Starting A Driving Service For Pleasure And Profit
This is the business of driving other people's vehicles (cars,
trucks, vans, RV's) for them.
Examples are: part-time chauffeuring, driving and delivery
service of and with the customer's vehicles, transporting
vehicles, taking people shopping or any combination of these and
many other services.
It can be delivering people to the airport and picking them up
when they return (in their car), running errands for them in
their vehicle (with or without them along), delivering their car
to another destination, and of course, driving your customers in
their cars on trips, or to and from the hospital.
It can also be a service to drive senior citizens in their own or
their children's automobiles to go shopping, visiting or to visit
a relative. This kind of service can not only be handy for your
customers, it can save time and/or money, speed up their
activities, enable them to do things that would not otherwise be
possible and improve their lifestyles.
A good example of how you can save them money is when they must
be out of town for a few days.
They can, of course, drive themselves to the airport, but then
they must walk from the parking lot to the terminal, which means
they must go there early and carry their luggage a good distance.
Then they have to leave their car in the airport parking lot for
the duration of their absence where they not only have to pay a
pretty stiff parking fee but also take a chance of having someone
break into it.
Your service would deliver them to the airport door, return their
car (or your) garage, where it would be safe, the go back and
pick them up AT THE DOOR when they return. You could even have it
washed and serviced in the interim (at their request). That kind
service is worth a few dollars to lots of people!
Other examples are taking people shopping, picking up the kids
after the movies, going after packages, delivering their car to a
relative's house, driving them on a tour or trip,, being
available to drive elderly or disabled persons.
Note that there are many elderly people who have cars but are not
really qualified to drive them on the highway or in big cities.
Wouldn't it be nice for an elderly lady with poor eyesight to
have a "younger" lady drive her on shopping trips --or to her
In most states you will need a chauffeur's license and insurance
to cover any liability you might incur. It is very unlikely that
you would drive a car with no liability insurance, but with your
own, your insurer will "represent" you in case of any problems --
saving you worry and the cost of a lawyer.
While you are at it, check on bonding -- for yourself and any
employees you might hire. This is not expensive and can be an
excellent selling point: "our drivers are bonded!"
You will need your own transportation -- to get to and from the
jobs, but probably not use your vehicle in the business (that
requires additional insurance and gets into another, more
complicated area like taxis and buses.
Once you have your business established, look around for several
possible assistance or employees that you can hire by the hour or
on a commission (sub-contract) basis.
Have them bonded and make sure they are good, safe drivers and
that they have the proper credentials. Then, they can be on call
for when people call in for drivers.
College students or retired seniors would be ideal for this kind
of work. Make sure some of your standby drivers are able to make
overnight (or longer) trips on short notice!
Advertise your service. Wear something that will identify you and
your drivers as drivers (hat, monogrammed shirt unique colored
windbreaker, etc.) because you are serving your customers, not
Place notices in airports and depots, hospitals, nursing homes,
retirement centers, condos, or wherever there might be potential
Always stress that your drivers are safe, trained and bonded --
and that your service is available on a 24 hour basis (if you
want to thrive). Your ads should also suggest some of the
benefits of using your service -- to get them thinking "right."
For example, you might compare the cost of renting a car to drive
to a city a few hundred miles away. Compute the mileage, time,
insurance and other charges and compare that to what it would
cost to hire your service and use their own car. Your rates will
look much better when compared to renting a large car from Hertz
or Avis for a few days!
Set your rates by the hour or mile (with a minimum charge of
course) and provisions for overnight travel and return trips
(like if you deliver their car and return by bus).
For example, 25 per mile for local trips ($10 minimum); 8 for out
of town trips the same day ($25 minimum), the same for longer
trips, but with a $50 minimum plus expenses (return fare,meals,
In your consideration of this type of business, you will surely
have noticed where there is a need. This need should be
investigated thoroughly, so you can plan just what type of
service would be best, how it should be set up,, and how much you
can expect to make from it.
If you live near a large airport, you might concentrate on that
to begin with... Work out plans to offer pickup and delivery
service to commuters. If there are a lot of retired people in
your area you might want to figure how you could best serve their
needs. In either case, talk to potential customers and ask them
what they would like -- then plan accordingly.
When you and your assistants drive your customers, take extra
pains to be careful drivers. Make up a set of rules for your
drivers and make sure they understand and agree to abide by them.
Always be neat appearing, courteous and helpful. Open the door
for the customers, help ladies in and out; carry the baggage,
You can use the exercise after driving a while and these little
extras will make all the difference in the world to your
customers -- and probably ensure your success.
Startup costs for this business are very low, just a chauffeur's
and adequate insurance. Try it for a while by yourself, and when
you have learned the ropes, hire (or sign up) and train (don't
forget bonding) active and on-call employees,
The biggest advantage to commission drivers is that technically
they pay you a fee to obtain a driving job for them. They are
responsible for their own withholding and social security taxes.
Also you might check into driving cars for dealers, towing travel
trailers on trips or for dealers, and chauffeuring the owner's or
even rented motor homes on vacations (register with the RV rental
places). These jobs would not pay as well as private parties, but
might be great as well as private parties, but they might be
great to fill in between private jobs.
Perhaps the biggest possible problem area is to get the
reputation as a bad driver, although poor service would be a
Make sure any contract drivers you hire know that they are not
only expected not to cause accidents, they are expected to see
that they don't happen!
This means they must be good defensive drivers. Several large
corporations that employ drivers have a standing rule -- one
accident and you are out!
Also, don't take it for granted that your drivers can handle the
customer vehicles: be sure they are qualified to handle a manual
transmission, pull a trailer or drive a 26 foot motor home BEFORE
sending on these jobs.
Have them complete a course or at least demonstrate to you that
they can safely and professionally operate vehicles they are to
drive for YOUR CUSTOMERS!
Wouldn't this be a great business for a group of college
students! They could even provide safe (sober) drivers for party
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