Young Antwerp entrepreneur launches private chauffeur service
Alternatives to traditional taxi services are emerging like mushrooms in these Uber times. The Antwerp one-man business, Driverbuddy, is taking a different approach. They drive your car instead of their own, as a personal chauffeur, and can also take on other tasks, such as washing your car, refuelling, doing an errand while waiting or go to the car inspection.
Safety is the driving force
Driverbuddy, founded in February 2017 by Ibrahim Madah, works with about twenty people, from permanent drivers and freelancers to students. “We give young people the opportunity to gain experience and to facilitate their access to the labour market”, says the entrepreneur.
“We are mainly active in Flanders and Brussels, but the intention is to deploy buddies all over the country. This is how we want to contribute to greater road safety, for example, when someone has had one too many and cannot find a Bob or designated driver.”
Ibrahim Madah has a passion for transport, but he also had a personal motivation. “During my student days, a friend crashed drunk behind the wheel”, he says. “That tragic incident has touched me enormously and led me to realize my dream: to transport people safely in their own cars. The fact that the buddies can also do all kinds of other tasks means that a considerable amount of time is saved.”
Companies are particularly interested
Driverbuddy transports about one hundred people a month. The company is aimed at both private and professional customers, but companies book 90% of the trips. Ibrahim Madah: “For companies, our services are not only practical and timesaving, but also financially interesting. The trips are considered as expenses, so they are tax deductible.”
The standard rate for Driverbuddy is 20,50 euro per hour, excluding VAT. At night and in weekends you pay a little more.