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How To Rent A Limousine For Your Wedding

Many Limousine Rental Companies are booked a year in advance so it is wise to book your wedding limousine service well in advance if you want to get a better limousine or specific style of limousine. If you are planning to rent a limousine for your wedding during Prom season or high demand wedding season, don't wait.  Book it as soon as you are certain that you want or need a limousine.

The local yellow pages, local newspapers and special event publications and online sites are good resources.  But remember, the largest ad or most impressive web site doesn't always mean the best limousine or the best deal.

First, determine what your needs are, i.e. the type of limousine, desired color, the number of passengers it needs to accommodate, etc.. Then make a list of limousine company names and telephone numbers and call a number of limousine companies to determine the available types and colors of limousines, the vintage of the limousines, associated available features and services and the costs involved.  Be sure to write down the information you receive so it will be easier to compare costs and features after the impact of the sales presentation wears off.

Each limousine rental company will probably offer different prices based on the year, make and features of the limousine and the associated services offered. Some even offer bar or champagne service (usually the cheap stuff at a high price) while others allow you to provide your own beverages. (Keep in mind that in some areas, alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle are prohibited by law.) Although price is a consideration, a better price does not always mean the most reliable service so it is a really good idea to actually visit the limousine rental company before you decide to rent - to actually look at the limousine and and view their operation. I really mean LOOK AT THE LIMOUSINE you will be renting for your wedding so there will be no *unexpected surprises.


Following are a few examples of questions you may want to ask of the limousine rental companies...

How long has the limousine company been in business?
Unfortunately, there is a high turnover in new limousine rental companies who go out of business within the first 12 to 18 months of business.  This means that the limousine company you contract today may not be around when you need them.  If they have been in business for a few years and have newer limousines, odds are good they will probably be in business in the future as well.

Do they have any recent references or letters of recommendation they can provide?
If not, you will probably want to look elsewhere.

How many limousines do they have in their fleet?
Vehicles do break down from time to time and you will want to make sure that they will have a similar replacement should a breakdown occur.

What types/colors of limousines are available for your specified date?
Again, it is a great idea to look at the actual vehicles.

What year(s) are their limousines?

Do the vehicles have air conditioning/heat that can be controlled from the passenger area?  This is a really handy thing to have and believe it or not some have air conditioning/heat in the driver's area only - which does not circulate very well to the rear passenger area.  Some older model limousines also usually only have one air conditioning compressor which will not do much to cool things off on a hot/humid day.

Do they carry "commercial" liability and medical insurance for their passengers?
If the limousine "company" has "personal" liability coverage on the vehicle (like you probably do for your own vehicle) rather than commercial liability coverage there may be no insurance coverage for the passengers since the vehicle is being used for commercial rather than personal purposes. (You will want a copy of the business "certificate of insurance" when you rent to make sure there is insurance.)

What are the costs?
Some limousine services have minimum hour requirements while some have a package price for pickup and drop off only. Some also have hourly plus mileage charges.  You will have to determine which pricing option best suits your needs.

What is included in the cost?
Some charge "portal to portal" which means that you pay for driving time to and from the limousine rental company to your location to pick you up while other companies charge only from the time that the limousine arrives at your location. Some limousine companies also offer extra services, i.e. champagne service, a red carpet rollout, etc. either with or without additional cost.

How are the driver's dressed?
Some limousine companies have a uniform standard while others do not.  If the driver is going to be seen, the appearance of the driver is just as important as the appearance of the vehicle.

Is gratuity included in the rental cost?
Some limousine services include the gratuity in the rental cost, some allow you to set the amount of the gratuity and others automatically tack on gratuity charges ranging from 10% to 20% of the rental.

Are you able to have alcoholic beverages in the vehicle?
This may or may not be an important factor to consider.

If you want to display a "Just Married" sign, can it be attached to the vehicle?  If so, is there a cleaning/polishing charge?

Assuming that you have narrowed the limousine rental company selection down to the one you think you want to book for your wedding,  you will want to reserve your limousine. You will want to visit the company to look at their vehicles and specifically at the vehicle you will be renting. You will most likely be required to pay a deposit to reserve the vehicle and you will want to have a "RENTAL CONTRACT" that guarantees that you are going to get what you ordered. The contract should specifically outline the date of service, the arrival time(s) and locations, the color, make, model and year (and license number) of the vehicle, and the costs of the rental as well as cancellation and deposit refund policies. You will also want a copy of their "Certificate of Insurance" to make sure that you and your passengers are covered in case of an accident. Payment of the deposit by credit card can give you more leverage should something go wrong if the fault of the limousine rental company.

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