Beginner’s Guide to Chauffeured Limousine Transportation
Reserving limousines, party buses and sedans
Reserving vehicles can sometimes be a tricky process, but not if you plan ahead. Before beginning your reservation process, make sure that you have all of your details together. Knowing information ahead of time, such as number of hours you need the vehicle, number of passengers and location of service will help you to be more organized. During certain seasons specific vehicles can book up fast and leave you with little choices for your event.
Busy months for the transportation industry:
- January: The North American International Auto Show in Michigan, corporate holiday parties
- May: Prom and beginning of wedding season
- May-October: Wedding season
- September-October: Homecoming season
- December: Personal and corporate holiday parties
With these busy times in mind, you may want to book in as far in advance as possible. For example, if you are having a June wedding next year, plan on starting the process about 8-10 months in advance. This is particularly important for weddings, which normally involve multiple vehicles for the event. By booking in advance, you can eliminate the stress that can come with scrambling to find a vehicle for your event the week before.
Airport transportation reservations can be done closer to the date transportation needed, because it is not as detailed and flights schedules may change. For social events and parties, it is still a smart idea to try to book month to a few weeks ahead of time. Limousine buses and SUV limousines usually book up fast, especially during wedding season and on the weekends.
When reserving a vehicle it is always important to ask about how to hold that vehicle for your event. Usually a signed contract and deposit are needed in order secure that vehicle. Some companies may require other forms for certain events such as an event itinerary and contact information sheet. It is very important to read through these forms carefully to make sure that you are aware of all of the company’s policies. Make sure that you begin your rental process early so that the vehicle you are interested in will still be available.
General deposit information:
- There is a general deposit fee for services under a certain amount and a higher fee for those over that certain amount. For example, $200.00 deposit for services under $1000.00 and for services over $1000.00 it would be a $300.00 deposit.
- Find out what forms of payment are accepted for paying the deposit.
- Would your deposit be non-refundable and what type of cancellation policies are in place.
- Ask the transportation company how far in advance you need to pay your deposit and when the final payments are due.
- Another point to ask about is if the deposit is transferable. Sometimes you may end up with more people than you planned and need to upgrade vehicles, but you already put a deposit down on another vehicle. Some companies have deposits locked into the vehicle that you originally reserved and you will need to make another deposit payment to reserve another vehicle.
Knowing these deposit policies and reserving ahead of time will help you to be well informed about renting your vehicle. Also, remember that it is better to ask than to assume anything about reserving your vehicle. This way nothing is a surprise and you know exactly how the process works. Your transportation company representative should be able to walk you through the process and explain their policies to you over the phone or by email. The company representative wants you to be prepared and have an easy reservation process.
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