Status symbols don't come much bolder than being ferried around in a chauffeur-driven car. It's a sure-fire way to let everybody know that you are somebody. Just ask Andrew Mitchell who, before resigning last week for "swearing" at Downing Street police, had put in an order for a chauffeur-driven Jaguar XF, despite most ministers making do with a Toyota Prius. His replacement Chief Whip, Sir George Young, promptly cancelled the flash car, saving the taxpayer an estimated £100,000. Mitchell never got the driver he longed for, but he should take comfort from the fact that chauffeurs, while being an enviable perk of any job, can often be more trouble than they're worth.
The hip-hop mogul was left visibly shaken after his chauffeur-driven SUV collided with another vehicle in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, writing it off. It's unlikely the rapper will change his method of transport. His son Justin even received a $360,000 (£223,000) Maybach complete with chauffeur for his 16th birthday. Don't tell Andrew.
Having a chauffeur means you have to be careful with your private conversations (and definitely no talk of "plebs"). Earlier this year, after Jennifer Lopez's former chauffeur filed a suit against the singer for being demoted, she counter-sued, claiming he had threatened to release damaging and sensitive information he had allegedly overheard unless she paid him £1.79m.
Chauffeurs can pose a security risk, too. Poor Queenie was forced to fire her chauffeur after it was alleged that he had taken a £1000 bribe from undercover reporters posing as Middle Eastern businessmen to give them a guided tour of the Queen's fleet of cars.
Although they should be handy for making a dash from curious crowds, sometimes chauffeurs are no help whatsoever. When Kate Moss returned to her car once after running errands, being trailed by paparazzi, she found her driver taking a nap on the back seat. Fortunately for him she found the whole thing rather amusing.Reuse content