although the different terms may have once had specific meanings for certain car manufacturers or countries, the terms are often used interchangeably.

There are many types of car body styles. They vary depending on intended use, market position, location, and the era they were made in.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glove compartment</span> Compartment built into the dashboard of an automobile

A glove compartment or glove box is a compartment built into the dashboard of an automobile, located over the front-seat passenger's footwell, and often used for miscellaneous storage. The name derives from the original purpose of the compartment, to store driving gloves. They were sometimes in a box on the floorboard near the driver, hence the word "glove box". In most vehicles, the glove compartment closes with a latch, with the option of being locked with a key.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Taxis of New York City</span>

In New York City, taxicabs come in two varieties: yellow and green; they are widely recognizable symbols of the city. Taxis painted yellow are able to pick up passengers anywhere in the five boroughs. Those painted apple green, which began to appear in August 2013, are allowed to pick up passengers in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Both types have the same fare structure. Taxicabs are operated by private companies and licensed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). It also oversees over 40,000 other for-hire vehicles, including "black cars", commuter vans, and ambulettes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heine-Velox</span> American automobile manufacturer (1905-08)

Heine-Velox was a large, expensive luxury car made by Gustav Heine. Heine Piano Company was originally Bruenn Piano Company before Heine became owner. All were based in San Francisco.

A car rental, hire car or car hire agency is a company that rents automobiles for short periods of time to the public, generally ranging from a few hours to a few weeks. It is often organized with numerous local branches, and primarily located near airports or busy city areas and often complemented by a website allowing online reservations.

The taxicabs of the United States make up a mature system; most U.S. cities have a licensing scheme which restricts the number of taxicabs allowed. As of 2012 the total number of taxi cab drivers in the United States is 233,900; the average annual salary of a taxi cab driver is $22,820 and the expected percent job increase over the next 10 years is 16%.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Autovia</span> Motor vehicle

Autovia was a short lived brand of British car from Coventry existing from 1935 to 1938 with production starting in January 1937. The venture was ambitious and even included setting up a school for chauffeurs. The cars were expensive and it was a market sector well served by other companies. 44 cars were made.

Roosevelt Smith Zanders (1912–1995) was the owner of New York City limousine service Zanders Auto Rental Service. Starting out with a US$3000 Cadillac, his fleet grew to sixteen cars, including three Rolls-Royces. After establishing the company in Harlem in 1946, he kept the offices and garage in the same neighborhood, even as his client roster began to represent the elite of Fifth Avenue.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission</span> New York City government agency

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission is an agency of the New York City government that licenses and regulates the medallion taxis and for-hire vehicle industries, including app-based companies such as Uber and Lyft. The TLC's regulatory landscape includes medallion (yellow) taxicabs, green or Boro taxicabs, black cars, community-based livery cars, commuter vans, paratransit vehicles (ambulettes), and some luxury limousines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Driver's licenses in the United States</span> Licenses as issued by individual states

In the United States, driver's licenses are issued by each individual state, territory, and the District of Columbia rather than by the federal government due to federalism. Drivers are normally required to obtain a license from their state of residence. All states of the United States and provinces and territories of Canada recognize each other's licenses for non-resident age requirements. There are also licenses for motorcycle use. Generally, a minimum age of 16 is required to obtain a driver's or motorcycle license, and 18 for a commercial driver's license which is required for operating large and heavy vehicles or any vehicle, regardless of size, with more than 15 passengers or hazardous materials. A state may also suspend an individual's driving privilege within its borders for traffic violations. Many states share a common system of license classes, with some exceptions, e.g. commercial license classes are standardized by federal regulation at 49 CFR 383. Many driving permits and ID cards display small digits next to each data field. This is required by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators' design standard and has been adopted by many US states. According to the United States Department of Transportation, as of 2018, there are approximately 227 million licensed drivers in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brougham (car body)</span>

