Industry Research


Posted on December 31, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

EVERYWHERE, USA — The below article makes the same powerful point many operators emphasize each holiday season and throughout the year, but it obviously doesn’t reach everyone.

Here’s the bottom line:

Limo rental: $1,000

DUI: $3,000 to $6,000

Lives a limo can save: Priceless

SWEENY, Texas — There is one way to travel this New Year’s Eve in which people are welcome to party all they want without fear of losing their license or their freedom.

Limousine rental companies in the area offer what they say is a smart alternative to drinking and driving. Limousines are rented by the hour, not the mile, so bar- or party-hopping is popular, said Mike Zimmerhanzel with Mike’s Luxury Transports in Sweeny.

“You can drink in the back of a limousine,” Zimmerhanzel said. “We provide water, cola, Sprite, ice and set-ups for drinks. The charge is by the hour. It doesn’t matter how many stops you make or how many miles we go.”

For example, he said, someone might book a limousine and go from their home to Houston, visiting clubs, parties and other hot spots, then bringing them home.

“When they’re ready to go, we pick them up and take them where they want to go,” said Anthony Crittenden with Executive Limousine in Clute. “They can drink, have fun and do whatever, then we get them home safely with no DWIs. And they never even have to touch a door handle.”

With rates of between $75 and $120 per hour, the average cost of limousine rental is less than $1,000. The average cost of a drunk driving arrest, including court and attorney fees, is between $3,000 and $6,000, Angleton Police Sgt. Quenton Rush said.

Depending on the model, limousines seat between eight and 12 people and can be rented either by the hour or, in the case of Cowboy’s Dream Limousine, for a four-hour flat rate. The flat rate includes a 15% tip for the driver, which is the responsibility of riders in some hourly rentals, said Crystal Bagwell with Brazoria-based Cowboy’s Dream.

“We do whatever they want,” Bagwell said. “We pick them up wherever they want and take them wherever they want to be.”

Alcohol consumption isn’t a requirement to rent a limousine, and some riders prefer not to drink, Bagwell said. Some people find having a rolling party attractive enough, she said.

Limousines also are available for events such as birthdays, weddings and graduations. They can be a safe alternative to several people driving private vehicles to the same location, Zimmerhanzel said.

“They don’t have to deal with police or drunk drivers,” Zimmerhanzel said. “I strongly suggest, if you’re going to go out and drink, especially on New Year’s Eve, it’s ridiculous not to have a designated driver or a hired vehicle.”

And once a large group splits the rental fee, traveling in style becomes affordable, Crittenden said.

“If you divide up the charge among 10 people, it’s pretty economical,” Crittenden said. “Riding in a limo is very appealing, especially on New Year’s Eve.”

Source: The Facts, Clute, Texas (Brazoria County)

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