What is “Livery Service”

A Historical Overview



What is Livery Service?

Over hundreds of years, the term livery has acquired different meanings. The term is derived from the French word “livree” which means “handed over.” Essentially, it can mean a uniform, symbol or insignia that a person wears or is painted on an object or vehicle. The French term signified a relationship between the owner of a livery and the people who wore the livery who can be a servant or a friend.

In modern usage, the word livery can be applied to a variety of things. In London, the term livery company can apply to a guild whose members dress their servants based on their trade. It can also be applied to horse-drawn carriages and vehicles that are used to promote a brand.

But today, the most familiar use of the term livery, especially in the United States and in Canada, is in livery service or livery vehicle. Livery vehicles refer to vehicles for hire, which include taxis and limousines. Note that the term does not include other vehicles for hire that are driven by the customer.

Although livery predates the inventions of the automobile and harks back to the time of horse-drawn carriages, today, livery service has been associated mostly with limousine companies that offer their vehicles and the services of their chauffeurs for hire for a wide variety of occasions.

And although livery service may sound like a fancy phrase, most limousine services have veered away from exclusivity by making these services more accessible to the general public. Indeed, many will still associate limousines with celebrities, high-level business executives and other VIPs.

However, limousines now cater to a diverse set of clients, including brides and grooms, teens going to the prom, attendees of bachelor / bachelorette parties and more. Limo companies now even offer their services for airport travel and as an alternative to taking a taxi or driving one’s own vehicle. And with the prices of these services being comparable to (if not more cost-effective than) your other options, renting a limo may often be the better option.

Indeed, limousines still convey the image of luxury and elegance. But more importantly, livery service is all about that: service. Couple that topnotch service with safety and convenience and you will understand the evolution of the word livery. Don’t let the seemingly fancy term fool you. Book a limo for special occasions or make the simplest occasions more meaningful by hiring a limousine chauffeured by professional and courteous drivers.

 

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