How to start Car Service Business to make money for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
Description of Job
• Provide scheduled pickup and transportation for clients.
• Meet clients at airports and cruise terminals.
• Provide scheduled service for nonemergency medical transportation, weddings,
proms, and special events.
• Requires rental, lease, or purchase of appropriate vehicle.
Sometimes it makes a lot of sense to leave the driving to others.
If you’re heading for the airport, you might prefer to leave your personal car
home in the garage instead of at an airport lot; it might be less expensive, too. You
can also save some time on early morning departures, and there is the comforting
luxury of knowing someone is waiting to meet you at baggage claim when you
arrive back home.
Older people without their own transportation can rely on a car service to
deliver them and pick them up from doctor’s appointments. Parents can relax (a
bit) on prom night and other special occasions knowing that a professional driver
and safe car is on call to transport their children.
A car service is not a taxi service; in most jurisdictions, you need a special permit
to pick up customers who flag you down on the street. You will need to limit
your business to responding to reserved appointments and to telephoned requests
In most states, you will need a chauffeur’s license or endorsement to your
personal driver’s license. The vehicle may need to be registered as a limousine or
commercial vehicle. Your insurance company will require full coverage of your
vehicle for commercial use.
Depending on your clientele—and by extension the price range you plan to
charge—you will need a clean, well-maintained, and spacious vehicle. You don’t
need a Cadillac limousine for ordinary car service jobs, but your 1994 Ford
Escort with fuzzy dice hanging from the windshield and dents in the passengerside
front door just won’t do.
You will need to have a flexible schedule, especially if you will be accepting
jobs picking up clients at airports; if a plane is several hours late, you will have
to wait around for your incoming customer or arrange for another service to take
your job. (For that reason, some car services do not accept airport pickups or
limit the amount of time they will wait for a delayed flight.)
If you will be operating the car service on a part-time basis, you may be able
to use the vehicle for other purposes. Be sure to consult your accountant about
proper record keeping for mixed use of a business asset.
Know the Territory
Assess the market by working backward: Where do people need to travel? Is
there much traffic from your area to an airport or a bus terminal? Is there steady
business to area hospitals and doctors? Are there businesses in the area that might
dispatch employees for air travel regularly?
Before you purchase a vehicle, research its cost of operation (gas mileage,
maintenance, and depreciation) and determine its capital cost. Your business plan
should be based on reasonable estimates of the number of jobs you can expect
and cash flow you will receive.
How to Get Started
Place flyers and ads in community centers, schools, and retail stores. Advertise
your service in newspapers and shopping guides.
Make contact with the travel planner for companies in your area. List your
services with business associations and in newsletters.
Establish contacts at local senior citizen centers, hospitals, and doctors’
offices who may recommend your services to clients.
You will need a clean, reliable sedan or small van. Other expenses include a commercial
or limousine driver’s license, appropriate vehicle plates, and commercial
Some localities require car services to obtain a permit, and you may need to
pay for the right to pick up or drop off passengers at airports, convention centers,
and other government-owned or -licensed facilities.
You will also need a cell phone to accept bookings while you are on the road,
to call airlines to check on schedules, and to keep in touch with clients who may
call to advise you of delays.
How Much to Charge
Most car services charge an hourly rate for transportation around town, generally
in the range of $35 to $50 per hour for a sedan or minivan; limousines may
charge $80 to $100 per hour. Calculate your hourly rate on the basis of the operating
cost for the vehicle plus fixed expenses such as licenses, insurance, and a
profit for your time.
Services also commonly offer fixed rates from a particular region to an airport,
bus terminal, or other popular destination.
Some services charge for time spent waiting for delayed flights, lengthy doctors’
office appointments, and so on.
Customers must pay any tolls and entrance fees. It is also customary for customers
to give a gratuity, usually about 15 percent.
Regular accounts are usually given a discount on hourly rates or a percentage
off the monthly bill for service above a certain level.
Legal and Insurance Issues
Special notes: An insurance agent can counsel you about commercial vehicle
insurance and liability coverage.
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