As a member-driver of South India by Car and Driver I fully agree to respect and support this Drivers’ Charter and to apply the principles defensive driving included its annex.
In addition, I have adopted and am formally committed to the respect of my roles set out in the procedures for each of the five major stages of our relations with our customers.
- I am a professional owner-driver specialised in accompanying guests on tours in South India. My livelihood depends on customer satisfaction.
- I am in this business because I enjoy what I do. I enjoy meeting people, hosting and looking after them and showing them some of Incredible India, its beauty, heritage, culture and originality.
- I have several years experience in tourism and of places to go and places to visit, but also of places to avoid.
- I can communicate in English.
- I am legally licensed to carry tourists, which includes issues of moral behaviour and requires the absence of a criminal record and an accident record.
- In addition to my driving licence, I have had training as a “defensive driver”.
- My car will be maintained in excellent condition, properly serviced, with good tyres. As a rule, I will clean the car inside and out at least every other day.
- My car is non-smoking. For smokers I will make stops on request.
- I never recommend places that I have not experienced but remain open to clients’ choices.
- I never accept commissions from places that my guests visit.
- I strive to make my guests happy, and if they are happy, I am happy.
- To make my customers happy.
- To take my guests on tours in South India and show them its beauty, its wonderful heritage, its fascinating culture and its originality in the safety and comfort they seek.
- To achieve an outstanding service that clients will happily recommend to others.
- To recognise that travellers are individuals, not cattle to herd in and out of sites, and to cater for their differences.
- To treat customers as my guests and maintain the friendly approach of our family owned business.
- To provide uncompromising personalised service at all stages of my relations with our clients.
- To help customers compose their itinerary, select places to visit and choose places to stay.
- To facilitate a value for money, totally satisfactory and hassle-free holiday adapted to the interests, personality and budget of the customer.
- To remain reliable, honest, experienced, friendly, competent and knowledgeable and dedicated to quality and customer satisfaction.
- To keep up-to-date on things that might affect the itinerary such as road conditions, weather forecasts and evolutions on sites to be visited, etc.
- To further improve based on customer feedback and evaluations.
- I will accompany my guests according to the predefined itinerary as per the contract with South India by Car and Driver.
- I will meet my guests at the starting point of their tour and leave them at its end. If they arrive by air, I will pick them up/drop them off at the airport at any time of day and night.
- I will ensure their safety and comfort at all times and aim for optimum return for the money they spend and the time they have available.
- I will endeavour to do everything possible to achieve their satisfaction.
- I will look after my guests without their privacy getting infringed.
- I will be available for assistance 24h/7. I will provide an Indian mobile telephone to facilitate contacts when needed during and after visits and in the case of emergencies.
- My hours are flexible, but must remain reasonable for health and safety reasons.
- I will contribute to the planning stage in order to give my personal opinion and suggestions. In this way I can imagine the trip and suggest improvements. This will avoid misunderstandings and false promises and when the guests arrive I will know what they are looking for and why.
- I will provide a floral welcome upon arrival and water and fruit. I will provide a 50cl bottle of water for each guest each day.
- I will encourage my guests to communicate openly with me during the trip to the extent they desire. At the beginning, I will go over the programme with them and discuss the style and pace in which they wish to cover it and the level of adventure they seek. At the outset of each day, I will go over the plan for the day.
- I will be happy to discuss with them and answer questions they may have on all subjects within my scope. I am not a tour guide and my primary role is to drive my guests safely, smoothly and comfortably. However, I do have knowledge, experience and enthusiasm that I enjoy sharing.
- Upon arrival at each site to be visited I will give general information. I will show the guests where I will be parked and take them to the entrance or ticket counter and, if they wish, will help them find a site guide. I am not allowed to enter the sites myself. I will look after luggage and belongings in the car. If necessary, they can contact me on the Indian mobile phone.
- At the end of each day’s programme I will take my guests to the planned accommodation and I will be on time in front of their accommodation the following day.
- When special bookings have been included in the programme, I will take my guests there and collect them when they have finished.
- At their request, I will suggest restaurants for lunch or dinner and take them there and collect them afterwards. I will do likewise, at their request, for shops, markets, artisanal manufacturers, etc. Also at their request, I will take them to an ATM where they can withdraw cash with their card.
- I will never receive commission from places I take my guests to.
- If I or my car become unavailable due to an unexpected event, I will immediately notify the backoffice who will find a replacement.
- During the trip I will have regular contact with the backoffice to report that it is going to plan.
- Towards the end of the trip, I will ask the guests to complete a questionnaire and return it to me sealed in the envelope provided. I will pass this on unopened for treatment by the backoffice.
- The price is determined by the backoffice for the services indicated in the contract, including fuel, road and ferry tolls, interstate taxes, parking and taxes that I will disburse.
- If the guests request a service not included in the contract, I will give them a quote applying the company standard tariff and receive their payment in cash.
- I will arrange my own food and accommodation.
- I will receive payments from the customer in cash according to his contract.
- I will accept with pleasure the customary gratuity at the end of the trip.
© 2017 South India by Car and Driver
ANNEX : Defensive Driving
Defensive driving requires disciplined driving plus expecting the unexpected.
To do this you must have a vehicle in good condition, protect yourself and your passengers properly and drive safely and in control at all times according to road and weather conditions.
Below are tips for defensive driving.
Keeping your vehicle in good condition
- Have the vehicle serviced by professionals according to the handbook.
- Regularly check the vehicle’s condition particularly the brakes, tyre pressures, lights, horn, screen wipers and the clutch.
- Keep it clean to ensure the efficiency of external equipment such as lights, windows, screen wipers and mirrors.
- Respect default indicators on the dashboard, listen out for possible problems.
- Before starting the vehicle for the day, check the vehicle’s condition.
Protecting yourself and your passengers
- Don’t start the engine without fastening your seat belt and keep it fastened until you leave the car.
- Ensure that passengers fasten their seat belts too.
- Keep children in the rear seat only.
- Never drive if you are impaired by lack of sleep or being under the influence.
Driving safely and in control
- Expect the unexpected and plan ahead.
- When starting from parked place watch out, signal and then proceed.
- Follow the rules of the road.
- Give way to pedestrians at pedestrian crossings.
- Restrict speed according to traffic conditions.
- Signal your intentions clearly and well in advance and follow traffic signals correctly.
- Leave space to escape dangerous situations.
- Slow down, especially during poor weather conditions or at night.
- Always respect speed limits.
- Remember that braking distance increases steeply with speed.
- Be cautious and drive slowly in school zones (40km speed) or when children are at bus stops or walking to school.
- Concentrate on your driving at all times and keep a watchful eye on pedestrians and animals along the roadside.
- Be alert and avoid distractions such as mobile phone use, eating, reading, reaching to find something in the car or turning to talk.
- Check your mirrors frequently.
- Don’t contest the right of way or try to race another car.
- Do not turn abruptly and don’t take chances.
- Be respectful of other road users.
- Do not overtake on bends, bridges, junctions, pedestrian crossing, school zones and in places where signs or lines on the road forbid it.
- Overtake only on the right.
- Stop at junctions without overrunning the lines.
- Stop at traffic signal even when green turns to amber and do not proceed until it turns green.
- At traffic lights and in traffic hold ups stay in queue without overtaking.
- Dip and dim your light while driving in night to prevent accident arising out of dazzling others.
- Horn only when you must.
- Do not expect the other driver to do what you think he or she should do.
- Anticipate and make allowance for mistakes of other users.
- Assume that other drivers will run through stop signs or red lights and be prepared to react.
- Exhibit patience, cooperation and courtesy to all road users.