What is the Proper Etiquette with a Limo Driver?
For those who have never ridden in a limousine there may be some awkwardness when it comes to proper etiquette regarding interaction and acceptable behavior with the driver. While common sense is the best arbiter of behavior, there are few things to keep in mind when being chauffeured.
Basic Etiquette for Every Limo Scenario
- First, and foremost, remember that the relationship between drivers and passengers is a professional one and courtesy rules the day. While drivers may engage in a few pleasantries, do not expect them to engage in extended conversations unless you initiate it.
- When entering or exiting the vehicle, it is the driver’s responsibility to open the door. It is expected, so allow him or her to perform this task. The only exception to this is if the building (usually a hotel or restaurant) has someone at the door who assumes this responsibility.
- If you are being met at the airport, the driver will be holding a placard signaling whom he or she is there to drive. Simply walk up to the driver and identify yourself. Allow the driver to carry your bags and to load them into the limousine.
- Let the driver know the seating arrangements or the titles of any additional passengers. There is a protocol to seating and the driver is responsible for seeing that each passenger is properly located.
- If you will need to make additional stops that are not in the original itinerary, let your driver know before he or she begins driving.
- If you are with a group of people and out for an evening of fun, control your behavior around the driver and do not put him or her in an awkward or compromising position.
- Never ask the driver to exceed the speed limit or do anything that is illegal or unethical. You are putting his or her license and livelihood at risk.
- When the service has ended, gather any trash that has accumulated and dispose of it. Other than dirt or dust that may get tracked in, leave the vehicle as neat and clean as when you first entered.
The Etiquette of Tipping
If the service is as expected, twenty percent of the total charge is standard. However, make sure it has not already been included in the bill (some companies have begun doing this to make the transaction easier for the passenger). This does not preclude you from offering something extra if the service warrants. In this case, cash is the accepted form.
If the vehicle had problems, do not hold that against the driver – he or she can only drive the vehicle issued – take it up with the company. Base the tip on driver service, not the vehicle. If you feel the driver does not warrant a gratuity, speak directly with management and explain the reason you did not tip. This provides an opportunity to correct any problems and mitigates any hard feelings or misunderstandings.
When the time comes to finally take your first ride in a limousine, relax and enjoy the experience. Trust in the expertise of the drivers and treat them as the professionals that they are.