It’s not every day you rent a limousine. Before you do, you need to ask these questions before you book a Kansas City Limo Rental. Make sure you’re getting a good deal, and more importantly a great value and a quality experience.
The history of limousines is quite remarkable. Up until the mid 1970’s, the only limousines you might see in Kansas City were traditional “six door” models used mostly for funerals. But custom coachbuilders started to design more luxury interiors with bar areas, entertainment systems, wood trim, accent lighting and conversational style seating so people could face each other. In 1979, Overland Chauffeured Services started with one used limousine, the first Lincoln Stretch Limousine in Kansas City, and the first with the luxury amenities and interior you expect today.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the limousine industry was expected to generate over $4 billion annually. Nonetheless, people are tired of staying at home and finding that a Kansas City limo rental is an unforgettable experience.
Yet, there are important questions you should ask before you book a limousine rental. Here are the top 7 questions to ask a limo company.
1 – What Types of Limos Are Available? Do You Own Your Fleet?
Some Kansas City limo rental companies may have various options for rent. However, that does not mean they own all or any of those vehicles. So, it is important to confirm if you are working with a company who actually owns and operates the vehicles you might rent or if they are acting as a “broker”.
At Overland, we frequently invite our clients to come view our fleet in person. So they can see that we are an established, legitimate operation that has the vehicles we present on our website.
Typical vehicle options may range from luxury sedans and SUV’s to stretch limos, Mercedes Sprinters or limousine bus rentals. You may also want to consider passenger vans, mini coaches and even motor coaches for larger groups or cost considerations.
But don’t forget, ALWAYS verify whether the company owns and operates the vehicles. Many limousine companies use pictures of vehicles on their website or social media posts that they do not own. They want to appear to be a larger company than they are or just make money being a broker. That is up to you whether you want to take a chance with companies that promote and do business this way.
Who owns and operates the vehicle is especially important with larger vehicles that are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Drivers must be properly certified and have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). USDOT regulated vehicles seating 15 or more passengers must carry at least $5 million in liability insurance. Unfortunately many limousine rental companies operate illegally do not follow the law.
Be sure to ask about options to suit your needs. Companies tend to tell you the maximum number of passengers per vehicle. But that might mean having everyone crammed in. Be sure to ask them how many riders can fit comfortably in each option. That will give you a better idea of what size limo rental you need. You may also want to consider social distancing concerns depending on your group.
2- What Services Are Included?
This is one of the most important questions to ask when inquiring about a Kansas City limo rental.
If you aren’t in the habit of reading fine-print, this question can prevent nasty surprises. There may be extra fees for fuel surcharge, beverages, waiting time, stops and so on. This is why at Overland, we provide all our terms and conditions to our clients.
Some limo companies may offer snacks and drinks. Yet that’s not always the case. Find out before you book a limousine rental for prom or other special events. Overland vehicles are always stocked with complimentary bottled water.
If you would like special items in your vehicle, you have a few options. First, you can load up the vehicle with your snacks or drinks once the limo arrives. Or, many customers choose to bring their items to the limousine company’s office ahead of time and have them stock the vehicle. You can also order these items in advance with your limo company who will add the charges and a service fee to your bill. That is one less thing to worry about on the day of. We may also pick up items to go from restaurants, bars or grocery stores with our clients or ahead of the arrival time.
3 – Do You Charge by Mileage or by the Hour?
The answer to this question is very important. If they charge by the hour, you can cruise the highways to your heart’s content. If by mileage, you may prefer to take a scenic drive through town.
Asking this question before you plan your route will help you plan.
If the company charges by the hour, ask when your rental time begins. Sometimes, the rental time begins when the limo leaves the garage. If you are being picked up or dropped off somewhere outside the immediate service are of the limousine company, some “travel time” charges should be expected. Be sure to find out so that you have a better idea of what your trip will cost.
Some limo companies have a minimum amount of time or miles that you must rent for. Every limousine rental company is different so be sure you fully understand how their fees work.
It doesn’t hurt to share your planned route (if you have one). That way they can give you a realistic estimate.
4 – What Requirements Do Your Drivers Have?
A limousine rental price includes the car as well as the limo driver.
Most states require that limo drivers have a chauffeur’s license or permit as well as a class D driver’s license.
In Kansas, drivers for less than 15 people do not need a special license. Yet, if driving over 15 people, drivers need a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Ask your limousine car rental company what requirements they have for their drivers. On top of the state requirements, they might have additional ones for their employees. At Overland we require up to 40 hours of chauffeur and safety training before they start driving customers.
While you are on the topic of drivers, find out if their drivers are employees or contractors. Many limo companies hire drivers as contractors to avoid the cost of taxes, benefits and labor regulations. Yet, these contractors don’t always undergo the same rigorous screen process or receive proper training and supervision. That is why Overland has employee chauffeurs and provides proper pay, benefits and training.
Be sure to find out if your driver is a contractor or employee.
5 – Should I Tip my Limousine Driver?
You should always tip anyone working in the service industry. That includes chauffeur limo drivers as well as waiters, hairstylists, and bartenders. Tips are always discretionary but service workers typically get most of their earnings from tips and work very hard to provide great service.
A standard recommended tip is 20% of the base rental fee. Yet, some rental companies include the gratuity in the cost of the rental. Most of our clients prefer to have the tip added to their bill. Find out when you book so you know if you need to carry cash for tipping your driver. You may have such a great experience that you decide to tip your driver even more. And request that driver the next time you need chauffeur service. Drivers always appreciate your generosity and look forward to serving you.
6 – Will We Need to Set Our Route Ahead of Time?
For planning purposes, it’s a smart idea to set a route or itinerary in advance. It helps you estimate the cost of your rental as well as ensure you get to all the places you want during the drive.
Yet most limo rental companies are willing to be flexible. If you aren’t much a planner, you can give some destination spots to your driver. They often will try their best to pass by as many as possible during your ride. Ask your Client Experience Specialist at Overland what you have in mind and we will be happy to help you with suggested destinations or sights to see.
Ideally, you will provide these spots ahead of time. Especially if you have a planned itinerary. That way the driver has time to look up addresses and plan a route.
7 – Do You Have a Contract?
The most important question when it comes to all business transactions is about a contract. At Overland we provide a detailed reservation confirmation by email when your ride is booked. We also send you a credit card authorization form electronically that you fill out and sign so you know exactly what you are paying for.
It is vital to have a detailed confirmation with a link to all applicable terms and conditions before you pay for anything. This protects both parties.
The contract will outline what is expected of you and what you can expect from the company and the limo driver.
A contract will help you avoid liability or unexpected charges. Also, the contract will outline the policy for cancellations.
Likely, you will be on the hook for some or all of the cost of your limo rental if you cancel last minute or after the cancellation date. Be sure to understand what the cancellation policy is before you sign.
Make the Most of Your Kansas City Limo Rental
Thanks for reading. With these 7 basic questions, you will be able to make sure that you choose the right Kansas City limo rental company for your day or evening of fun and luxury.
Remember, being thorough before you book lets you have a worry-free experience.
At Overland Chauffeured Services, we are proud to be an industry leader, setting the highest expectations for quality service. Contact us today for more info and to book your service.