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App based car services have a place, but don’t assume they’re the answer to all your transport needs

Why would you trust an inexperienced driver to drive your most valued colleagues?

Executives are an asset of your company. They need to be taken care of so they can deliver. This support isn’t only at the office and during meetings, but around work, and when they’re getting from A-to-B. From the airport to the boardroom, to the working lunch to the networking event. Executives need us to seamlessly hold the strings of their day up so they can deliver as and when there is need.

Getting from A-to-B is what enables our best colleagues to do their job. We need to deliver so they can. But how do you choose your ride? How do you truly know whose hands your executives are safest in? Those making a car booking for them have a duty of care to ensure these executives, and all other passengers, are safe. Can safety be assured every time from every provider of rides?

You must be wondering what I mean. It wouldn’t surprise me if your safety isn’t the first thing you consider when you grab a cab via a popular app. Your demands are simple and few: get me there, and take me now, perhaps. But have you considered at what cost we are resorting to the fast food of rides? We have become so obsessed with expedience that we’re forgetting our other needs.

I'm not entirely putting down 'on-demand' ride apps; they have their place. They have been helpful in supplementing people’s income. They can be summoned at short notice. It may seem that these qualities fulfil your needs from your driver and your ride, and yet this is precisely what I want to enlighten you about. There is more to concern yourself with: safety. Safety, and ethics.

I'm referring to the professionalism of your driver - the driver of your executives. Your company’s best. The CEO or COO of the company is an important asset. They must be driven by, at the very least, suitably competent chauffeurs. Senior executives must be entrusted to full-time chauffeurs, and not part-time drivers - chauffeurs who know how to maintain their vehicle, and know the roads. A chauffeur who prioritises safety. A driver who understands the needs of your executive, and getting them where they need to be in as little fuss as possible.

How do I know safety and integrity are compromised by drivers on ride apps? Well, picture it: a parent outside Tesco’s needs a ride home after doing the weekly shop. They didn’t pre-plan this; they were just going to walk home from the station, and take something out of the freezer for dinner. But here they are, bags in hand, fatigued from their work day, and wanting a snappy out. They take out their phone, tap, tap, tap, and 10 minutes later their car has arrived. OK, it's not the cleanest, or freshest smelling, but you get what you pay for. You’re in the car, and you notice more. Your driver has deviated from the suggested route - ‘Oh, I know this area, the traffic is very bad here, there’s a faster route…’, and suddenly your ETA has changed dramatically. Ever wondered why your app ride shows up and behaves like this? Ever waited in worry about the notification email letting you know that, actually, you’ve been invoiced a good deal more than the original estimate?

Let me enlighten you. These apps have driven prices artificially low. The app convinces you of low prices, but makes no promises of them. The company fleeces the drivers of a huge portion of their earnings, and what’s left? Little. Little for the driver who needs to make ends meet. More than you might realise comes out of the driver’s pocket. The app company wins, again. It’s not sustainable. The drivers can’t sustain the standard that the ride app sells you. Something has to give. Inevitably, shortcuts are taken. Drivers resort to substandard. They hasten their driving for shorter rides so they can do more, and hope to earn more - quantity over quality. They have found ways of manipulating a system that doesn’t care about them. Through no fault of their own, they’ve started forgetting about you whilst they have been forgotten.

At Blackwing, we have an ethos that ensures all our people are taken care of. Your executive coming to London for a meeting. Our chauffeurs. Our chauffeurs are valued by us, and they know it. They feel their value working with us. They want to deliver. They do deliver. They deliver so your staff deliver. You deliver.

The best chauffeurs are here at Blackwing. At Blackwing, we are here to serve your most valuable assets: your staff. And we do exactly the same with our own: we take care of our most valuable assets so they deliver.

Every time.