Saturday 24 February 2018

How To Choose A Wedding car - Southampton Chauffeur Hire

Executive Private Hire Wedding cars

Opearating Southampton Chauffeur Hire for 6 years has enabled me to offer advise and recommendations in all areas of wedding car transport.

One of the benefits of offering an executive private hire chauffeur service is that executive private hire companies are employed for a variety of reasons which require them to adapt to the purpose of hire. From the 'bread & butter' airport run to providing V.I.P. and wedding transport.

Firstly, your wedding is one of the most important occasions in your life and everything must be perfect for the happy day. The wedding has been subject to planning and decision making over a period of many months or even longer. Wedding transport is merely one element or jigsaw piece that combine to make a successful and wonderful day.

So what makes a good wedding car service?

It is so so much more than driving from A to B.

What Should a Good Wedding Car Service Provide?

Immaculate car both inside and out. Dressing (bows and ribbons) as arranged.
A well presented chauffeur dressed in suit and tie with polished shoes.
Punctual, arriving prior to the leaving time and notifying the wedding party upon arrival.
The chauffeur must be courteous, polite, friendly and professional making the bride and accompanying passenger feel relaxed and reassured.
The transfer should be stress free, comfortable and with adequate time to allow for possible delay.
To deliver the bride to her wedding venue and at the correct entrance location.

After the wedding ceremony the chauffeur should meet and congratulate the newly-weds for their onward transfer to the wedding reception.
This is your first opportunity to spend time together before meeting guests at the reception venue.
Again, the transfer should be relaxed and stress free completing the wedding car hire upon arrival at the reception.

The memory of a good wedding service car should be included as a part of a happy and special day. 

Selecting a Wedding Car Service

Lets start with a few bullet points and elaborate from there.

Wedding car choice
Selecting suitable wedding car companies
Telephone and email
Making a decision and planning.
Finalising and confirming.


A high priority for most as weddings can be very expensive and cost can escalate.

How many cars?
Bridal car, bridesmaids' car and transport for friends and family guests.
A bridal car will be costed the same as a bridesmaids' car and more than wedding guests' cars unless different rated vehicles are chosen. It will become clearer later.
The advantage of having a budget is that you can make choices during the process as a result of information and advise obtained.

The Cheapest.
The most common wedding car hire is a single journey, dressed, bridal car from the collection address to the wedding venue.

Standard Wedding Car Hire.
Collection and transfer to the wedding venue, wait and then transfer of the newlyweds to their reception venue.

Reception Car.
Occasionally a wedding car is hired to collect after the reception (late evening to midnight) to their hotel.

Consider More Than One Company.
A company can supply the bridal car (Rolls or Bentley) while another will supply executive standard vehicles for family and friends.

Wedding Car Choice

A personal choice which can be affected by budget. From Rolls Royce and Bentley to executive standard vehicles to classic cars.
Research is key starting with the internet and personal recommendations.
Most websites will have photographs with a choice of vehicles. To assist try searching the internet for images to help with your choice.
The most expensive are Rolls Royce and Bentleys.
The next will be the classic car.
Executive standard wedding cars offer a good choice and range of prices.
Premium rate: Mercedes S Class, long wheelbase, is an ideal bridal car as it offers ample leg room for any bridal dress.
BMW Series 7 also has a long wheelbase model.
The mid range and cheaper: Mercedes E Class and BMW Series 5 are also good wedding cars and could be considered for bridesmaids and wedding guests.
A Mercedes V Class or Viano can seat up to 7 passengers and are ideally suited for bridesmaids and guests.
Audi and Jaguar also provide good quality vehicles.

Selecting Suitable Wedding Car Companies

Make a list of the companies that you have found that fit the brief. Now comes a very important part of your research.
What should you look for in a wedding car company?

1/ Website providing information and photos. A professional image containing recommendations and/or a recognised review sites such as Trust Pilot and TripAdvisor. The website should be the company's 'shop window' and portray professionalism and experience.
2/ Email and phone enquiry. An email can obtain advise, options and prices. A phone call is a 'must' as you are looking for a friendly, helpful and professional service.
3/ Offer a service that fits with your requirements supplying options and recommendations.  

Don't sacrifice service for cost. It's worth spending a bit more rather than making do.

Telephone & Email

After selecting possible companies you will need to move to the next process.
A phone call to the company can help you judge from their professional attitude and friendly nature. This is where you will obtain a quote.
You want to make sure that you driver is more than someone who takes you from A - B.
Your driver is as important as your wedding car.
A follow-up email is recommended as this is a good way to record and retain quotes for future reference. Keeping notes and trying to remember individual companies may be otherwise challenging.

Making a Decision & Planning

After careful consideration you may be left with two or three companies. Budget may be your highest consideration and may lead to compromise in other areas. I would recommend making an allowance and spending that bit more to get the service you would really like. Making do for a cheaper option may be something you could regret in years to come.

