Tips to Chartering or Renting a Motorcoach or Bus
Since chartering a bus is not something many people think about, there’s a lot of information you should know before taking this important step.
1.If you try to charter a bus or find a bus rental company through Internet, most of the websites you will find are run by third-party brokers. These are not charter bus companies; they are brokers who will charger you an average of 38% above the cost of the charter. That 38% could be better served in your pocket on the day of your excursion!
2.For buses that travel in the United States of America, you can verify a company’s safety rating, insurance status, and more, as well as confirm whether or not a company actually owns any buses at all, on your own by visiting the DOT’s website at www.safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx
3.There are no sites providing instant rate quotes for the bus industry as there are for the airline industry. This means you would have to contact each company directly to determine who offers the best rates.
4.The charter bus rental industry is comprised of local and regional companies; there’s no national bus service either in the US or in Canada at this time.
5.Most charter bus companies request a deposit to book charters. This deposit is generally around 22%, but in the current economic environment, many charter bus companies or requesting 100% up front.
6.In the USA, drivers are not permitted to drive for more than ten hours after eight-hours off-duty.
7.Local charters are generally charged by the hour. Longer, out-of-state trips are typically charged per mile and average more than 275 miles per day.
Things That Can Ruin an Otherwise Great Trip
With any unknown adventure, things can go wrong. Some are not foreseeable while others are. Based on research, we have compiled a list of concerns and issues that, by being aware of them, will help you ask the right questions and make the best choice for your charter bus company. Don’t let a missed opportunity spoil you charter bus rental!
1.Buses not arriving on-time.
2.Dirty or old buses.
3.Broken or improperly working amenities including restrooms, heat, televisions, and air conditioning.
5.Company is non-responsive, refused to return phone calls.
6.Added charges at the end of the trip (hidden fees).
7.Driver got lost (poor directions).
8.Not enough space on the bus for passengers and/or luggage.
9.Bus broke down.
10.Driver continued driving after the 10-hour limit (did not change drivers).
When you search for a company to serve your needs, these reviews can help you avoid and/or address potential problems with the company you choose. Some of these issues may be unavoidable or unforeseeable, but others are important to discuss with the charter bus company representative so that everything is up front.
Of course, there are other questions that you should ask before hiring a bus charter that will help make your trip smooth. These include:
•How many miles (for longer trips) are included per day.
•What is the charge for exceeding them?
•What is your cancellation policy? Is there a minimum cancellation date or kill fee?
•Does the final bus rental quote include tolls are parking fees?
•Am I responsible for the operator’s hotel accommodations for overnight trips?
•What is the standard bus operator gratuity? 10%?
•What happens if there is a breakdown? Do you send a new bus? Charter a local company to continue to trip?
•I’d like to review proof of insurance.
•Are you a broker or do you own your buses?
•May we inspect the bus prior to signing up with you?
•Do you have your own maintenance facility?