Throughout our many years in the limo industry, we have came across many clients who have had questions or concerns prior to their event. Due to the process of booking a limo, most questions that you have may go unanswered. We at Love Boat Limousine have tried to not only provide limousine service, but also to inform our guests of the positives and negatives of renting a limo, so that they know exactly what to expect. Leaving you in the dark for such a luxurious purchase isn’t something that we would like to do and so we have created the first guide that we have seen on limousines in order to help you with choosing your service for your special day. Whether you choose Love Boat Limousine, or any other provider, we would like you to make an informed decision on such an important rental.
This may be the most asked question that we receive from clients in need of a limousine, especially if it is for a child’s prom or some kind of school dance. The answer is quite simple, and you don’t need to take anyone’s word for it, as you can check the info yourself as long as you know the County the Limousine is in, usually Los Angeles County, and the name of the business. Here is how you go ahead and check this. CPUC.CA.GOV is the home of the California Public Utilities Commission. This is the government agency, (DMV for limousines) that makes sure all of us are fully insured and registered. Here is the direct link for limo lookup: https://apps.cpuc.ca.gov/apex/f?p=203:35:0::NO:RP:: Please click on the link or copy and paste it all into your browser and continue to fill in the company name and county of service. You will then get to see if their license (TCP) is registered and active, and if they have active insurance. This is the first step in receiving a limousine from any company. Most if not all are insured, but you are safer checking than leaving it up to chance as it only takes a few moments to give you a peace of mind.
All limousines within our fleet, and most any company, are tended to on a weekly basis. Limousines are not like regular vehicles, and require a great deal of attention to detail in order to prevent anything from occurring. The California Highway Patrol is mandated by the California Public Utilities Commission to perform yearly checks on limousines, and if not passed, the website on question 1 would come up as a revoked license. That means that limo company is not allowed to operate until that limo is fixed, regardless if they have 50 other limos within that company that passed. We tend to change oil once a month compared to your average car at once every 5-6 months. We change brakes, check all sensors and other sensitive objects within the limo in order to ensure it is in working condition on the day of your event. We also have monthly tune ups in order to make sure everything is in working order, and that no issues are showing up that would cause future problems.
Many clients don’t expect the hour minimums that go along with events, usually either 4 or 6 hours depending on the month of service. Although Friday and Saturday have a 4 hour minimum at lowest, we try our best to provide you with no minimums for Sunday – Thursday. The reason for these minimums is because stretch limousines busiest days are Friday and Saturday. Therefore, one way trips, round trips, and very short distance rides are very hard to price because it closes up a minimum hourly rental for another group.
This is probably one of the most important details that we would need as limousine providers to give you an accurate quote. If we quote you based off just a time frame, we would either quote you base rate, then we find out you want to do much more than what the base rate covers, and would have to change the rate on you…not fun at all. Or we may guess that you want to do a lot and quote you accordingly only to figure out you need a basic rate…at which point you would not book with the company. It is always best to know all details prior to booking so there are no surprises on your rental quote.
It all depends on what your changes are. We usually use a wait and see approach with these types of requests because it all depends on how drastic of a change to the normal schedule you had provided. If it is something like adding a stop that wasn’t on the prior agreement, then we would not charge you additional for it. If your plans completely change to something night and day from previously agreed upon…then a rate change should be expected. However, no charges will ever be made without first clearing it with the client who booked the service. This would be the done before the changes requested were executed.
Smoking in any of our vehicles is strictly prohibited. The smell alone that is left behind from smoking any substance within a limousine causes extensive problems when getting ready for the next event. A good rule of thumb is that we would like the limo returned to the lot the exact way that it left.
This is where trust in the company that you are booking becomes very valuable. When reserving any vehicle with our service, we provide you with a terms and conditions that outlines the cancellation terms for your event. Typically there is a 1 week notice needed in order to not lose your deposit for your event. However, we understand that issues do arise that are not expected, and last minute cancellations do occur. In the event that this does occur, we look back and make a judgment call on whether or not we would have been able to book the vehicle for a different event. If we determine that we are able to, then we would keep the deposit. However, if we determine that we would not be able to book the limo for another event, then we will hold your deposit for a future date.
