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Why it’s miles better to hire a chauffeur

Why is it that getting someone to help around the house, or in the office, is seen as nothing more than common sense, while paying someone to do the driving for you is regarded as an extravagant luxury?

You work long hours in a demanding job. Your partner may well do the same. So you have someone to help with the cleaning and ironing, someone to keep the garden in shape, someone to help with the childcare, someone to cater when you throw a party…and that is regarded as eminently sensible.

Similarly, at work, you have a PA – it goes with the job, because it’s accepted that you have better things to do than manage your diary, handle routine administrative tasks and take calls from all and sundry.

And yet the idea of occasionally hiring a chauffeur when you have a meeting up in town, a plane to catch, or a social engagement to attend, strikes most people as ridiculously exorbitant and downright ostentatious!

The more you think about this, the crazier it becomes.

Do the math

What is the value of your time? It’s hard to quantify, and everyone approaches the question from a different angle. But let’s just look at what professionals are charged out at. An experienced solicitor is charged out at between £190 to £400 an hour. An experienced accountant is charged out at anywhere between £150 and £250 an hour. Hospital consultants are often paid in the region of £250 an hour. If you are a CEO, or own the company you get paid a salary, but as you grow the business the value of your bonus and equity increases, so you are in effect paid twice – sticking a finger in the air does £200 an hour sound unreasonable?

So, every hour you spend driving yourself, or doing a journey that involves a combination of driving, parking, trains, taxi or tube, is hugely expensive. You can perform a few tasks, but you are not working at anything like full capacity, so the opportunity costs are enormous. The chauffeur option costs slightly more (but there’s not a lot in it when you look at fuel, parking, train fares, taxis and so on!) but the net return on investment is at least £100 an hour, and probably a lot more.

It’s smart to take time out

Looking at it another way, there are only so many hours a day you can operate at peak performance. Taking a few hours out to sleep, read a magazine, listen to music, or just turn a particular problem over in your mind without constant interruption, is not time wasted – if it enables you to be sharper when it matters, more logical when clear leadership is required, and more creative when everyone else has run out of ideas, that “down time” can prove utterly invaluable.

So, in purely pragmatic and logical terms paying a professional chauffeur to drive you to appointments or airports is not an indulgence, or a “nice to have” – it’s a much more cost effective use of your time.

Life’s too short

But let’s flip it around one more time. A recent article in the Economist, entitled Buy buy love, suggest that even if travelling in chauffeur driven luxury limousine is a pure indulgence, then it’s still worth it! Two academics have recently produced a report which suggests that the most rewarding way to spend your money is not on material possessions – the pleasure soon wears off. They demonstrate, by using various techniques of behavioural research, that you get more “happiness bang for your buck” if you splash out on experiences.

Just going up to town in a limousine is a pleasurable experience – and why should you begrudge yourself that? What’s more, it gives you the opportunity to add further rewarding experiences. Instead of heading straight back to Paddington you could meet friends or colleagues for a few drinks and a meal. A number of museums are open in the evening, or you could take in a show. Or why not travel up with your partner? They can do whatever they fancy during the day then you can enjoy an evening on the town together – investing in your relationship is a lot cheaper, in time and money, than divorce!

So keep the cleaner, the gardener, the cook, the handyman, the nanny, the PA….and add a chauffeur too!

My clients say you are always very friendly and helpful and that you offer an impeccable service.

Delia Bas Mataix

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