Charter Bus Rental Tips: Get Answers Prior to Booking Your Next Trip.
Chartering a bus has become the most affordable method of transportation for large groups. Depending on how long your bus trip will be, how far you're going and if you'll need local service while at your destination, bus charters are the most economic transportation option. However, if you have never chartered a bus before there are many questions to ask and options to consider.
You have several different options to choose from for charter bus transportation. Be sure to get a coach that will accommodate the total number of passengers in your group. Buses come equipped in many different sizes with the most common being a 56 passenger coach, but there are also 45 passenger, 41 passenger, and 57 passenger coaches available as well. If your group is chartering for an out of town trip you will definitely want to be sure the bus you have selected has a restroom. Most bus companies have standard buses in their fleet, so if you are looking for Wi-Fi, satellite TV, 110V outlets to power your laptop or other amenities you need to ask as these amenities are not standard, or you can click here to view our buses that are equipped with these amenities plus hardwood floors and leather seating.
Most people just assume that every bus company has the required insurance coverage? Don’t assume this, especially if you do not have an existing relationship with the bus company. We always recommend that you ask for a copy of the insurance certificate. The national required insurance coverage is $5 million for inter-state and $1 million for intra-state. Inter-state means they can travel out of state, intra-state means they must remain within the state lines.
A lot of people shop based on price. This can be a cardinal sin as you may not get what you are expecting. You will want to ask the year of the bus, mileage and most importantly if you can stop by and view the bus you will be renting. Keep in mind that buses are built to last for a 1,000,000 miles, but you may not want a bus that is 15 years old and rusting with wore out seats for your guests. So be sure to evaluate what you are getting along with the pricing so you make the best decision for your charter.
Most group charters are operating within a budget for their trip, so you will want to ensure you have full pricing confirmed from your bus company in writing. Does your price include fuel surcharge? If you are traveling out of town is the driver’s room included in your quote? Are you being charged per mile or on a day rate?
Ask the bus company if they have USDOT and MC numbers? If they don’t you will need to find another company. The USDOT is the federal governing body over large passenger vehicles that seat 15 passengers and up. USDOT requires all buses to be marked with the USDOT number and a tremendous amount of compliance to ensure bus companies are operating safely. Most people are not familiar with USDOT Regulations, so you will need to know that a bus driver can only drive up to 10 hours in a 15 hour day before they must be off the clock for 8 hours. You will need to keep this in mind if you are planning a long bus trip.
The long and short of this post is to do your due diligence and ask lots of questions before you rent a bus for your next charter. If you have any questions that we can assist with please don’t hesitate to call. We are here to help.