How much do celebrity chauffeurs make?

The average salary of a chauffeur in the UK is £21,450 per year or £11 per hour. Entry-level positions start at £19,403 per year, while more experienced workers earn up to £34,828 per year. These drivers are often at the upper end of the earning category thanks to specialist qualifications, such as defensive driving, as shown in the BBC drama The Bodyguard. Fox Business wrote that many people trying to become famous chauffeurs may experience a “job shock”.

It's common to see actors, models and businessmen driving flashy and elegant cars, but it's not so common to see a celebrity driving a cheap junk. Wunstel, who most recently worked as a senior conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, recalls how a wealthy Saudi businessman he drove through San Francisco and the Napa Valley wine region challenged this. Initially hired by a high-end limousine company to chauffeur movie stars, rock groups and Hollywood moguls to entertainment events including the Golden Globes and the Oscars, she soon discovered that the business was all-consuming, with some jobs lasting up to 17 hours. Gerold Wunstel, a chauffeur who has driven European government ministers in his native Germany and Hollywood stars in Los Angeles during his 24-year career, says those new to the business can be carried away by his proximity to VIP customers.

One of EG's chauffeurs, Manny Qorrolli, says a typical day in London could start at 2 in the afternoon and could involve shopping on New Bond Street and Harrods for up to three hours each, going to a Mayfair restaurant and then to a shisha bar on Edgware Road until around midnight. Royal chauffeur from Gulf states, such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, is much more demanding, he says, with some customers sending lists of up to 50 criteria that their chauffeurs must meet, covering their dress and grooming. The annual salary of personal chauffeurs for executives and super-rich families in London ranges from £35,000 to £60,000, according to Irving Scott, a luxury domestic staffing agency. Harvey Weinstein's former chauffeur also made public the allegations about his former employer, saying the disgraced tycoon had sex in the back of his car with a woman who begged the producer “not to hurt her (Weinstein has denied the allegations).

I'm also much more careful in a car now, because I know the driver could be timing everything I say or do. Here's a look at the life of a chauffeur, what their job really is and how much they get paid for their efforts. A driver, even if he is not an expert in the design of each city, can probably get out of a better predicament than many celebrities. But the demands of his celebrity clients paled compared to those of the Saudi royalty Larson worked for after driving for a couple of months.

Anna Leblanc
Anna Leblanc

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