How much does a Chauffeur Service Cost?
One of the first questions any customer will ask is 'how much will it cost'. It may seem a simple question, but for chauffeuring there are a number of variables in a customers requirements that can make this difficult to answer generically. It is understandable that a customer should be able to quickly know what an airport transfer will cost them, what an average cost for a wedding car may be or how does the price of a chauffeur hire compare with other private hire services? Whilst I cannot give you all the answers, within this blog I will try to offer some guidance as to costs and how chauffeurs work. For more information on Valkyrie Chauffeurs costs you can see our guide prices on our pricing page.
Unlike a taxi company that has a fleet of cheap to run vehicles travelling short distances around the clock, a chauffeur service will have fewer vehicles that are higher in value, travel longer distances, and offer a more customer focused service. To a taxi firm it is about the number of jobs vs cheap running costs that is of the greatest importance, which is why you will find little difference in price between taxi companies.
However, you may find that chauffeur companies vary much more on price, this is because no one chauffeur company will have the same vehicle, service or overheads and there are fewer of them. For example - depending on where a chauffeur is based they may have to travel further to a customers home, plus don't forget the vehicle itself. Whilst they may use vehicle (e.g same make and model), there are so many variations with a vehicle that can determine its running costs especially with premium vehicles; such as milage, age of vehicle, year of manufacture, engine capacity, petrol or diesel. For a chauffeur the standard of vehicle is important and, as you can imagine running a Mercedes S-Class is a lot more costly than a Ford Mondeo. Chauffeur companies also have an additional costs which they have to consider - licencing. This too varies from county to county, as do the restrictions on use and costs involved. All of these factors will have an impact on the pricing of services offered by chauffeurs. In order to stay competitive chauffeurs will often tailor their price based on the type of service requested. This allows them to remain competitive, but without undervaluing the service offered.
How much can I expect to pay for an Airport Transfer?
This is a core part of a Chauffeurs business and they may often have to compete strongly for corporate work and with other private hire or taxi firms. So the cost is often at a fixed rate for customers within a county area. For example a Cheltenham to Birmingham Airport transfer in a small chauffeured saloon (Mercedes E-Class) could cost around £60.00, or £120.00 for a Cheltenham to London Heathrow airport transfer. Whereas with the larger chauffeured saloons (Mercedes S-Class) you could expect to pay an additional charge of £15.00 to £40.00. Which is not quite as much as some may think when comparing all the extras you may get like additional leg room and in car comforts.
How much can I expect to pay for a Wedding Car?
Whilst there is an array of wedding vehicles to choose from (vintage, classic & modern), most chauffeurs will specialise in modern. This is because many of the older vehicles would not meet the requirements for private hire licencing and so a chauffeur would be limited on the vehicles use. Whereas a vehicle used solely for religious ceremonies is exempt from private hire. As a result wedding car companies maybe able to offer cheaper rates than a chauffeur due to less costs associated to the vehicle. But note, wedding cars that are not private hire will be limited on flexibility for use outside of the ceremony itself. E.g they cannot return to transport passengers home at the end of the evening reception as that is not a part of the religious ceremony.
A wedding car service offered by chauffeurs can be calculated a number of ways. They can be as a set price, a hourly rate, a mileage rate or a mixture of all. Whilst some chauffeur companies may offer the smaller saloons (Mercedes E-Class) for wedding hire, you may find them a little cramped inside for the brides dress. Having said that, the size of vehicle should be reflected in the price and a smaller executive saloon may suit those on a budget or those in need of a support vehicle. For a large chauffeured saloon (Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series or similar) you can expect to pay around £200.00 to £300.00. A Modern Bentley can cost £350.00 to £450.00 and a modern Rolls Royce is likely to set you back between £580.00 and £750.00.
How much can I expect to pay for a custom chauffeur service?
For any other chauffeured services the cost is often based on a minimum hire rate of 2 or 3 hours with a mileage allowance incorporated into that price. Any additional miles are then calculated which can vary between 30p per mile and £1.15 per mile depending on the vehicle. However, another method for calculating the cost of a chauffeur hire is an hourly rate for driving time and a reduced hourly rate for waiting. E.g. Travel from Worcester to Birmingham Bull Ring for a shopping day could cost around £200.00 for a Mercedes S-Class (2 hours travelling and 5 hours waiting). However, some chauffeur companies offer day hire rates which can range from £180.00 to £320.00 for a large saloon vehicle. Often this may work out more cost effective than a taxi or public transport, especially when considering days out in London. It is important to note that for a chauffeur you are paying for the drivers time, the service and the vehicle which is why a mixture of all price calculations are taking into consideration. Whilst some may feel these prices seem costly, I would encourage you to ask yourself how much would it cost for a taxi to drop you in Birmingham and then return to pick you up? Then ask yourself, what if your plans changed and you wanted to leave earlier - would you have the flexibility to change your plans easily without spending time phoning around or paying out in cancellation fees?
I hope this blog has helped you understand the various elements that a Chauffeur has to consider and why pricing may vary from one company to another. What eve your travel plan I would urge you to consider the following before booking any transport - what is more important; transport from A to B, the quality of service with flexibility or both. How much would you consider paying if you wanted a good quality vehicle, a reliable sit back and relax service? Also be sure to ask the company you choose whether there are any hidden costs like parking...and think, should price be your only consideration?