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First, consider the type of event. Typically limousine companies charge based on the type of event. Events are typically as follows: airport transfers, weddings, nights out, birthday parties, city or wine tours, day trips, concerts, a to b transfers, proms, client meetings and special events. Most limousine companies have special airport transfer rates and special “a to b” rates. All limousine companies have hourly minimums and especially on Friday and Saturday nights. In Arizona that minimum is usually four hours.
Prepare the details. What are you looking for? Most companies charge by the hour, so it is important to decide how many hours you will need.
Determine how many people will be participating before you call. This will affect the type of vehicle you rent. Every vehicle has a different passenger limit.
Decide on vehicle types. Here are all the types of vehicles available at Mirage Limousines:
The most important thing to consider when booking a limo is safety for yourself and your party. Legitimate limo companies need to be registered with their state (US only), have the proper levels of insurance and be properly licensed. Never book a limo with a company that can’t promptly show you their licensing and insurance credentials – don’t take chances. Make sure that the company is fully commercially insured. A lot of these mom and pop companies just have non-commercial insurance.
Reserve as early as possible. Dates get booked up and vehicles get rented. So to be sure you can get the vehicle that you want, book it as soon as possible
Time to do some research. Type “vehicle type, your city” for example, “Rolls Royce limousine, Phoenix, AZ” into a search engine. Look at the different companies’ websites. Confirm they have your desired vehicle. Decide on an additional few companies
Call the companies. Listen to how they speak to you, because on your special night it is important that the company be responsive to your requests. Call each name on the list and get quotes from each. Be sure to ask for rates including gratuity, cancellation fees, how much for an extra hour and their tcp number (state license to be a licensed transport). FYI, it is customary to tip drivers 18-20% of the base price. Most companies automatically charge a driver tip, while some leave it to the customer to decide. At Mirage Limousines we automatically add the driver’s gratuity. Also ask what comes with the vehicles (i.e. alcohol, music, passes to clubs, etc.)
Decide which company you feel will be on time, have the best vehicle and chauffeur, and the best price. For most people, price is not as important as service, so don’t automatically choose the lowest rate, you might end up with an 80’s limo and a driver in jeans and a t-shirt.
Make sure you always see the limo you reserve. Insist that the company put that vehicle on the contract. For example, no one in Arizona, besides Mirage Limousines, has a Rolls Royce limo. Don’t be fooled.
Book the vehicle with the company you choose. When booking make sure to get a copy of the contract and reservation, confirmation/reservation number, as well as their cancellation policy in writing/email. Make sure to confirm the out the door price that will be charged to your credit card.
Call 2-4 days before your event to confirm your reservation and request the driver’s cell phone number. Be sure to verify that the routing is correct and that there is a driver scheduled.
Call 3 hours prior to the event, just to check in and make sure everything is fine.
Often times limo companies won’t actually have any limos available but they won’t refuse your business. Those companies will say they will provide the limo service but then they will farm it out. That is why it’s important to deal with a reputable company and to actually see the limo you will be renting for yourself. Be sure to ask if they are going to farm out your business. (A “farm-out” means that they are selling your reservation to another company at a profit). If they tell you of their intention to farm it out, either tell them not to do so, or ask for details of the other company so that you can rent from them directly.
This may seem like a lot but for your big day only the best will do. So be sure to take your time and get it right. We here at Mirage Limousines have many vehicles on site. You are welcome to come by our showroom any time and see them for yourself. We have both limousines and party buses of all sizes, plus sedans and SUV’s from Lincoln, Cadillac, Mercedes and more.