People hire limousines for formal occasions such as weddings and proms, or when they need a ride to the airport or an important business affair. Taking a limousine is convenient, so you do not have to drive and park yourself, and it also provides a way to travel with luxury and sophistication. Hire a limousine that meets your budgetary, style, and transportation needs.
- Plan ahead. Get your limousine booked as soon as you can. At busy times of the year, such as prom season, limousines get reserved quickly. Wedding planners recommend reserving a limousine 6 months in advance of the event. Find and reserve the limousine you want as soon as you know the date you will need it.
- Choose a size and style. Decide if you want a standard limousine, or if you need a larger car with extra amenities, such as television screens and wireless Internet connections. Most limousines can hold between 5 and 14 passengers.
- Check out insurance and safety records. All limousine companies must carry insurance. Verify their coverage, and ask about whether their cars or chauffeurs have been in any accidents.
- Ask how they screen their chauffeurs, and whether they are local to your area. You do not want to risk getting lost.
- Determine your budget. What you get for your money will depend on whether you are hiring the limousine for a single and specific trip, or for an entire evening. Most companies provide wedding and prom packages.
- Ask the limousine company if there are other charges beyond their hourly or package rate. Some companies will include the gratuity, and there may be other fees to consider as well.
- Sign a contract. When you find a limousine you would like to book, you will need to sign a contract for the date and time that you need it. Be sure the contract includes all of the details of your event or trip, including the time of pick up and drop off, your full itinerary, the make, model, and year of the limousine you have chosen, the number of people traveling, rates and any other charges.
- Pay a deposit. Most limousine companies will require you to put money down at the time of booking. Ask about the terms of the deposit, such as how much is required, and whether it is refundable in the event of cancellation.
- Check into refund and cancellation policies. Many limousine companies have strict cancellation policies, so find out if you are able to cancel once you hire your limousine, and what your deadline is to do so.
- Ask for referrals if you are planning a wedding or other special event. Many wedding planners and coordinators keep a list of vendors they work with. Using a limousine company that has been hired in the past by people you know, and proven to be reputable, can be helpful.
- Remember to provide your limo driver your itinerary in advance. Keep the driver and company up to date if your plans change.
- If your rate does not include a gratuity, remember to tip your driver at the end of your evening or event. A tip of 15 percent of the cost is customary, but if he or she was really good or went beyond your expectations, consider tipping more.
- Do not hire a limousine simply because it is the cheapest option. Everyone likes a good deal, but do not book a limo based on price alone. You will also want to expect excellent customer service and attention to detail.
Things You’ll Need