Important things to keep in mind when hiring a driver for your car

Check his residence and commute situation and see if its realistic that he’ll be able to pull the hours and reporting time you need.

BHPian AdityaH recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Dear all,

We own a 2013 Vento 1.6 P Comfortline and we require a driver as my father isn’t comfortable driving anymore. We have always had a company provided vehicle.

Now I am planning to hire a driver for their car. What are the things I should install to ensure that the car is driven properly? Any tips or advice on finding a good driver?

I will be needing the driver in Mumbai around Belapur. If anyone has any good recommendations please let me know.

Thank you.


Here’s what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

Pre hiring:

  • Check number of years of driving. I’m generally not too hot on people who have a very new license and very few years of driving. Check his driving history as well. Very often, people who’ve driven cabs or generic drivers for office pool cars can tend to be hard on the cars, specially if their jobs involve ferrying different employees. These are of course watch areas – not necessary this will hold true.
  • Take a trial, if needed even for 2 – 3 days (on a daily driver paid basis of course). My approach is not to say anything about how I like my cars to be driven but instead observe what are his natural tendencies. I recently tried a driver who was VERY hard on the car (wouldn’t slow down for anything), and was even WAY too fast on narrow slum occupied roads with small children walking around as is usually the case. Massive red flag.
  • Ask headline questions up front of what is important to you. For instance, smokers and paan masala users are a NO GO for me. I just can’t tolerate the smell of either even if they’ve consumed this while they’re waiting while on duty. These are addictions and habits that are unlikely to change.
  • Check his residence and commute situation and see if its realistic that he’ll be able to pull the hours and reporting time you need.
  • Awareness of routes in your typical driving areas is handy to know.
  • How tech savvy is he. Depending on your needs, a driver’s ability to send location pin, use Google maps with ease etc can be quite handy.
  • Check personal hygiene to the extent important to you. I like neatly turned out drivers and if needed, am happy to assist with some reasonable clothing allowance as well periodically.

At hiring:

  • Get copies of all IDs including driving license, proof of address etc.
  • Get all commercial terms written down if needed and pre-agreed. Including holidays, bonus, overtime, outstation etc.
  • Let him regardless be on probation for a month. Its easy to fluff your way through a few days of driving but natural driving style is hard to camouflage over a month long period.

Post hiring:

  • A dash cam is handy if the costs are justified, as is a car tracker.
  • Its a good habit to ask them to maintain a daily log of hours spent (specially if overtime is involved, also to track leave, provide details of petty cash expenses etc.)
  • I prefer to top up fuel etc myself, while I’m in the car but some folks maintain fuel logs as well.
  • Most of all, treat them well, treat them with generosity. They also have long, hard days and I feel over a period of time, they’re the one person from staff who you’d end up spending a lot of time with while being driven. Always useful to have a healthy personal equation where you tend on the side of giving more rather than less on any aspect of your interpersonal interaction.

Here’s what BHPian dicor had to say on the matter:

My driver drives for pleasure, not because it’s a job. This means if driving does not involve fun, he will choose to quit. He won’t slow down on bumps, he likes to brake and then accelerate during overtakes.

Despite coaching and mentoring a lot, I realized it was not even worth spending time on this guy because of his natural tendency to drive hard.

@Axe77 has covered everything.

I have a few more things to add.

Pre hiring:

  • His knowledge of recognizing components.
  • His basic troubleshooting skills.

Other aspects:

  • What if he does not meet your expectation? What is your plan to deal with the situation? Managing an employee is also a very hectic job.

Once you have hired a driver, this thread may be useful for you.

Here’s what BHPian anjan_c2007 had to say on the matter:

An apt topic as conditions at certain times make it essential to engage a driver. Most of the points are covered in the earlier posts. A few from me here as suggestions:

After getting details of his identity through documents please check up with the respective traffic police for his past traffic offences, if any. Though very rare, some could have criminal records that could be checked up with the respective police authorities. These are available online for the police in most locations.

Get your car’s fuel consumption calibrated by an accredited workshop and get a document on their letterhead. This can be shown and the driver told that the car consumes this much fuel. We have had government drivers who delivered in the range of 3-9 kms kmpl (of petrol) on govt jeeps with Hurricane engines, 7-10 kmpl on Mahindra MD 2350 diesels and 8-10 kmpl on the Peugeot 540DP and the XD3P engines. For petrol Ambassadors it was a cool 9-11 kmpl for the OHV and later 9-10 kmpl for the ISZ 1800. The Bolero (XD3P engines then) and Ambassador drivers were sane and were allocated duties as such for senior officials.

Back to the topic after meandering as I usually do, would admit that there are some private drivers who also pilfer fuel.

Next please check the clutch for play on a regular basis as these folks drive a lot with their left foot on the clutch pedal but don’t realise their folly.

Also brakes and A. C. need checks from time to time. Many of the drivers and solely depend on brakes as their saviour. And as regards the AC, many prefer to keep the car’s engine on and so also the AC, while the passenger goes for his errand somewhere on a warm day. The driver is in the car with its engine and AC on.

And quite a few of them are music fans. The music system is played and maybe odd music is blared that the is not music to the passenger’s ears. The driver can be forewarned about it.

Please note the date till which the driver’s driving license is valid. At times they are oblivious about it and hence need to be reminded.

Lastly a law point. We follow the ancient British law of “Master and Servant”,where the master is liable for the acts of his servant. Hence, any negligent act/s by him while undertaking his driving chores that results into liabilities for the employer shall be borne by the employer. Acts like drinking and driving and other such unlawful acts usually end up with punishment for the driver. But in case if accidents and so on the liability in most cases is fixed upon the owner.

Here’s what BHPian Blackwing had to say on the matter:

Some tips from experience:

  • Should know English, as many traffic signs in NCR are in English only.
  • Discuss the traffic fines liability.
  • Ask not to post car pictures online.
  • Not to keep the car running(AC, radio, etc.) while parked for longer periods.
  • Discuss the food situation upfront(office mess or self).
  • Also don’t let the driver drive alone for at least the first month.
  • Teach a few basic car maintenance(all fluid level check, filter cleaning, etc.).

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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