Renting a limousine is something that most people only do a couple times in their lifetime, such as prom, their wedding, or another formal occasion. You may assume that most limo companies are the same, but this is not true. Renting a limousine requires some legwork on your part, and if you want the event to go smoothly, you must make sure to rent the limo correctly. Here's how to rent a limousine:
- Open the phone book. First, determine your choice of companies. This depends on your location; if you live in a large metro area you may have your choice of half a dozen or more companies, while smaller cities may only have one company handling limousine rentals.
- Determine your needs. Before contacting them, determine your needs and wants. How many people will be riding in the limo? What date, and which hours, will the limousine be needed for? Where will it pick you up, and where will it take you? Do you have any special desires as far as the type of limo you are renting? These are all questions that the limo company is likely to ask, so you should have your answers ready. This is especially important if you're trying to coordinate a group outing; be sure to get the opinions of everyone who will be riding in the limousine.
- Call the limo company for quotes. Make sure that the quote you receive is for the type of limousine you need, and for the number of hours you'll need it for on the correct day. Many limo companies charge different rates depending on day of the week and type of event, so make sure that the quotes you get from different limousine companies are comparable on these details.
- Compare the quotes. Each company may include something different in their service, so be sure to compare all of the details. For example, the various choices may differ in cancellation fees, rates for an extra hour, or whether the driver's gratuity is included in the standard hourly rate. Don't forget about how the company handled your phone call; service is very important when renting a limousine. Make sure that you feel the company you choose will show up on time with the best limo and driver. Don't automatically choose the lowest price, even if the price does factor into your decision.
- Reserve early. Once you've had a chance to compare the different choices, reserve your limousine early. This is especially important during prom and wedding season, or if there is only one choice for limousine service in your town. If you wait too long, you may not be able to get the limo you want. Make sure to get a confirmation or reservation number and a printed copy of the contract, reservation, and cancellation policy. Read all of the fine print, and be sure to confirm the final price before agreeing to anything.
- Call to confirm. A couple of days before the event, call the limo company to confirm your reservation. When you confirm, ask for phone numbers for the driver and the office. That way, you can contact the driver and company if your limo does not show up as expected or if there's a last-minute change in plans.
Limousines are fun for prom night, weddings, or other special occasions. Renting a limo is fairly easy, although it does require some legwork to figure out the logistics. Above all, be sure that the company you choose will charge a reasonable rate and show up on time with the type of limo you want and a reliable driver.