The acronym VTC stands for "Véhicule de Tourisme avec Chauffeur"or "Voiture de Transport avec Chauffeur". We often hear people talk about the VTC profession, but it's better to say VTC Driver. If you're planning to become one, find out all you need to know here.
What is a VTC driver?
The law defines VTC drivers as "operators who provide their customers with one or more chauffeur-driven transport vehicles, under conditions agreed in advance between the parties"(Article L3122-1 of the French Transport Code).
In practice, the VTC driver activity is defined according to 2 conditions.
- Passenger transport: VTC vehicles may not have more than 9 seats. If this is not the case, the operator falls into the category of heavy passenger transport, which requires a specific transport capacity.
- Fixing pick-up conditions in advance: a VTC driver cannot pick up a customer unexpectedly. The route and fare must be agreed in advance.
VTC, cabs, LOTI: what are the differences?
The arrival of VTC platforms in France has turned the transport market upside down, especially in cities where cabs had a monopoly. Cab drivers' anger at this change prompted the government to establish strict regulations around the passenger transport professions, so that everyone could find their place and their account.
VTC or Taxi?
The main difference between the cab driver and the VTC driver lies in the second part of the definition of the VTC profession. The fact that the terms of the pick-up contract have to be defined in advance contrasts with the ability of cabs to "marauder". A cab driver is hailed by his customer and picks him up at a moment's notice, whereas a VTC driver knows in advance where and at what time he is to pick him up. He also knows where his customers will be arriving.
To fill his schedule, the VTC driver has only 2 options:
- develop a portfolio of customers, for example by building partnerships with hotels or companies
- register with a VTC booking platform, such asUber
The cab license also gives the driver the privilege of driving on bus lanes. Where VTC drivers have to abide by the same rules as all other motorists, cabs can save time.
VTC or LOTI?
Like the VTC driver, the LOTI driver is a private chauffeur who must be booked. The difference between these two professions lies in the type of transport provided. A VTC is designed for individual pick-up and must not exceed 9 seats. On the other hand, a LOTI driver carries out collective trips, which means he or she must transport at least 2 people. However, the LOTI operator is also a light carrier. Like the VTC, they can carry no more than 9 people (including the driver). The advantage of the LOTI is that it can charge by the seat rather than by the trip. In addition, LOTI drivers can use bus lanes if they have the necessary badge.
Although the two professions are very similar, the Grandguillaume law has prohibited LOTI capacitaires from accessing the VTC chauffeur profession. Thus, since January 2018, it is no longer possible for transport capacitaires to be registered as VTCs in conurbations with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
In a nutshell
|Traffic on the bus lane
|At the race
|At the race
How do I become a VTC driver?
To become a VTC driver, you need a VTC professional card issued by the prefecture. How does it work? In addition to the relatively simple initial requirements (age of majority, driving license held for over 3 years, no criminal record), there are a number of specific steps to follow.
Passing the VTC exam
To work as a VTC driver, you need a professional driver's license. To do this, you must first pass the VTC exam. This exam comprises 7 theoretical modules and a practical test. You can take the exam yourself, but to be well prepared and increase your chances of passing, we strongly recommend that you take a VTC training course at an approved center.
Since the reform of the Grandguillaume law, the examination no longer takes place at the prefecture, but at the CMA (Chambre des Métiers et de l'Artisanat).
Obtaining a business card
Once you've passed the exam, apply for your professional card at your local prefecture, or at the police prefecture if you live in Paris. In addition to passing the exam, you must also meet the following conditions to obtain your card: - you must have held a "B" driving license for at least 3 years (or 2 years in the case of accompanied driving) - you must have taken the PSC1 "prevention and civic aid level 1" course within the last two years - you must undergo a medical examination by an approved doctor.
Registering your company
To start your business, you'll need to choose a legal status. You can opt for a sole proprietorship (microentreprise, EI, EIRL) or a company (EURL, SASU, SAS, SARL for example). The majority of VTC drivers work as autoentreprise or SASU.
You don't have to be self-employed; you can also choose to be an employee. Please note, however, that just because you are an employee of a VTC company does not mean that you do not need a license.
Obtaining your VTC license
Once your company is registered, you can register with the VTC directory by post or online on the Ministry of Transport website. Registration costs €170 and must be renewed every 5 years.
Each time you renew your license, you must also complete a 14-hour training course at an approved training center. Once your registration has been validated, you can print out the red badge that identifies VTC drivers, then affix it to the front and rear of your vehicle before starting your new activity.
How do you manage your VTC micro-business?
Once you've created your status, it's not always easy to manage the constraints of the business. Calculating the profitability of errands, issuing invoices, managing sales... it's easy to get lost.
But don't panic, there are effective applications to help you with your day-to-day management. Such is the case withUp Drive. This platform, devised by former trainers in business creation and management, has been specifically designed to meet the needs of VTC drivers.
It offers 3 main functions:
- A cost calculator : which allows you to establish the budget for a trip based on expenses (fuel, car maintenance, etc.).
- An editor for quotes, booking forms and invoices: perfectly suited to the constraints of the sector (notably theban on scalping).
- Dashboard : to monitor sales and profits generated
In short, the perfect application to help VTC drivers save time (less paperwork), money (clear revenue tracking) and ensure the sustainability of their business. Want to find out more? Visit the website of our partner Up Drive.