You spent weeks, months and possibly years working and saving up for the big vacation/cruise/expedition (fill in the blank on the type of upcoming trip you are planning). When the time came to book tickets and lodging, you spared no expense as this is a trip of a lifetime. The planning phase is almost complete and let’s be completely honest, the bags have been packed for quite some time.
This is all wonderful and we are perfectly thrilled for you!
There are likely 3 options to reach your travel gateway:
- Hire a limo service
- Drive yourself
- Ask for a ride from friends or family
We’re going to focus our attention on #1 today, hiring a limo service. In our experience, many passengers will shop around for rates when planning their transportation to the airport/seaport (which is completely fine). However, in an age of Craig’s List and people willing to sell services short to make some money, we want to make sure that you are educated in what you need to look for in a reputable car service.
Is the company you will use PROPERLY licensed and insured?
- Nobody plans on an accident – however, in the unfortunate incident that something happens, you will want to know that you are covered.
- The reason many car services offer such low/appealing rates is that they are not properly licensed and insured.
What does the rate include?
- Some limo companies will quote only the base rate, while others will quote an all-inclusive rate. You want to make sure you receive an all-inclusive price so that there are no surprises at the time of billing. Common add-ons to the base rate include tolls, sales tax, a fuel surcharge and gratuity.
- Regarding sales tax and limo services in Connecticut: If you are picked up in Connecticut and taken to an airport in New York or New Jersey (think LGA, JFK, HPN or EWR), you should NOT be paying sales tax. If you are picked up in Connecticut and traveling out of Bradley International Airport, expect to pay sales tax.
How long has the limo company been in business?
- We are not knocking the new guy – honestly, we were there once too! However, a company with a longer history is more likely experienced in the nuances of chauffeured ground transportation, local traffic, familiar with the airports and cruise ports and will generally leave you with a better end-to-end service experience.
Is the company authorized to provide the services they are being hired for?
- This is VERY important when traveling in Connecticut to Bradley Airport. Many New York based limo companies will try to tell customers/prospective customers that they are able to complete any and all trips, which sadly, is not the truth.
- Ask if they have Connecticut registered vehicles to provide the services being requested. If they do not, and your travels will see you traveling out of BDL, we recommend you look elsewhere for your ride to the airport.
What vehicle are you getting for the price quoted?
- From a customer comfort standpoint, there is a large difference between a Lincoln Signature Town Car and a Lincoln Executive L Town Car (or any of the new vehicles fleets are rolling out since the 2011 retirement of the Town Car by Lincoln). Additionally, if you are planning a long trip or will have a large amount of luggage, you may want to consider a larger vehicle such as an SUV.
You should spend some time to be an educated consumer when hiring a limo company. Many services will act as though they are forthright business people offering a quality service – when in fact; they are just trying to make a dishonest dollar. Please, save yourself the headache/frustration/etc . and know your limo service. Your fellow travelers will thank you!
Do you have any other tips used for vetting a travel related company? Why not share them with your fellow readers?