Getting the right limo often depends on the type of occasion, number of people, number of hours you'll need and how far you're going. Most companies will need to know if this is for a wedding, concert, prom, birthday party or maybe an anniversary - and they often specialize in certain events to deliver the best possible experience. The more details you can provide, the better the value and service you'll receive.
Typically limousine companies charge based on the type of event. Events are typically as follows: Airport, Weddings, Nights Out, Birthday Parties, City or Wine Tours, Day Trips, Concerts, Proms, Client Meetings and Special Events. All limousine companies have hourly minimums on Friday and Saturday nights.
Most companies charge by the hour, so it is important to decide how many hours you will need.
This can affect what type of vehicle you can ride in. You want to make sure that you rent a limousine that's large enough to cater to all of your guests so they don't end up looking like they've been stacked inside a sushi roll.
Here are all the types of vehicles available:
The best service at the best price: Not all limousine services are equal. Price should not be the only factor in your search. Much like renting a hotel, different price points often mean different service levels. It good to have a budget determined ahead of time, but also know what type of experience you want.
Often times, the right vehicle can make all the difference - a stretch Hummer for your next bachelor party or a classic Town car L for riding off in style from the wedding. Ensure the vehicle you're getting has the space, features and look for your next event. Try to book a vehicle that has room for at least one to two more people than are in your party. Some companies provide music (radio or satellite radio), so ask in advance or be prepared to take your iPod or a mix CD with enough music to last the whole ride. Also ask about features like the seating arrangement and luggage capacity for large group vehicles. Not sure which is the best ride for you? Check out our Limo Pricing Guide for vehicle details.
The most important thing to consider when booking a limo is safety for yourself and your party. Legitimate limo companies need to be registered with their state (US only), have the proper levels of insurance and be properly licensed. Never book a limo with a company that can't promptly show you their licensing and insurance credentials - don't take chances.
Think about all the details of your ride experience. we have ice and bottle water is already in the limo . Do you have a preferred route for your ride? What stops would you like to make? Providing these details to your chosen limo service provider will help them meet your needs - for the right price.
Always make sure you are checking prices apples-to-apples between services. Each limousine company will generally have their own unique pricing policies. Most companies offer services priced by the hour - but may also offer flat/guaranteed rates for airport rides or sometimes all-inclusive packages. Pay attention to "add on's" like fuel surcharges or other services fees not included in the base price. FYI, it is customary to tip drivers 18-20% of the base price. Most companies automatically charge a driver tip, while some leave it to the customer to decide. Be sure you get the full price up front when weighing your options.
A package is often the best choice for special occasions like weddings, concerts, prom, sporting events or other ride types with a predictable start and end time. Packages will generally provide a set number of hours in a vehicle that fits your party size and event for a fixed, all-inclusive price. Some companies offer packages for every type of service and most give substantial "bulk rate" price breaks.
Start searching well before you need your limo. For wedding limos, some people book 12-18 months in advance. Other events, like proms, are best to book a limo a few months in advance. In general, it is best to start looking 3-4 weeks before your event. After you've selected the right limo service provider, get confirmation in writing. For special occasions, it's generally a good idea to contact your limo service provider a week before the event, just to ensure everything is confirmed. It is best to call 2-4 weeks in advance of the reservation. Now, do some research. Google "Vehicle Type, Your City" for example, "8-passenger limousine,Buford Ga" Then look at the company websites to confirm the companies have your desired vehicle. Look in the phone book and decide on an additional few companies.
On your special night, it is important that the company is responsive to your requests. Call each name on the list and get quotes from each. Be sure to ask for rates including gratuity, cancellation fees, how much for an extra hour and their TCP number (State license to be a licensed transport). Ask what the vehicles come with (alcohol, music, passes to clubs, etc.)
For most people, price is not as important as service, so don't automatically choose the lowest rate, you might end up with an 80's limo and a driver in jeans and a t-shirt.
When booking make sure to get a copy of the contract and reservation, confirmation/reservation number, as well as their cancellation policy in writing/email. Make sure to confirm the out the door price that will be charged to your credit card.
Be sure to verify that the routing is correct and that there is a driver scheduled. Be sure to ask if they are going to farm out your run.(A "Farm-out" means that they are selling your reservation to another company at a profit). If they tell you of their intention to farm out, either tell them not to do so, or ask for details of the other company so that you can satisfy yourself of their reliability.