BLACK CAR SERVICES VS. LIMOUSINE RENTALS: A POINT BY POINT COMPARISON
The black car services are a relatively new business model in the corporate transportation niche. While their purpose is to rival the better established limousine rental companies, in most cases they end up falling short of that goal. In the following guide, we’ll conduct an evaluation of how well your typical black car service performs by comparison to an average professional limo rental company, on the critical aspects. Take note that no particular firm is advertised here, but rather we’d like to help you decide which options best suits your corporate transportation needs.
For limousine services, repeat and referral is the business model of choice. Therefore, if they cannot deliver the requested services in a niche dedicated to the well-endowed customers and receive recommendations, then limo rental businesses go bankrupt relatively fast due to high expenses invested. In order to survive, only vehicles that can provide the necessary amenities and chauffeurs with an extensive experience and can get the job done are employed. To ensure that everything goes according to the customer’s desire, booking a limousine ahead of time is mandatory.
Black car services on the other hand, supply considerably less expensive services – midrange between a cab and a limo – and don’t require reservations. In fact, you can probably hail one at the airport. There’s generally no guarantee of efficiency because they do not rely on repeat and referral business. Think of them as a luxury taxi service that promises to deliver a bit better conditions than your average cab.
All serious limo rental services perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle’s interior, exterior, engine and sensitive components. Vehicles in their fleet spend a significant amount of time in maintenance to ensure that they are suitable for an important client’s business meeting. This constitutes another reason why you should book one in advance, if you are keen on a specific model.
Black car services fall short once more. No one is responsible for ensuring that the seating is clean or that the automobile has received its regular maintenance and it’s not at risk of breaking down on the way. Naturally, it’s in the driver’s best interest to verify potential shortcomings, but he’s not under the same pressure as a chauffeur because repeated business doesn’t constitute his main source of income.
3. Personnel/Client relations
As previously mentioned, limousine rental services advise booking a vehicle in advance and their customer representatives are always happy to walk you through the procedure and the available models, customization options, etc. Why? Because they want you to employ their services again on your next business trip! The same applies for the chauffeurs, who are the direct representatives of the company. A key difference between a driver and a chauffeur is that the latter is also responsible for tending to your personal needs, such as booking dinner reservations, recommending suitable entertainment, etc. Are you starting to see a pattern here?
You should expect a black car driver to be a little more courteous than a cab driver, but that’s where it stops. All that can be asked is to take you from point A to point B as fast as possible. There is also the matter of discretion involved.
While limousine chauffeurs are familiar with the tact necessary when dealing with corporate clients or celebrities and their contract binds them from disclosing any compromising information, the same cannot be expected by a black car service driver. There have been cases when the location and time of arrival of a celebrity was disclosed to the paparazzi on the ride from the airport and when sensitive information regarding a company’s strategic moves was leaked to a competitor. If you value privacy, you’ll opt for an established limousine rental company.