We receive numerous calls for any given date for a vehicle rental. We at first tried to juggle those who wanted the limo, those who booked, and those that would want to call us back later. Unfortunately we soon realized that those that we called back, since not committed to us with a contract, had chosen to go somewhere else without providing a response. Therefore, all limousine services require a signed contract and deposit in order to book a date for you, and no reservation can be put on hold.
This has been an experience that I personally have dealt with in the past, and have realized how to handle throughout time. This goes for every quantity of passenger limousines, so you can use this as a tool for whenever booking a limo. Anything at max capacity tends to be uncomfortable. With regular Sedans and Sports Utility Vehicles, you don’t have an issue because they were made for the capacity listed. For stretch limousines, you have less comfort the closer you get to max capacity. I have personally had a situation where on a very hot day, 20 passengers packed into one of our (20 max) limousines and expected to be comfortable. Not only were they anything but comfortable, they were also not able to keep cool because the AC was struggling to keep up with all the bodies inside the vehicle. If you are renting a 20 passenger, try to be 16 or less. If you are renting a 10 passenger, try to be 8 or less. This will be a recommendation that I will personally provide when you are ready to reserve so that no miscommunication occurs.
A limousine’s AC is not like your ordinary car. All limo services go through this problem whenever the heat is way to much to bear. Once a year, right before the summer we tend to all the limousines, and definitely concentrate on the AC. If the AC is not working at all, then the limousine company is definitely at fault. However, if it is blowing cold but is not cooling you, then it is just to hot for it to do so. The capacity of the occupants within the limo is also key to what you eventually think of any limousine’s AC. If you pack a limo up with max or near max capacity, and it is a very hot day, you can expect to be uncomfortable with the AC. A limousine uses the same technology that a normal car does, but with much longer pipes. The longer the pipes, the longer the heat can affect the pipes. The best thing to keep in mind is that when it is extremely hot, to keep your capacity lower so that everyone can move and breathe freely and be cooled.
This is another one that I have been asked a lot. And the answer is simple. Of course you can. The only thing we ask is that you make sure it is not anything messy such as chocolate (gets left in the limo over night and by the time is cleaned is smeared everywhere), or chips (gets into small pieces and goes all over the limo), and if are to bring snacks, to make sure that you throw them away once you are finished with them in any of the bags that we provide in the limousine. That way you would not be charged for extensive cleanup after your event is done.
This is one that gets most if they are not familiar with riding in a limo. Since most limousines are configured so that you sit sideways while the chauffeur is driving, your body is not prepared for handling alcohol while also traveling in a way that is unusual to us all. That is why sickness is much more likely inside of a limo, rather than at a bar. You are used to standing or sitting with friends in a standstill, but not so much on the move sideways. Not many notice this until it is to late, which leads me to the next commonly asked question/concern.
Sickness in the limo is one of the more serious issues that we may experience throughout our services…alongside illegal drugs or underage drinking. Many have called to complain once they see a bill north of $ 200 even though they tried there best to clean the interior before leaving. When asked why the answer is quite simple. Although you helped clean it, that only helped you in not facing a much higher price for the issue. It does not mean that the sickness in the limo did not occur. For example, lets say we have a night out on Friday, and someone gets sick in the limo. Why are you being charged $ 200-$ 400…well because more than likely the next morning we will be having a trip for another guest, whether that be winery, wedding, or some other special event. Well we would have to not sleep until that limo was back to new…smelling fresh…with not a single mark left from that incident. The client paying for that event after your party deserves the limo the same way you had received it, and that is extremely important to us and to our future clients.
