A chauffeur (also: chauffeur, female, particularly in Switzerland. Chauffeuse ) is a driver of vehicles. As a rule, however, is that only the professional leader meant by passenger vehicles (eg company car, taxi driver ). In contrast to the professional driver is not, this is a nationally recognized professional image. In Switzerland, Austria and Altbayern drivers are generally referred to as a chauffeur or handlebar; especially when public transport is spoken in these countries - unlike the rest of the German territory - not from the bus driver, but by the bus driver.

With the use of cars he is the successor of the coachman. In a narrower sense, so says the driver, who is on behalf of a person, a company or a department for the transport of persons in employment.


Etymologically, the word is borrowed from French chauffeur for heaters. The word belongs to French chauffer, which make warm in German, heating means. The French word goes back to vlat. calefare. Originally meant by the chauffeur an engineer, who has also worked as a fireman and mechanic.

Areas of responsibility in the present

The tasks of a chauffeur can be divided into three areas mainly:

  • Private chauffeur
  • Company car drivers, board riders or chief drivers
  • Chauffeur for a limousine service

In all three of these areas is part of the job description:

  • The guidance of the vehicle
  • The care of the car
  • Minor maintenance, such as cleaning, checking and topping up of lubricants, coolant and wash water

Depending on the task pane is a corresponding knowledge in the areas of appearance and manners, driving safety, personal safety and first aid appropriate.

Private chauffeur

Under private chauffeurs is defined as the personal driver of a wealthy individual. This theme was taken up in the film Miss Daisy. Depending on the personal qualifications, it is not unusual for the driver also has the role of a butler, dog runs or stands for gardening as well as errands available.

Company car drivers

Company car drivers working for companies or authorities. Company drivers who are available to the Board to be available, usually referred to as the " Board Driver ". In general, only the members of the board or the management have personal drivers. The members of the senior management is necessary, a car service is available, subject to availability at the driver can be requested. This activity of the " Board driver " is closely linked with the possibly -supplied security forces and personnel acting in the Executive Assistant.

Activity to authorities in Germany

For larger agencies, there is usually a car service. While in the past, usually the head of the supreme authorities (as well as the upper and middle authorities ) personal drivers had (so-called " chief driver" ), you went to the turn of the millennium to about, chief drivers only the heads of the executive authorities and other leaders prominent departments ( z. B. President, Chancellor, Prime Minister, Minister, President of the Federal Constitutional Court, President of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, President of Court ) allot.

The German President is given the life of this privilege.

The other Heads of Service have access to the car park. However, they are provided to use the most preferred a vehicle and a driver.

Chauffeur Limousine Services a

A rental car company (often referred to in common parlance as a limousine service ) is defined by the provision of one or more licensed to carry passengers car hire with driver ( in common parlance usually called drivers ). A major difference from the taxi industry is that the car rental with driver in advance for a driving job, and most notably for fixed person, or event is booked exclusively. Common transport are here, depending on the order type, high-class limousines or vans.

Typical areas of use of a chauffeur for a car rental company are:

  • Conducting Airport Transfers including pick up from a pre-determined pick-up location (eg terminal, hotel)
  • Transport of Veranstaltungs-/Galagästen ( shuttle service )
  • Ausflugs-/Sightseeingfahrten for tourists
  • Exclusive transport of VIP guests from politics, business, sports, music, film & television, etc.

Chauffeurs of limousine service also undertake work of a concierge (about reservation and booking restaurant tables, concert tickets, business jets ).

Working hours

The activity of the chauffeur is very time consuming. The insert may be necessary to seven days regardless of the time during the week. A working week of more than 60 hours is not uncommon. In addition to these points, absolute discretion over in the limo, office, etc. commanded seen and heard in the house.

When authorities employed drivers, the working time is limited by collective agreements at 10-12 hours for chief drivers.

Chauffeurs in professional basis passenger transport have to comply with the country-specific regulations on driving time and rest periods.