CBS Features Limo Industry, NLA in Story

Posted on January 9, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

Last week CBS ran the following story, bringing attention to Philadelphia’s limo industry and the NLA:

PHILADELPHIA ? Are you planning any big events this year? Maybe a wedding, a prom, a birthday? How would you like to get there in style? In this week's Angie's List report, Jim Donovan tells us what you need to know before hiring a limo service. According to a recent Angie's List poll, over half of the respondents have rented limo. These days you can chose from all types of makes and models. Everything from an antique car to an SUV limo. But there are some things to consider first.

A number of factors influence the cost of renting a limo such as time of year, type of vehicle, geographic area, travel distance and type of service.

"When you're talking to the various companies ask them what type of makes and models they offer," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List. "You may want to go look at the car you'll be renting and ask how they charge. Many times companies charge by the hour, but it might be a flat fee to go to the airport. Talk to them about cancellations as well."

Hicks says be sure to check to make sure the driver and the limo company are licensed and insured.

"One of the common complaints we hear when getting reports on limo companies is the limo didn't show up on time or didn't show up at all," Hicks said. "Be in close contact with the company you're hiring. Plan far enough ahead and talk to them days, even a few hours before you'll need the limo."

You should keep a copy of the signed contract handy, including the company cancellation policy if a problem does arise.

Angie's tips for hiring a limo service:

Check their qualifications. Check that the company is licensed, bonded and insured. Companies who belong to industry associations usually must abide by special insurance regulations and service rules. Reputable associations such as the National Limousine Association (NLA) and the local livery association are good indications that your service provider does their due diligence. Don't settle for less than the best. Ask about the type of training the drivers need.

Discuss rates. Typically it is an hourly rate with a 2-3 hour minimum and some airport trips have a flat fee. Ask if the tip is included; typically a 20% tip is recommended. They also usually require a credit card to hold the car.

Think ahead. How far in advance you need to book just depends on the time of year. Book as soon as you arrange your plans.

Eliminate vehicle confusion. Check out the vehicle you plan on renting. You don't want to be surprised on your rental day when a late model limo shows up and you were expecting a 2007 model. Also, don't assume every company has the same cars.

Stay on time. Call 2 days ahead to confirm your reservation and get the driver's cell phone. Then, call 3 hours prior to the event to make sure everything is as scheduled. Don't get trapped. Protect yourself by getting a copy of the signed contract and don't forget to ask about their cancellation policy.

SOURCE: CBS3 — Philadelphia

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