Finalising & Confirming

You have made your choice and you should be happy that you are coming to the end of the process.
Your chosen wedding car company should lead you through this final process and offer advise and recommendations. All details should be finalised or identified for future clarification.
Normally, either a deposit or full payment will be required. It all depends upon when a  booking is made compared to the wedding date.
Having paid either deposit or in full your wedding transport is confirmed.

Consider an executive wedding car for your honeymoon airport transfer.

An executive wedding car will make an ideal honeymoon car. Why not add to your honeymoon experience with a lovely car and driver taking you to and from the airport. 

Advise & Recommendations

As a wedding car transport provider you are more than welcome to contact Southampton Chauffeur Hire for assistance.

How to be a Private Hire Driver - Upgrading to A Mercedes S Class

Upgrading to Mercedes S Class

As a Private Hire operator you will have aspirations and goals which will affect your business decisions.

Business decisions and options will be made after careful consideration and research. The wrong path may lead to a different outcome with the resulting learning experience and financial repercussions.

Arguably the Mercedes S Class is the best and most luxurious Private Hire chauffeur car. Rivals include BMW Series 7, Audi A8 and Jaguar XJ.

My personal choice at Southampton Chauffeur Hire is the Mercedes S Class and is the most popular choice for the discerning customer. All the requirements that suit a client who demands and expects the best.
A vehicle built to a high specification and build quality.

Long wheel Base

Legroom and cabin space is a priority for top paying clients.
Move the front passenger seat forward to allow more room and cabin area. Be aware that the rear alloy wheels, especially the nearside, will be susceptible to damage as a driver has to adapt to accommodate a long wheel base car.
Don’t consider a vehicle which is not long wheel base.

Bells & Whistles

Luxury comfort fittings make all the difference between the high and standard cars.

Leather seats are the standard but adjustable electric and heated seats of the S Class are for enhanced passenger comfort. For first time passengers always point out seat adjustment to make their journey the most comfortable.

A panoramic roof and rear blind can be optimised on a lovely sunny day.

Air suspension will provide a smooth and enhanced ride.

Consequently a Mercedes S Class commands a high price and, as a result, a higher rate charged to the customer.

Lower Volume but More Profit Per Transfer

Customers wanting and prepared to pay the higher S Class rate are fewer than that of the standard rate and higher volume E Class and equivalent car.

Generally a new operator will start with a cheaper and standard car progressing to a higher capital outlay if income allows.

An S Class will therefore be an option for an established  operator who has built up a good reliable customer base over time and has the income to specialise in a market that has less volume but more profit per transfer.

If you are thinking of starting as an operator an S Class, or equivalent, is not advisable.

Level of Service

It is not just a bigger and better car but the level of service must be at a higher level. 

All the basic requirements of a standard car apply. Therefore car cleanliness, well-presented suited driver and job preparation go without saying.

Many companies will select their best drivers for S Class work. Driving ability, communication skills and service delivery go hand in hand with the highest and most expensive tier of Private Hire work.


Your website, advertising etc. will have to be adjusted to attract the S Class customer. All other aspects of the service expected will also have to be reflected in your marketing ‘shop window’.


How old and how much? A question that can be subject to so many variables.

How long will you keep it?

How can you finance payment and eventual replacement?

These considerations will dictate what you can afford.

All cars depreciate and the first three years are the worst levelling out to an acceptable level.

Unfortunately you will never have the best and newest model but you will have an acceptable and affordable chauffeur car. Expenditure of £25,000-£30,000 will be required with a replacement after 2-3 years depending upon mileage.

Upgrading the car, ultimately, will not be affected by condition or mileage but with keeping up with the competition that will have a newer model.
After 2-3 years your older model will start to look dated and fall out of favour with CEOs and top executive who want, and will pay for, the best.

The Transition to S Class Rates

Will your E Class customers automatically pay your S Class rates? The easy answer is no.
A proportion of your customers will require an E Class service and not wish to upgrade and pay more. The best way to address this obvious problem is to discuss and negotiate. Be flexible and be prepared to lose your customer if they are not prepared to pay more.
I have found that compromise normally works with customers paying half-way towards the higher rate.
You can always quote S Class rates to new customers. An alternative for new customers is to offer two rates that include both S Class and E Class. Be prepared to take the lower rate to ‘win’ the job.

Learn for your experiences

Making mistakes is ok as long as you learn from them. It’s all part of the process of building your company. Everyone makes mistakes and can be a positive experience that progresses you along the right path. Consider alternatives, be flexible and compromise.
I started with an E Class and upgraded to an S Class. A successful but more business demanding choice. Adding a Viano to my previous E Class did not work but was a valuable lesson which enabled me to learn and adapt.

Southampton Chauffeur Hire website is an example of reflecting a Mercedes S Class service.