When renting party buses, DO...
- Ask questions: A flashy website or a well-known name might help you whittle down the list of potential companies to choose from, but these won't tell you everything you need to know. Remember to about how long they've been in business, the certifications of drivers, and their insurance and safety records. You should also find out more information about the condition and age of their vehicles. While 60% of limousine companies have fewer than five cars in their fleet, these vehicles might not always be up-to-date. If the company cannot provide you with satisfactory information on these topics, you might want to move on down the list.
- Visit them in person: There's only so much you can glean from a website or online reviews. Seeing the vehicles, as well as the company's physical offices, in real life can answer a lot of questions for you immediately. You'll be able to assess whether the party buses are top-of-the-line or in need of major repairs, as well as whether the vehicles can accommodate the number of people in your party. And if everything looks good to go, you'll be able to feel confident in your choice.
- Get a written contract: To ensure both you and the limo company are protected and understand the terms of your agreement, it's best to get everything in writing. This should include the price of the party bus rental (including the deposit), tipping policy, cleaning fees, what else is provided, and what's not allowed during the ride. This literally spells everything out so that there's no confusion about costs or permitted behaviors. You can then pass this information on to others in your party to ensure everyone will adhere to the rules.
- Wait too long to book: When booking a party bus, you need to do so in advance. Waiting until the last minute will put a lot of stress on you, leave you with less time to make payments, and limits the variety of buses and packages that might be available to you. This is especially important to remember if your event takes place during busy times of year (e.g., prom or wedding season). Make sure to do your research early and put your plans in place as soon as possible to make it less likely you'll be left in the lurch.
- Change routes after reserving: Generally, you should set the itinerary when you book (or very soon after). Making changes to the route could impact the price or could make things more stressful for your driver. You'll likely need to get approval from the actual office in advance. Don't assume that your driver can make changes on the spot to your route. What may seem like a small adjustment to you could be a big deal for the company and how the driver's hours are accounted for. If you do need to make any changes, make certain they're requested well ahead of time.
- Add last-minute guests: Because party buses are large vehicles, you might not think it's a big deal to add one or two extra people the day of the event. But it's possible that your decision could be in violation of the company's policies, particularly if that number would exceed the vehicle's maximum occupancy. Make it a point not to add anyone last-minute and get approval from the company if you do need to add a couple of guests.