There are more than 9,000 chartered and scheduled bus services in the U.S. today. With so many options to choose from, finding the right one for your next event can feel impossible. It may even leave you wondering whether you really need to rent a bus.
But a luxury charter bus can be the answer to a number of event woes. It allows your group to travel together, to avoid common problems like parking trouble, and to relax in style while on the way to your destination.
If you’re thinking about chartering a bus but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading. We’ve compiled the ultimate unconventional guide to renting a luxury charter bus.
Consider Why You Should Rent a Luxury Charter Bus in the First Place
Long before you even start thinking about what size bus you need, where to rent from, or what you can expect to pay, you first need to decide whether a luxury charter bus is even the right choice for you.
Would a Different Type of Rental be a Better Choice?
There is no shortage of different types of rental buses available. From oversized vans to regular charter buses to luxurious alternatives, each serves a specific purpose.
For instance, if you need to transport your child’s small golf team of fewer than 10 players and a coach or two across town for a tournament, a luxury charter bus would be overkill.
But what about a larger sports team, like a middle school football team headed the next town over for the big game? While a luxury charter bus would certainly fit everyone and all of their gear, you’d also be sending several dozen messy kids with little supervision into a shiny, high-tech, luxurious space–not the best decision!
Instead, a charter bus might be the better choice. The players will have room to stretch out, but you won’t have to worry about messing soft carpets and fancy seats.
Bus tours are a popular way to take larger groups on a fun vacation. And while you may want to shower your family, friends, or another group with the best on this fun trip, a luxury charter bus might not be the right choice.
In most cases, luxury charters are designed for shorter excursions, like airport pickups, winery tours, or to get your group to a sporting event or concert. For cross-state road trips, a charter bus designed for long-distance tours is more appropriate.
Does My Event Warrant a Luxurious Ride?
Once you’ve decided whether or not a luxury charter bus would logistically work for your transport needs, it’s time to decide if you need the added luxury.
We’ve already covered a time when a luxury charter bus rental would work, but wouldn’t be appropriate. But other than transporting young athletes after a messy game, are there other times when a different rental vehicle might be a better choice?
The answer is–not really!
Add a touch of class to your wedding by transporting guests in style. Make prom night a little more special by letting your kids and all of their friends ride together to the dance. Or just make sure that your next ride to a church event, sporting event, or concert is comfortable and fun.
As long as you have a large enough group to warrant the larger ride over a van, limo, or other rentals, a luxury charter bus is always a great way to add style, class, and comfort to your transport.
Why Renting a Charter Bus Is Never a Bad Idea
Last but not least, it’s time to consider the fun aspects of choosing to rent a luxury charter bus for your next event.
Consider a family reunion or church outing to a fun spot in town. Without a charter bus, everyone is going to be driving separately to your destination.
This means that everyone is spending time commuting, packing as many people into each vehicle as possible, and spending on gas. What if one car gets a flat? Even if they’re dressed to the nines, those guests will be stuck changing that tire in the elements, or else waiting ages for help to arrive.
When you get to your destination, you’ll also need parking for all of those cars. In a busy city, this could be a nightmare and come with some hefty parking fees. Rural locations can be just as much of a drag, as grass parking, lots become muddy in the rain or gravel roads can coat guests in dust.
If you have any young or elderly people joining you, they’ll need to be dropped off or else walk from their car to the building.
But with a charter bus, all of this is taken care of. No one has to drive anywhere, which means that you can spend that commute chatting, making plans, or maybe playing a few road trip games.
Once you arrive, everyone will be conveniently dropped off right at the front door. If it’s raining or snowing, cold or hot, you won’t need to worry about your guests suffering a long walk from the car or messing up their beautiful attire. Oh, and no parking hazards, even if your event is in a busy downtown location.
What You Need to Know About Renting a Luxury Charter Bus
Now that you’ve decided that a luxury charter bus is the right choice for your event, it’s time to start searching for the right rental company for the job.
If you think that all charter rentals are the same, think again.
Choosing the wrong service can mean a lack-luster fleet, safety concerns, paying too much, or any number of other regrets. That’s why it’s so important to do your research and check out any potential companies before you make your decision.
