With an ever increasing array of vehicles available for luxury transportation, which do you pick when you need to shuttle a VIP from the airport or around town?

A black car is a catch all term for sedans used in the transportation for hire business and they bridge the gap between a cab and a limousine. A black car does not have to be black, they can be, and often are white, gray, or on rare occasion, another color. Black ads a touch of class and is still the color of choice – and should be yours. We will use the term black car to refer to a sedan used specifically to transport people for hire.

The Lincoln Town Car used to be the standard, and is still the most widely used vehicle for livery service, but that is quickly changing as transportation companies upgrade their fleets. These are the companies you need to have on your speed dial. Beside your standard Lincoln Town Car, newer black cars available are the Mercedes Benz 550, The Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet 300, and a selection of SUV’s – most notably the Cadillac Esplanade and Chevrolet Suburban.

Rule number 1: Never put a VIP into a cab if a black car is available.

Rule number 2: Always make sure a black car is available.

Most black cars will seat two people comfortably. When transporting VIP’s, forget practical or economical –comfort is key. Many black car sedans are advertised to seat three or even four. I have, in fact, squeezed four people into a Lincoln Town Car – one sitting beside the driver – but that was a gaggle of colleagues on our way to drinks and laughs, not a valuable VIP whose signature on the bottom line I am trying to wrangle.

Rule #3: never put a VIP next to a driver.

Rule #4: when it comes to VIP’s, no more than 2 to a car and only then if they know each other and are heading to the same location.

Limousines come in as many styles as there are cars, as most any vehicle can be converted into a stretch limousine – and has. There are stretch Hummers, stretch Ford Pickups, stretch International Trucks as well as stretch antiques. Then you have your stretch classics such as Rolls Royce’s and Bentley’s. For our purposes – transporting VIPs – we will stick to the basics, and save these exotics for weddings and bachelorette parties. Show your class by sending a gleaming, black 4 to 10 passenger stretch limousine – it clearly states I appreciate you, respect you and I want your business. Of course, sponsoring an exotic for Mr. Big’s daughter’s wedding is a classy touch sure to be appreciated.The standard stretch is perfect for longer drives where business is to be discussed, their opposing seats make an impromptu pitch seem seamless, even enjoyable.

It is customary to have liquor available in a Limo – but save the imbibing for after work – unless your guest leads. In that case, it is the epitome of class to have researched his/her drinks of choice – preferably a bourbon or scotch that requires little to no mixing. Save the demonstration of your bartending skills for the basement bar.

Business people admire other business people who make good decisions and picking the right vehicle for the occasion is just that – a good business decision. Steer away from flashy or gaudy – the tricked out Cadillac Esplanade with mirrored windows and 20″ wheels – leave that for the rap stars – unless, of course, your VIP is a rap star. Never hesitate to go along for the ride when transporting a VIP – unless he/she already has company. The time you sacrificed will always be noted, and the ride to the hotel or airport can be the perfect time to seal the deal.

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