How to hire a limo for your prom or special event - limo hiring tips / guide.

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As Prom season approaches, high school students and parents start their search for finding the perfect Limo for their long awaited night of celebration.  When it comes to limousine rentals, we have all heard past horror stories, ranging from an old raggedy limo showing up at the victim’s doorsteps to the limo never showing up at all.  

The following tips will assist you to avoid becoming a victim of Prom 2004.

DON’T BOOK THE CHEAPEST LIMO – While savvy shoppers tend to always search online for great deals, we strongly caution against choosing your Limo based on price alone. Because most Limo Companies are small businesses, the price you pay will  

ASK FOR OPERATING AUTHORITY - Limousine companies are required to carry both state and federal operating authorities.  Ask your prospective company if they are licensed to operate in your state.  

ASK FOR INSURANCE – All Limousine companies must carry a minimum amount of commercial liability insurance, depending on their operating state. Ask your prospective company to fax you a copy of their Certificate of Coverage.

CHECK FOR PAST COMPLAINTS – Check with your local Better Business Bureau about past complaints about the prospective Limo Company.  You can locate your local BBB office at 

ASK FOR REFERENCES - Ask your prospective company for references of past performances.  Hearing from past satisfied clients will give credibility to the prospective limo company. 

CHECK MEMBERSHIPS – Inquire about the prospective limousine company’s associations with organizations such as the National Limousine Association and their local state livery association.  A company that is a member of a recognized association must abide by certain code of ethics, thus reducing their chance of providing inadequate service.  

ASK ABOUT CHAUFFEUR SCREENING – Inquire about the company’s policy of hiring chauffeurs and the screening process.  Make sure the company’s chauffeurs are familiar with the service area so that the students you don’t end up wasting unnecessary time while their chauffeur gets lost.   

ASK TO SEE THE LIMO –If you don’t have time to go and visit the Limousine Company’s showroom personally, ask the company to email photo(s) of their limo(s) or other vehicles.  This will ensure that you will not end up getting an old rundown limousine in lieu of the new white super stretch you were led to believe you would have.  Be sure to check the year, make, model as well as the amenities inside the limousine such as moon roof, tinted windows, fiber optic lights, TV, VCR, CD player, plush bar and any other items you are interested in having in your limo. 

HOURLY MINIMUMS - Ask about the Limo company's hourly minimums and how they calculate their time. Most will have a 6 to 8 hour minimum during prom season.  Your time will start from either their garage or you initial point and end at their garage or your final drop off point.  Your time can not be split up while you are not using the Limo. 

RATES:  Inquire about all the rates involved, including gratuity and any other miscellaneous fees.  Rates vary based on area of service. Again, WE STRONGLY URGE YOU NOT TO CHOOSE A COMPANY BECAUSE THEY ARE LESS EXPENSIVE. We have heard of horror stories from parents and students that have made this mistake.  Like hotels and restaurants, Limo companies also range from one to five stars. 

ASK FOR A CONTRACT – Retain a copy of the contract you sign.  The contract should contain the following:

.   Year, make, model and color of the limo
.    Pickup time, drop off time and itinerary
.    Rates, including the percentage of gratuity and any other miscellaneous charges
.    Deposit and cancellation fees
.    Company’s liability in the event of breakdowns, no show, etc… 

Most reputable companies will require a parent or legal guardian to sign the contract.  The contract should contain the written rules and regulations such as no smoking, drinking, etc.  Any violations of their rules will most likely lead to immediate termination of their services.  Also, beware that as the signing party, you are liable for any damage to the Limo.  Be sure to ask that the company provides you with their rules, in writing, and give a copy to all parties that will be using the Limo. 

PROVIDE THE ITINERARY IN ADVANCE:  Provide the Limo Company with the written itinerary of all the pickup and drop off locations.  Most companies will require this information in advance and will need permission from a parent or legal guardian if the itinerary is changed.   

Good luck!

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To suggest more tips for this "how to hire a limo" guide please email us at [email protected] 

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Updated April 2004 
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