Here are just a few of the questions you should get answers to before making your choice:
How Often Are Your Vehicles Serviced? Are They Well-Maintained?
Picture this; you promise your church friends, your bride, or your child and his or her prom date and friends a sleek ride. But the vehicle that rolls up to the curb is far from that.
Blown tires or fender benders happen. But beyond that, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with your charter vehicle that might leave you stranded on the side of the road.
When you first reach out to a charter bus service, ask about their fleet. Find out whether they are well-maintained and regularly serviced. You could even ask when their vehicles were last inspected. If they can’t answer, this might indicate that they aren’t telling you the truth about the quality of their buses.
Skip this question, and you’ll find yourself regretting it when you’re stuck on the side of the road instead of watching that opening act. Or worse, you find yourself in your wedding attire stuck out in the rain because your charter bus hadn’t had a service in over a year.
How Many People Can Your Vehicles Accommodate?
Even the best-maintained bus isn’t going to do you any good if it can’t hold everyone in your group.
Once you know that the bus you’ll be renting is safe and clean, find out what sizes are available. You don’t want to run out of room, but there’s also no need to charter a vehicle that’s much larger than you actually need.
The charter service should be able to work with you to find the right size vehicle in their fleet for the job.
Do You Run Background Checks on Your Drivers?
It isn’t just the vehicles you’ll be riding in that you should be worried about. Even though you’ll be busy enjoying those comfortable seats or extra legroom, there’s one detail that is easy to overlook when it’s right, but impossible to ignore when it’s wrong; the driver.
The driver of your charter bus has the ability to make your day or night go completely smoothly. They can get you where you need to go safely, take care of those extra details, like making sure that you go to the right door, and be there with a smile when the night is over.
But an untrained or irresponsible driver might be useless when something goes wrong or drive in a way that leaves you and your guests incredibly uncomfortable.
While you’re asking about the fleet, be sure to also ask about the drivers. Were they hired fresh off the street with no experience? Or are they carefully vetted, with background checks and training? Obviously, you’ll want the latter if you’re going to trust the driver to escort you, your family, your employees, or your friends.
How Many Drivers Will Be Coming Along?
When you’re planning a quick trip across town, you might not think twice about having just one driver. But what about longer road trips?
Chartering a bus is a great way to take your group on a long day trip. You won’t need to worry about your guests getting tired behind the wheel. Each individual could nap between stops, or just stretch their legs in the oversized seats and relax.
However, your driver doesn’t get that same luxury. If your driver will be taking you to an event and dropping you off, they might have plenty of time to rest before they need to drive again. But if the driving is continuous and long, you don’t want them getting tired on the road.
On longer road trips, most charter services will provide two drivers or do a driver swap.
If you know that you’ll be on the road and driving for longer than might be safe for one driver, ask whether a second will be provided.
Just like any other kind of employer, charter services need to protect their employees and make sure that they are never put in a position where they could put the client at risk. In the case of charter bus drivers, those protections are outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Service Administration.
How are Costs Calculated?
There are a variety of ways that costs for a charter bus service might be calculated. Some services charge a flat rate by the hour, while others may charge by the mile.
There’s no wrong answer, but you should find out how you are going to be charged before you sign any contracts.
What Other Costs Do I Need to Know About?
Those hourly or per-mile fees might not be the only costs that you’re dealing with.
Ask about any other expenses you should know about. City taxes, permits, penalties, and other expenses can considerably raise the bottom line and are something you’ll want to know about from the start. That way you can budget appropriately.
Renting a Luxury Charter Bus for Your Next Event or Outing
A luxury charter bus can help you take any event or outing to the next level.
Whether you’re thinking about chartering a bus to chauffeur your wedding party, your children and his or her date and friends to prom, or your church group’s day trip, you’ll get room to relax and add a touch of style and comfort to the big day.
But chartering a bus is a big decision and a big investment. You want to make sure that you’re choosing a service that you can trust and a vehicle that will best suit your needs. And you need to be able to properly budget for your charter in advance so that you can be prepared.
Now that you’ve learned what to look for in a luxury charter bus, it’s time to book your ride. If you’re looking for style, flexibility, safety, and reliability, we can help. Book your luxury charter today!