Being able to order things by app is just one of modern technology’s lovely little conveniences. From pizzas to private jets, you can tap into an infinite number of luxuries. Well now there’s another one to add to your Travel folder right now (come on, we’ve all got one).
Wheely, the luxury ride-hailing service, allows you to book on-demand or even pre-book a chauffeur in a beautiful Mercedes-Benz car through the app. First launched in Zurich in 2012, the good news is that it’s finally brought its gold standards to London. The bad news? It depends on how you look at it, but once you travel like this, you might not want to go back (or get out of the car).
More than just an app, Wheely was originally created as a solution for picky passengers who were not just used to the high levels of a classic chauffeur service but also at the cutting edge of technology. Wheely took the best of both worlds and came up with a rigorous accreditation process for chauffeurs that involves tests on both London’s geography and VIP etiquette standards.
And you really will feel like a VIP. Your chauffeur will meet you wearing a smart suit. He’ll open the door for you, help you with your luggage and check your preferences on the route, cabin temperature and music. According to the company standards, chauffeurs will also wait for 20 minutes before making contact with you and won’t initiate a conversation. If you request an airport pick-up in advance, your chauffeur will meet you at Arrivals and escort you to your car.
While Wheely does not employ any drivers – all candidates are either self-employed or work for small transportation companies – all of the partners are handpicked and Wheely checks quality on an ongoing basis.
As for the vehicles themselves, Wheely only offers journeys in luxury and executive cars, using Mercedes-Benz E, S and V-class in black or silver – and all without any branding. Oh, and the cars are never more than 3 years old. Some other nice little extras that help set Wheely apart are the lack of surge pricing, flat rates for airport transfers and 24/7 support available in-app or on the phone.
As the company says, for Wheely, “guaranteeing quality is the most important thing.” Rather than focusing solely on the software and development of the app, it’s this fine-tuning of the real-life experience which has helped to establish a strong base of regular, happy clients, as opposed to one-off users. Also available in Moscow, the app will launch in Paris next year with an aim of rolling out in the world’s 30 largest cities over the next five years.
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