It's spring as party season is kicking into high gear.
Meanwhile, limousine services' phones are ringing off the hook with calls from prom dates and bridal parties looking for sleek looking wheels to get them to the dance hall or church in style, and on time.
Whether you're hiring a limo for a prom, wedding, a bachelor party or bachelorette party, before you make a final decision take a tip from the experts on how best to hire a limo without getting taken for a ride:
Like all great party planning, don't leave the details to the last minute. Take your time and shop around for the best limo at the best price your can afford.
Word to the wise: When it comes to limo hire, cheapest is usually not the best. Would you entrust cheap, fly-by-night operation to move your precious belongings? The same rule applies to limousine companies and their performance as they safely whisk you and your prom or bridal party from point A to B.
First, check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against your prospective limo company like no-shows, dirty interiors, or rude drivers.
If you have the time, make a personal visit to the company garage to kick the tires and inspect the cars they have in their lineup. Do they actually have that stretch Hummer limo they advertise? What about the amenities they feature such as a bar, TV, moon roof or any other features you would like included?
Next, ask for references directly from the company representative so that you can call or e-mail other customers about their experiences. Was the driver on time? Did they drive safely? Were they polite & courteous? And, finally, did they know where they were going or did they need detailed directions?
While most reputable professional limousine services will want a detailed itinerary from you anyway, don't sit back and get comfortable just yet. There have been nightmare scenarios reported about drivers not really knowing the best route to a party or wedding - leading to panic, anger and disgruntled guests - before the party ever started. So always have the directions written down, just in case.
Finally, READ THE CONTRACT before you sign it to avoid any unpleasant surprises later, or pay extra for costs already included (like the tip, for example.) If a tip is NOT included, the rule of thumb is to give your driver 15% to 20% of the total fare. Of course, that figure can be adjusted depending upon your experiences with the driver and the company. Hopefully, and with a bit of planning, it will be a happy one.
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