What does “Livery” mean?

I am not surprised that many people are not familiar with the term “livery”.  I had never heard of it prior to being involved in the limousine business.  The word itself has a few different meanings but the context of automobiles it is actually the proper term for chauffeured transportation.  The term pre-dates automobiles and extends back to when a horse drawn carriage was dispatched from a livery stable to fetch certain people and transport them.

From reference.com:

A business that offers vehicles, such as automobiles or boats, for hire.

From Wikipedia:

A “livery vehicle” remains a legal term of art in the U.S. for a vehicle for hire, such as a taxicab or chauffered limousine, but excluding a rented vehicle driven by the renter. In some jurisdictions a “livery vehicle” covers vehicles that carry up to seven passengers, but not more, thus including a jitney but excluding an omnibus or motorcoach. This usage stems from the hackney cabs or coaches that could be provided by a livery stable. By extension, Canada has many businesses offering canoe livery.

The full story is here – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livery

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