While the term may refer to anybody who drives for a living, it usually implies a driver of an elegant passenger vehicle such as a horse-drawn carriage, luxury sedan, motor coach, or especially a limousine; those who operate buses or non-passenger vehicles are generally referred to as "drivers". In some countries, particularly developing nations where a ready supply of labor ensures that even the middle classes can afford domestic staff and among the wealthy, the chauffeur may simply be called the "driver".
People currently sometimes employ chauffeurs full-time to drive themselves in their own personal vehicles, yet there are also professional services offering limousines or rental cars driven by chauffeurs. This is very similar to but much more luxurious than taking a taxicab. A variety of benefits are cited for using chauffeurs, including convenience, productivity and time savings, and driving safety for business people and seniors. Insurance costs for luxury vehicles are often lower if the designated driver is a chauffeur.
The legal requirements to be a chauffeur vary depending on the local jurisdiction and class of vehicle. In some cases, a simple permit is all that is required, but in others an additional professional license is needed with certain minimum standards in areas such as: age, health, driving experience, criminal record, local geographic knowledge, training attended.
Desborough, a town in Northamptonshire, England, lying in the Ise Valley between Market Harborough and Kettering, was an industrial centre for weaving and shoe-making in the 19th century and had a long association with the Co-operative movement. Desborough today is a residential centre: new homes and industry are being developed to the north of the old town.