Steve Cotter, the founder of Canberra-based luxury chauffeur service Executive Drivers, is better known to clients as Driver Steve.
He chauffeurs overseas dignitaries, businesspeople and celebrities around the nation’s capital, and describes himself as a butler on wheels.
“It’s one man, one car and lots of white hair,” he says.
The former Commonwealth car driver started Executive Drivers in 2013 because he wanted to deliver a level of chauffeuring excellence that he says wasn’t available in Canberra at the time.
Customers are provided with fresh chilled bottled water, a range of daily newspapers and even a chocolate box, which Steve says is particularly popular with clients late at night. On the day we speak, Steve has also prepared colouring books, crayons and a Dumbo DVD for his next client, an international guest with three children in tow.
“It’s the little things that make a difference to the driving experience,” he says.
Steve is a highly trained and skilled driver. He worked as a Commonwealth car driver between 2011 and 2013, chauffeuring Commonwealth ministers, senators and high court justices. He is also the only driver in Canberra with an Aviation Security Identification Card, which under escorted access, allows him to park on the airport’s apron without further supervision. When a client lands in Canberra in a private jet, Steve meets them in his silver Holden Caprice, number plate H1, on the tarmac.
With a background in risk management, ministerial security and defence, Steve lists trustworthiness and integrity as two of his finest traits.
“I say I suffer from driver amnesia. People tell me lots of things, but I just can’t remember any of it.”
While Steve’s client list includes embassies, government agencies, Lockheed Martin and AMEX, he says you don’t need to be a high-flying executive or celebrity to enjoy an Executive Drivers experience.
“Many of my clients are ordinary folk who want a quality luxury chauffeur,” he says.
“They might need a driver to pick them up and take them home from a nice dinner, or for someone to pick them up from the airport after a trip away. The last thing you want in that situation is for the taxi to not turn up. My clients know that if they make a booking, I’ll be there without fail.”
With great service and competitive prices (a trip from the airport to the city or Parliament house costs $60, while a five-hour private Canberra region wine tour for up to four people will set you back $320—an offer that Steve says has “gone ballistic” in recent months), it is no surprise that Steve’s services are in demand.
Founder of Canberra-based home and community care agency All About Care, Cara Hade, is just one of Executive Drivers’ satisfied customers.
“I’ve been using the excellent chauffeur services of Driver Steve from Executive Drivers for over eight months. I chose to engage Steve’s chauffeur services instead of a taxi because I am guaranteed to be driven safely and comfortably to where I need to be. Driver Steve is reliable and dedicated to each and every one of his clients with his old world manners in a modern man. Whatever you need, Driver Steve has it on board his stylish Holden Caprice,” she says.
To find out more about Executive Drivers or to book your next luxury chauffeur experience, call Driver Steve on 0419 041 910 or visit www.executivedrivers.com.au.