VTC: Private driver services in France

PRESENTATION

vtc-chauffeur-priveVTC (Voiture de Tourisme avec chauffeur = chauffeur driven cars) providers offer transport for individuals, which means for a maximum of 8 passengers, either for “public service” transport (under the control of “organising authorities”) or for “occasional services” (private transport) discussed here.
The “VTC” in “occasional services” work with tour operators, travel agencies and other private clients for occasional services (tourism, events, transfers).

Their trips are carried out from their pick up areas to any point in French territory and border countries.

The benefits :

  • Personalised service
  • Their range of vehicles and services

THE PROFESSION

carte-vtc-page-1The “VTC” companies (chauffeur driven cars) must hold a “national transportation license” (Carte professionnelle de conducteur de Voiture de Transport avec Chauffeur).

These companies offer 2 types of services:

  • Tours for individuals or groups that return travelers to their original location and for which each place is sold separately.
  • Single journey

The driver must hold a category B driver’s license and a Prefectoral attestation issued after his/her physical assessment. He/She must have onboard a copy of the national transportation license.
These companies must of course be subscribed to an insurance for transporting passengers in return for payment.

RESERVATION AND PRICE

Regulations require an advance booking by the client with the company.

The VTC regulation does not specify any determined prices, therefore the prices can vary following the provider. Companies are therefore free to quote their services and prices as part of the reservation contract with the client.

THE VEHICLE

For a “VTC” provider, the cars must have:

  • Between 4 et 9 seats, driver included,
  • Less than 6 years (except collection cars),
  • At least 4 doors,
  • Minimum overall dimensions: 4,50 m x 1,70 m,
  • An engine having a net power or equal to 84 kW.

La Grande Remise: a bit of history

gr-oldLa Grande Remise is a very old profession which originated in the 17th century, during the infancy of King Louis XIV. It was when drivers parked the largest carriages awaiting their masters. More contemporary, the Grande Remise activity is the provision of chauffeur-driven cars (cars called “premium”), and this, only to order and for a defined destination. The job does not simply refer a limousine driver, or a “chauffeur” for example, which is under contract with a single employer for which it is available every day (except its leaves), like any employee.

The name “Grande Remise” dates back to that time: drivers who were in the service of the King and his Court were waiting outside the Louvre and this created (already) traffic problems around the castle. It was decided to make them wait inside the enclosure in which discounts were dedicated to them.
Depending on the size of their coach and the quality of their passengers, some drivers had access to the “Grande Remise”, the others waited in the “Petite Remise”.

limousine-chrysler

Until the end of 2009, these two terms have coexisted to denote different types of vehicles hired with drivers. Since then, the “Grande Remise” is called “Touring Cars Operation Chauffeur”.

The “Grande Remise” was regulated by a decree of July 1955 (prefectural 1966 for Paris). It was under the supervision of the Ministry of Tourism.
Grande Remise activity was to provide the customer to order a “high end” vehicle 5 to 9 seats at the chauffeur.
The limousines were plated with a “GR” and they could only take a customer order and drive to a destination.
The drivers were holding a specific professional license. “This license is no longer issued since 1 January 2010, date of entry under the Development Act and modernization of Tourism Services and the application of Article 20 of Decree No. 2009-1650 which reformed business and introduces the operating Touring Car with Driver.

The licenses of Grande Remise ceased to exist on 23 July 2012.

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