Unfortunately we used to and noticed that we could never do the job the way that the client had requested. The more specific they would get, the more we would be out of our depth. Therefore we ask that any and all decorations be brought by the client…and we would even come earlier if possible in order to give an extra 20-30 minutes for you to put everything the way you’d like. We also ask that nothing harms the exterior paint in any way (for example those cans that you tie in the back of the limo when you are just married, they hit the ground then hit the back bumper, chipping paint). We also ask that anything you put on the limo, is easy to take off, and is taken off by you at the end of the trip (example would be the chalk writing you see on windows usually for graduates, if you are to put it on, we do ask that you also take time out of your reservation in order to take it off so that it is clean for the next client)
Cutting an hour off would absolutely be possible, however a refund would not be given due to the time frame being booked for you. As far as adding an hour, it would all depend on if it would cause us to possibly be late to another event. No overtime is guaranteed because if you are booked for example from 2 pm to 6 pm, and realize you need it until 7 pm once you are halfway done, we may have an event booked at 7:30 PM (usually we give an hour and a half between events) and would not be able to guarantee that overtime. That is why when clients tell me they are unsure if it will be 5 or 6 hours, I ask them to get as close as possible, and add extra if needed. The hourly rate for overtime would be the same as the hourly rate you paid for the rest of the service.
That is absolutely ok with our company and most in the area. We want you to be comfortable on your day and don’t want to make a fuss over small things such as a change in address. As long as we are notified we will make the adjustments and carry them out as you request. We have many that call and change the hotel pick up because the hotel they initially gave us was booked and didn’t accept their reservation, and we completely understand. The only thing that may change the price is if you change an address to something 30-40 miles away for example, and then if it is out of the range of your rate, you would be informed prior to the change being recorded in our system.
My answer has always been that you should book your limo as soon as all your details are as firm as they can be. That would avoid any price changes that you may experience. Since we don’t know when any certain date is going to be booked, giving a time frame would be insincere and would give the wrong impression. Now for weddings I always suggest that a booking should occur 4 – 6 months prior to the wedding day. That way you have a huge availability in the market and you can pick and choose which company you would like to go with. But if you wait until a month or two prior to your special day, you will be limited in your limo options, and your limo companies.
This would be one of those that most all companies use just like restaurants. The reason being that all of the events that we limousine services tend to require a lot of preparation, a lot of concentration, and an extreme attention to detail. The service you receive has the gratuity included so you are not left wondering what an appropriate amount would be. Our industry usually goes with a 15-20% gratuity depending on the day. Now if it is a weekday, we usually provide the client with the choice of gratuity depending on their judgement of the service we provide.
We realize that your child’s birthday or high school dance is a special day in their lives and that their safety, and secondly their fun is paramount to a successful trip. We tend to pay a great deal of attention to the safety aspect of an event and throughout the years have noticed that it pays off to keep a parents mind at ease during an event. The precaution we have came up with is quite simple. Lets say it is a high school prom for your child..we would quote and book through an adult and receive all children’s names and cell numbers with the contract. We would also ask that we receive one parent contact for each child that is attending the event. At pick up, we would count the number of guests (although we would make sure when booking the exact amount) and would put all parents into a group text. Once we have reached each destination we will text the parents in order to let them know that their child has reached their destination safely. Usually the chauffeur would send a text to the office, and I would personally text in a group in order to make sure everyone receives it, and keep the chauffeur’s attention on the trip. Once leaving each address, we would send another text that all children have been picked up safely. That would occur for as many destinations that are agreed upon by the parent. Now, if the children decide they want to go get a bite to eat after prom, I would need a consent from the parent who booked with us in order to deviate from the contract and take them for an extra stop. This would not be additional charge as we want them to have a nice night out and don’t want to create an inconvenience over an extra stop. Basically, we want your mind at ease throughout the entire event, not at home worrying if your child is in the limo, or got left behind.
These are just some of the everyday concerns and questions that we have come across in our business, and we would like to share them with you in order to better educate and prepare guests to have a fun and stress free time on their day of the event. A limousine rental is a luxurious and expensive decision, and we want that to be as perfect as possible. Also, we are open to any new ideas/suggestions that any client gives us in order to better theirs and others experience in the future. You can let us know and we will definitely add it to this list in order to keep everyone as well informed as possible. Whether you are to choose our service, or any other, we want you to enjoy every moment while in a limousine because it is the industry we love, and truly care about. I hope I have the pleasure of providing service for you and your loved ones, and also hope that this helps you all in one way or another.
Patrick Yeromian CEO
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom” – Thomas Jefferson