Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Choosing the Right Limo Company

One of the many things you will have to consider for your wedding day is how you plan on getting from point A to point B throughout that day. Many couples use a limo as oppose to the family car to get them to the ceremony location and reception. But do you really need a limo? Take into account how many people you are going to have in the vehicle. If you'll be traveling with a small group, you may want to hire a town car instead. On the other hand many brides like to travel with their maids. In which case, you may want to hire a stretch limousine. In any event, consider the amount of space you need before you get the biggest limo on the lot.

Also, there are some things you should to consider before making that decision – if you don't hire a reliable company, you might not get to your event at all. To reduce the risk of a no-show, or getting poor service, or not getting what you expected, check out the limousine service before hiring them!. First and foremost you must decide what type of limo you are looking to rent (traditional stretch limo or specialty limo), the length of time you need it for, and how much you are willing to spend.

Here are some things to consider and look for when shopping for a limo:

DO NOT BOOK THE CHEAPEST LIMO!
While some shoppers tend to always search online to find the best deals, don't choose your Limo based on price alone. Because most Limo Companies are small businesses, the price you pay may reflect on what you get.

ASK FOR A CONTRACT
A reputable company will happily agree to provide you with a written contract. Also, keep a copy of the contract you sign. The contract should include the following:
  • Year, make, model and color of the limo you selected
  • Pickup time, drop off time and itinerary for that day
  • Rates, including the percentage of gratuity and any other miscellaneous charges etc.
  • Deposit and cancellation fees
  • Company's liability in the event of breakdowns, no show, etc.
  • Overtime fees (if there are any)
Most reputable companies will have no problem including any of this information in the contract. The contract should also contain the written rules and regulations such as no smoking, drinking, etc. Any violations of their rules will most likely lead to immediate termination of their services. Also, beware that as the signing party, you are liable for any damage to the Limo.

ASK TO SEE THE LIMO
Insist on seeing the actual car that will be transporting you. If you don't have time to go and visit the Limousine Company's showroom personally, ask the company to email you photo(s) of their limo(s) or other vehicles. To make sure you get a top quality car, consider writing down the license plate of the car you've been shown, be sure to check the year, make, model as well as the amenities inside the limousine and include that in your written contract. This will ensure that you will not end up getting some old rundown limousine.

ASK FOR OPERATING AUTHORITY
Limousine companies are required to carry both state and federal operating authorities. Ask your prospective company if they are licensed to operate in your state.

ASK FOR INSURANCE
All Limousine companies must carry a minimum amount of commercial liability insurance, depending on their operating state. Ask your prospective company to fax you a copy of their Certificate of Coverage.

CHECK FOR PAST COMPLAINTS
Check with your local Better Business Bureau about past complaints about the prospective Limo Company. You can locate your local BBB office at http://lookup.bbb.org/

ASK FOR REFERENCES
A ask others you know if they can recommend a service they have used, or ask the company for their most recent references of past performances. Hearing from recently satisfied customers will lend truth to the prospective limo company.

CHECK MEMBERSHIPS
Inquire about the prospective limousine company's associations with organizations such as the National Limousine Association www.limo.org and their local state livery association. A company that is a member of a recognized association must abide by certain code of ethics, thus reducing their chance of providing inadequate service.

ASK ABOUT CHAUFFEUR SCREENING
Inquire about the company's policy of hiring chauffeurs and the screening process. Make sure the company's chauffeurs are familiar with the service area so that you don't end up wasting unnecessary time while their chauffeur gets lost.

HOURLY MINIMUMS
A ask about the Limo company's hourly minimums and how they calculate their time.

RATES
Again, do not choose a company because they are less expensive. You will most likely hear horror stories from couples, parents and students that have all made this mistake. Inquire about all the rates involved, including gratuity and any other miscellaneous fees. Rates vary based on area of service.

PROVIDE THE ITINERARY IN ADVANCE
Provide the Limo Company with a written itinerary, of all the pickup and drop off locations. Most companies will require this information in advance and ask for advance notice of any changes.

OTHER OPTIONS
Some couples like to arrive in one-of-a-kind style. There are other specialty limo's available for your wedding day needs such as sports cars, vintage automobiles, double-decker bus even a horse-drawn carriage, etc.

REMINDERS:
  • Remember to book as early as possible to get what you want. If you are booking a limo for a wedding, you should start your limo search 3-6 months in advance. This will ensure that you get that dates and service that you want.
  • Find a service that specializes in weddings or larger events as opposed to simply transportation if that's why you're hiring the limo.
  • When deciding what type of limo to rent, make sure that the company you are interested in actually owns that type of limo, and is not using a second company.
  • Use a company that has a good reputation for being on time.
  • Keep you special event special by checking out the limo service before hiring it.
Reference: http://www.alltimefavorites.com/

2 comments:

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