It sounds simple. All you have to do is book a car to Heathrow Airport, organise transfers on arrival at the foreign destination and then make sure that all your travellers get to every meeting in their jam-packed itinerary without a hitch.
Organising the most appropriate ground transportation supplier for your company can be straightforward, but to get the best value and the best travel experience from your service provider, you need to find out a bit more information. So, here are a few helpful pointers on what you need to do to make sure your travellers have the smoothest ride possible.
1. Choose the best supplier for your needs
Before choosing your ground transportation provider, think carefully about the services that you need. Consider everything from whether you need a short notice ‘on demand’ taxi or a pre-booked service to what geographical coverage you need. Are your passengers travelling within London, going on to Manchester or are they jetting off around the world?
Once that’s decided, you should think about what vehicles you need. How many people are travelling? Will there be a lot of luggage? Are they going to be carting golf clubs around? These factors will all impact your vehicle choice.
Finally, consider the types of places where your passengers will be going. Will they need transfers? Or will they want a personal chauffeur for the day so they can dart from meeting to meeting? Answering all of these questions will help to pin down the best ground transport supplier for your needs.
2. Get value for money
In the current economic climate, businesses are continually looking for ways to save money and get the best deal. Ultimately though, in ground transport, you get what you pay for and the cheapest service is rarely the best. It might be easy to choose the lowest price, but remember your company has a corporate responsibility to the person that’s travelling. Also, if someone misses a flight or is delayed for an important meeting, the cost implication could be much larger than paying a little bit more for high quality transport.
If you need an international service, check that your service provider operates in all the countries on your itinerary. Make sure their local chauffeurs have been carefully selected and can speak English. We recommend you do your homework on the area of travel. For example, if your travellers are going somewhere with potential security risks (such as Brazil), ask your supplier what security procedures they have in place. You should also always check your provider’s safety record and insurance details to ensure they have ample coverage in case an accident does happen.
You should always be confident that your supplier will be able to cope with any problem that’s thrown at them. It’s essential you can get hold of them around the clock, so make sure they give you a dedicated point of contact.
Understanding the local area and customs can help make a stressful journey that little bit better. Using a meet-and-greet service in Jakarta airport, for example, will make sure that your traveller doesn’t get lost in the airport’s tricky layout and stop them getting waylaid by long queues at customs – your traveller will definitely appreciate you saving them three hours in a queue after a 15-hour flight!
6. Know what cars you’ll be getting
This may sound obvious, but ask what cars are available. Be aware that chauffeur vehicles vary in different countries and you may find that unusual choices are the local norm. Knowing this information will allow you to manage your travellers’ expectations – that way, when they get a Hyundai instead of a Mercedes S-Class, they’ll understand why! Also, again, consider at this point the number of passengers and amount of luggage they will have – would it be better to have a Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV)?
Ask what policies are in place. Do all chauffeurs hold a valid private hire licence where required? Check the provider has adequate insurance and carries out a thorough screening process for all their chauffeurs. You might also want to find out about their training programmes – a well-trained chauffeur will provide your traveller with first-class customer care, a higher level of accident prevention and better vehicle safety.
8. Find out how you book
Can you book 24/7 by telephone, email or online? Also, if you are managing expenses and payments for travel, find out if your supplier can supply invoices from around the world in GBP. If they can, you can save yourself loads of time and you won’t have to manage any international payments and exchange rates.
That covers most of what you need to know about choosing the best ground transportation service. Thanks for taking the time to read our article. If you have any questions, please contact me on the details below.
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Tristar’s market leading chauffeur service offers you exceptional quality and outstanding reliability. Whether you need a chauffeur transfer to the airport, as directed or transport for a meeting or event, we can help.
We are one of the world’s leading ground transport providers with a fleet of over 500 vehicles, offices in London, Manchester, Boston, New York and Hong Kong and affiliates in more than 80 countries. Globally, we transport over 1500 people a day with a 99%+ on-time success rate.
Please note: Some of the content discussed in this article was covered in PA Life Magazine issue 17.