10 Tips for Private Driver Tours

Download: 10 Tips for Private Driver Tours


1. Driver Terminology

When you hear the word chauffeur do you think of a luxury only available to a privileged few? How about a private driver? Is this someone hired primarily to get you from point A to point B?

Everyone has different definitions of chauffeur and private driver (and different impressions of the associated job responsibilities). Here at Tenon – just to keep everyone on the same page – we’re going to combine these terms and have them mean one and the same:
Private Chauffeur Driver Guide.

Door-to-Door Transfer vs. Private Chauffeur Driver Guide
A door-to-door transfer is exactly that. You can hire a driver to pick you up at point A to take you to point B. With a service like this the driver is not a licensed guide to provide you with information regarding sites, history or stories during your transfer.

If you hire a Private Chauffeur Driver, they will get you from point A to point D, with stops at point B & C along the way while they are also providing you guidance as to where you are and what you’re seeing.


2. Private Chauffeur Driver Guide

Go ahead, ask. You wouldn’t be the first, nor the last. Yes, they do speak English in Ireland and the rest of the UK. We don’t promise you won’t get tripped up on the Irish, Scottish or English accent along the way, but at least you’ll understand most of the tips & stories your driver is sharing during your trip.

Private Driver Guides are also great resources for restaurant suggestions, the best driving routes, local secrets, history, current events, ideal times to visit attractions & more – do you get that when renting a car and venturing off into the countryside alone? Nope.

3. Advantages

Want to take that last shot of Irish whiskey at the pub? Did you have a few too many Black ‘n Black’s? Don’t fret! You may have a hangover, but you won’t have to drive. Roll a sweatshirt up for a pillow and let your private driver get you to your next destination.

Did you see a tree on the side of the road with ribbons on it & wonder what it was all about? I’m sure your driver will know and be able to fill out in on the story of Irish fairy trees.
Don’t worry about driving on the opposite side of the road, don’t worry about directions, don’t worry about missing an important piece of history… the main advantage here is you don’t have to worry! Sit back and relax while your chauffeur driver takes care of all of that.


4. Hired Time

When hiring a private driver your rate is based on 8 hours of transferring and touring. Please note that this is 8 consecutive hours and legally this is all that is allowed in Ireland and Scotland. Once you have utilized your 8 hours for the day, the drivers cannot then be at your beck and call to, let’s say, pick you up from the pub at 1am. Chauffeur drivers are also limited to 7 consecutive days of traveling. A relief driver may be required for periods longer than 8 hours or 7 days.

You will also need to account for the travel time it may take a driver to reach you or return home at the start and/or end of your tour. This may require an additional day or overnight for the driver to be included in your quote.

5. Itinerary Planning

A great way to create a personalized and memorable vacation is to have a knowledgeable guide to be with you throughout the trip and assist you if there are questions and/or concerns. If planning to spend your vacation with a private driver you will need to have an
idea of what you would like to do and where you would like to go each day. Leaving some time open for flexibility and to take your day as it comes is also important.

6. Distances, Driving Time & Punctuality

You’ll need a rough idea of where you want to go and what you want to do ahead of time so that we can help you determine if it is even possible within the 8 hour time limits and EU mileage constraints. Though an online map or gps may tell you something is 4 hours away, the roads and travel time in Ireland and the UK differ from estimated travel times you may experience in the US or Canada. Chauffeur drivers are also under restraints in regards to how long they can travel in one stretch, and they must factor in required break times. For legal purposes drivers are either required to keep a log book and/or their vehicles may have also electronic monitoring.

You will be disappointed if you create a wish list for touring only to show up for your vacation and find out you must cut it in half based on the time you have planned for your trip. When preparing ahead of time you’ll be able to adjust your itinerary if needed or get suggestions on how you can make the majority of your wish list possible.

Lastly, be punctual! If you start late (don’t keep hitting snooze) or take longer than expected at a certain site or attraction your clock is still ticking. If you have a strict schedule planned for the day, enough delays and your entire schedule will be thrown off and you may have to miss some places on your wish list. Again, building in some flexibility to your schedule will help allow for these unforeseen time issues.

7. Inclusions

When quoted for a vacation with a private driver your price will include a vehicle large enough for your group and your luggage. You will also be covered for fuel, tolls (unless otherwise stated) as well as accommodation and meals for your driver.
Space allotted for luggage is based upon one standard suitcase and carry-on bag for each person. If you or your group, like myself, are over packers then you must inform us ahead of time so we can quote a larger vehicle or you’ll need to figure out how to travel with the extra bags or even hire another car just to transport the luggage.
Please note, the standard dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9″ x 14″ x 22″ including handles and wheels. The standard dimensions for a checked bag are 27″ x 21″ x 14″.

8. Vehicles

Tenon Tours works with multiple chauffeur partners in order to make sure we can fulfill your request to the best of our ability. Your chauffeur company and driver will be selected at the discretion of Tenon Tours based on availability, your itinerary request and your start & end location. Vehicle types may differ from partner to partner, but as a guideline the vehicle fleet options can include these luxury options:


9. Budgeting

Prices vary based on group size, vehicles needed, travel season, trip length & more, but to provide you with a general idea of how much hiring a private chauffeur driver in Ireland and the UK is please use the guideline below:

For a week vacation (7 days/6-nights) including a driver and vehicle, standard hotel (3-star), breakfast & attraction admissions, you would need to budget a minimum of approximately:

2-4 travelers: $3,500-$2,750 per person
5-9 travelers: $2,500-$2,000 per person
10-24 travelers: $1,750-$1,500 per person
25+ travelers: $1,000+ per person

Remember, this is just a guideline. High season, exchange rates, type of accommodations and any other customized requests can increase the average price. Once we have all the details of your request we can personalize your quote for you including a mix of accommodations between B&B’s, Manor Homes, Hotels & Castles.

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10. Tipping

Tip is not included, but suggested based on the level of service you receive. Tipping is always at your discretion; please refer to our tipping guide online for customary suggestions.

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