This blog was originally published in 2012; we have since updated it to reflect the most current and accurate information possible.
Whether you’re booking a limo for the first time or you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s important to understand how limo companies charge and what you’re actually paying for.
Typically the quote you receive when you book a limo is either the base rate or an all-inclusive rate.
If you’re judging your final cost off of the base rate, you’ll most likely be surprised when the final bill arrives...and is much, much higher. If your quote is an all-inclusive rate, it’s comforting to know your final bill before you start; but it’s still important to understand what you’re actually being charged for.
Limo companies charge an hourly rate for their services, so it’s important to know when the clock starts running.
The three ways they charge are point to point, garage to garage, or an hourly-flat rate.
Depending on the travel time and location of the pick-up and drop off location, this can have a huge impact on final billing.
Point to point billing charges you from the time they pick you up until they drop you off. Garage to garage billing charges you from the time they leave their facility until they return. You can also reserve a limo for an extended period of time for a flat hourly rate.
Some limo services automatically charge a 15-20% gratuity, so make sure you know before you book your trip to avoid paying gratuity twice.
However, if your chauffeur is outstanding, you may way to give him an additional bonus.
Any time your chauffeur has to pay for parking, bridge tolls, airport taxes or any other fees during your trip, you can expect to see it on your final bill.
Depending on the state your transportation is in, you may have to also pay sales tax.
Be sure to know the sales tax rate in the state you book and add it to the estimated final bill.
Be aware that most companies charge administrative and fuel surcharges.
The administrative surcharge helps cover automotive and workman’s compensation insurance. Due to the ever-changing price of gas, your trip will include a fuel surcharge, which will likely be within the range of pump prices.
Similar to every other travel expense, price is often highly influenced by demand.
The cost of booking a limo on New Year’s Eve will be much higher than on other regular days of the year. Additionally, weekends tend to have a higher price than weekdays.
If you choose to reserve a limo for a flat hourly rate, be sure to know what the charges are if you exceed the reserved window of time.
Companies typically will either bill overage charges in 15-minute increments or by the hour, and these are typically much higher than the standard rate.
Evaluate whether overage charges are a strong possibility while making your initial booking, and consider expanding the session. It may be cheaper to initially book it for another hour, than pay the overage fees after you exceed the reservation time.
Understanding the various components of your final bill can be confusing. So make sure you know what you’re paying for and ask the limo company you’re booking with what their policies are on the fees mentioned above.
CoolRide Chauffeured Transportation has three locations in Southern California to conveniently provide reliable airport transportation to LAX, Burbank, and John Wayne airports and in over 200 cities nationwide.
From a single corporate traveler to large groups, CoolRide specializes in executive ground transportation and logistics.