Being a Rolls Royce Phantom Chauffeur doesn’t seem like too bad of a gig at first glance. The job requirements seem pretty simple on paper, getting to drive around in the most luxurious car in the world with some VIPs in the back seat, maybe even the occasional celebrity. Doesn’t sound too shabby to me.
Except, in reality, there’s actually a lot of careful thought and work that goes into being a good chauffeur, especially the sort that drives around the movers and shakers of the world in the back of a car they paid a lot of money to be in. In this recent article from Autocar, we get a glimpse into the life of a high-end chauffeur in a Rolls Royce Phantom.
Etiquette and manners are incredibly important for a chauffeur. There’s nuance to the job that outsiders wouldn’t know unless they’ve done it. For instance, the driver must open the rear door with his/her right hand and keep his/her left hand behind their back, ready to grab any luggage the passenger might have. Then, the rear door must only be closed electrically, using the Phantom’s power close doors, without physically shutting the door.
Once inside, the driver must make sure the temperature is correct and comfortable for the passenger, ask what sort of music they’d prefer and then ask for the destination and a possible desired route. All passengers must also arrive fifteen minutes early and making them late to a meeting is never acceptable.
The driver must also take care not to jolt the passenger around. So braking needs to be done gently and the driver must always keep a healthy distance between them and the car in front, so if the car in front were to stop short, the Rolls would still have enough time to brake gradually, without upsetting the rear passenger.
It’s interesting stuff. Admittedly, these are the rules for one chauffeur service but they seem like the sorts of rules all chauffeur services would have for that level of clientele. It’s a pretty fascinating article and shows that there’s a lot more that goes into driving around the world’s VI-est of Ps.