Choosing a limousine service can be a daunting task. Your special event needs some stylish transportation, but you don’t want to end up with a shady driver or dingy limousine. How do you know you’re not being overcharged, and what happens if the driver is late? Do you get a refund? There are several things to consider when choosing a limousine service.
Check References and Reviews
The best places to start are review sites, blogs and reviews listed on their own website. See what other people are saying about them. Don’t stick to just one source – a lot of companies tend to hire people to post good reviews to boost their traffic and sales, so make sure you’re looking at the full scope of reviews. The first review may be five stars, but if you stop there, you might not see the list of one star reviews on the next page. Yelp, Angie’s List and Yellowpages usually have a wide variety of company and service reviews.
Refer a Friend
Do you know someone who has used a limousine service before, or do they know someone? Word of mouth is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to choose or eliminate a limousine service from consideration. For example, let’s say your friend had a bad experience with a limousine service when they went to prom, arranged for airport limousine transportation or perhaps you have a niece who had the time of her life for her 16th birthday riding in a limo. Take those people’s experiences and weigh them against what kind of experience you want to have. After all, these are the people you trust most to give you an honest opinion.
Browse Their Selection of Models/Vehicle Types
According to Angie’s List, the average number of limousine vehicle types is around five. These can be the classic stretch limousine, an SUV model, or even a Mercedes. Limousine design has come a long way since the days of Hollywood movie stars and Red Carpet fashion. You can get anything from a Hummer limousine to buses and trolleys depending on what you’re in the mood for. The number of vehicles they have available matters too. You can’t very well get the vehicle model you want if there are very limited numbers, so make sure their fleet is a size that can accommodate your needs.
Money isn’t everything, but you need to consider cost when renting a limousine for yourself or someone else. Some services can be pretty high priced, especially if you add on any bonuses like chilled champagne in the back or a movie night for friends. That being said, don’t go immediately for the one with the lowest price. These are most likely the companies that are desperate for customers because of their bad service. If you find a cheap limousine that has spectacular quality, great! Let us know where we can find them because we’re pretty sure they don’t exist. Make sure you get a quote for the total cost when price-checking. The base rate usually has other fees tacked on to it when the bill comes your way.
Look at the Business’ History
This is an important consideration for many reasons, one of them being reliability and accountability. You should do some homework and see how long the company has been around. You don’t need to pick one that’s been around for fifty years just because of the length of time, but a good track record with experienced drivers is your best bet for a safe and comfortable ride. Newer companies with experienced staff can also be good choices, so long as you check into all of the other factors to be sure. You don’t want to pay a fortune for a driver who can barely navigate the streets of the city you’re in.
Check Their Safety Record
Nothing says “bad experience” like one where your driver or their vehicles are unqualified to be on the roads. You have a right to know the company’s safety record and vehicle history, as well as the hiring process for drivers. Companies that can’t inform you on these points are not worth your time; if they don’t have the information, it means that they don’t have a good safety record and can’t track their vehicles’ history. The same is true of the drivers. Your chauffeur should have gone through special training that will allow them to provide you with a safe, fun experience. If you don’t feel safe with a particular vehicle or driver, don’t hire them. You’re better safe than sorry.
Investigate In Person
Don’t just take the company’s word for it – go to the location you plan to hire from and see their product for yourself. It’s embarrassing and awkward to have a broken down limo arrive at your door when the website showed a shiny Mercedes, and it’s also completely dishonest and unprofessional. Check to see that their vehicles are well cared for and that they have insurance. You need to ask about registration numbers as well; any credible business will be registered, and having this number will help in the process of checking their history and background. Once you’ve checked off the list of considerations, you can choose your limousine service with the peace of mind you deserve.