How To Choose A Great Limo Service
Finding a good limo service can be tricky. With so many companies and cars to choose from, how do you pick the right one? We know it may seem confusing, but by asking a few simple questions, you can find a company that best meets your needs. Below are some important considerations to help you choose the limo service that allows you have a great experience.
Determine if the company is properly licensed. Every limousine company operating in Maryland/Washington DC/Virginia should have a carrier authority license number.
Determine if the company is adequately insured for commercial business. Every car should have commercial vehicle insurance. This insurance can range from $500,000 to $5 million or more.
Determine the number of cars the company has in its fleet. This is not a predictor of quality, but gives you more insight to the types of services the company will provide and level of personalization. In general, small companies typically offer more personalized service than larger companies and will focus on specialized service offerings. Larger companies may have a greater variety of vehicles and could offer a wider range of services from airport pick-ups/drop-offs to special events such as proms but their services may be more standardized.
By law, a limo company must follow state mandates when they hire chauffeurs. These include completing criminal background checks, ensuring the chauffeur maintain a good driving history and performing random substance abuse testing. For larger vehicles, the driver must undergo medical screening by an authorized Department of Transportation (DOT) physician and possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
Standard Billing Practices
Pricing – While pricing for taxis, shuttles and other forms of ground transportation may be based on mileage or number of passengers, pricing for limo services are standardly based on the hours of use. Some exceptions do apply, such as flat rate pricing for an airport drop-off or pick-up.
Minimums – Limo prices typically include a minimum charge for 4 to 5 hours of use. This means that regardless of the time you actually use the limo, the price will be based on a minimum of 4 to 5 hours. During special events or holiday, this minimum could be as high as 6 hours.
Travel Time – Many companies charge from the time a limo leaves the garage to the time it returns. The time from the garage to the pick-up location and the time from the drop-off location to the garage is called “travel time.” In order to simplify billing, most companies just add an extra hour to account for this time.
Gratuity – Gratuity is optional and usually at customer's discretion.
Tolls – Any charge incurred during a trip for tolls is usually added to the bill and not included in the original quote. This is primarily because toll rates can vary based on the route taken or time of day taken.
Weekday vs. Weekend – Just like hotel rooms, limo rates are based on seasonal and daily demand.
Overages – An overage occurs when a limo goes over its reserved time. Most companies will charge by the hour for continued use of the vehicle during this time of overage.