A brougham was originally a car body style where the driver sat outside and passengers seated within an enclosed cabin, as per the earlier brougham horse-drawn carriage. Similar in style to the later town car, the brougham style was used on chauffeur-driven petrol and electric cars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lexus LS (XF40)</span> Motor vehicle

The Lexus LS (XF40) is the fourth generation of the Lexus LS line of full-size luxury sedans. Lexus debuted the model line at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, with variants including the standard wheelbase LS 460 (USF40) and long wheelbase LS 460 L (USF41); the chassis codes (USF40/USF41) are derived from the fourth generation XF40 platform code and UR series engine designation. In development from 2001, the final design was selected for the V8 models in late 2003, with the hybrid variant's design finalized in 2004. Introduced at the 2006 New York International Auto Show, all-wheel drive hybrid models, the standard wheelbase LS 600h (UVF45) and long wheelbase LS 600h L (UVF46), joined the lineup in the 2008 model year. The LS 460 and LS 460 L models feature a 4.6 L UR series V8 and an 8-speed automatic transmission, while hybrid models are powered by a 5.0 L UR series V8 engine equipped with electric motors, with a continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive versions of the non-hybrid LS 460 (USF45) and LS 460 L (USF46) models were introduced at the 2008 Moscow International Automobile Salon. The XF40 received updates for the 2010 and 2013 model years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Limousine</span> Luxury car with division driven by a chauffeur

A limousine, or limo for short, is a large, chauffeur-driven luxury vehicle with a partition between the driver compartment and the passenger compartment.

References

  1. "Objects to "Chauffeur"" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 January 1902. Retrieved 25 November 2018. ...but it simply means what we call "fireman", or what the English call "stoker"...
  2. "Chauffeurs Lord It Over Their Employers; Big Salaries Turn the Heads of Automobile Drivers. They Scorn Menial Work Garage Managers Also Have Trouble with Them -- A Better Class Being Turned Out by the Schools". The New York Times. 12 August 1906. p. 16. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  3. 1 2 Sanger, David E. (September 23, 2010). "Once Around the Block, James, and Pick Me Up After My Nap". The New York Times. p. 7. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  4. Stern, Linda (October 1, 2007). "Hey, Look, Boss: No Hands!". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 14 September 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  5. Villano, Matt (September 17, 2007). "A Chauffeur Role That Tries Harder". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  6. "Driven To Distraction: Mobile Office Gone Too Far?". NBC5. Chicago. September 24, 2007. Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  7. "Too Old To Drive?". The Rachael Ray Show. MMVII KWP Studios. October 10, 2007. Archived from the original on 11 January 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
  8. "How to become a licensed taxi or private hire driver" (PDF). Transport for London. Mayor of London. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  9. "FAQ". NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  10. Becker, Mark (1 November 1998). "Operators Abroad Attempt to Establish Uniformity in Chauffeur Training". Limousine, Charter, and Tour Magazine. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  11. Fletcher, Scott (1 March 1992). "Limousine Clients Deserve Drug-free Chauffeurs". Limousine, Charter, and Tour Magazine. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  12. Windsor, Shawn (6 October 2007). "2007's Top Wings Stories: Remembering the crash that ruined Stanley Cup celebration". Freep.com. Gannett. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Thirty-two laws took effect in 1999 amid mounting evidence that thousands of people with suspended or revoked licenses were driving, despite numerous alcohol-related convictions and serious traffic violations.
  13. "Ex-Wings Limo Driver Arrested". CBS News. Associated Press. July 2, 1999. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  14. Thomas Jr., Robert McG. (25 May 1995). "Roosevelt S. Zanders, Stars' Chauffeur, Dies at 81". The New York Times. p. 8. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  15. Palm, Matthew J. (January 21, 2021). "In 'Daisy,' Michael Morman's in the driver's seat again". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  16. Bauer, Patricia (December 17, 2017). "Driving Miss Daisy: Plot, Cast, Awards, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved January 31, 2021.