Unless you are a meeting planner or tour coordinator, chances are you aren’t ordering charter buses on a regular basis. There are some questions that you should remember to ask, before you book your motorcoach with a company.
1. Years in business. This is important simply because companies who have been in business for a long time, know the ropes. You can better trust that they won’t take your money and run, or unexpectedly close their doors.
2. What is their safety record? Companies who have good safety records tend to brag about them, and they should. Knowing the company’s safety record is like viewing a snapshot on how they conduct business. Do they have driver’s hours violations? If so, that could indicate they don’t take the hours of service laws seriously. Driver fatigue is a real issue and has the potential of causing a terrible accident. Better to be safe than sorry.
3. Maintenance and cleaning. Imagine this: You schedule a motorcoach for a large business function. The bus shows up dirty, and half-way through the trip it breaks down. Ask your sales person about how they maintain the buses, from cleaning to oil changes, it all makes a huge difference.
4. Cancellation and deposit policy. What if you change your mind? What if you don’t have as many people RSVP to your event that you thought? Most companies understand that things happen and have cancellations policies in place to help you out. Some operators may require a deposit to hold the buses. This most likely would be refunded if you cancel within the time frame.
5. Rates. Each company figures their services on different factors. Some may add a fuel tax, some a clean-up charge. Rates can range from a hourly minimum to a daily charge. Ask you sales person to break down the costs per bus and per passenger. It can make it easier to understand the cost savings of traveling together when you see it broken down in that way.
Just asking a few key questions can make or break your trip. Your sales person will be there every step of the way, helping create a positive experience for your group.