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Friday, July 18, 2014

Luxury for Less: How to Save on Limos

Road Trip New York City
Road Trip New York City
Limos are about as far from frugal living as you can get, but every once in a while, a special event arises. Whether it be a wedding, your kid’s prom, an anniversary, your significant other’s birthday, or a big concert, splurging on a limo can still be done somewhat affordably if you do some research first:

Take All Factors Into Consideration

It’s tempting to book the cheapest limo service available, but what you see listed on a website or emailed to you as a quote may not be the final amount you pay. Before booking, be sure to find out the minimum number of hours required (usually 3-4 or more), which additional service charges (such as mileage or gasoline) might be applied, whether or not food and refreshments are provided, what kind of vehicle you will have, whether or not gratuity is included, and more. Some companies may quote the hourly rate but rarely is that the final price you’ll pay.

Shop Around

Since there are multiple factors to consider when renting a limo, it’s a wise idea to shop around, rather than booking the first limo you find near your price range. Most limo companies have online quote request forms – which save more time than having to call each place individually – and you can call customer service if you have any further questions. Using Yelp to sort the good from the bad is also a huge lifesaver when you’re trying to plan a special event and don’t want anything to go haywire.

Discounts and Special Rates

If you have some flexibility in scheduling your event, you might want to set it on a weekday for the best prices. Hourly rates drop during the week, when limo services aren’t as highly demanded as they are Fridays through Sundays. It’s worth asking the company if they have any specials going on, or check Yelp for possible discounts and SumoCoupon for transportation-related coupons.

Split the Costs

This one is simple: if you’re getting a limo with a group of friends or family members, split the cost of the limo plus gratuity. It’ll make the trip much less of a burden on all of your wallets.

Choose a Lower-End Model

Limo companies like to promote their latest and greatest additions to their fleets, but unless you’re dead-set on a Hummer limo or luxury party bus, settling for an older limo with a lower passenger capacity is the most affordable way to go. You still get the benefits of a professional chauffeur and fun of a limo ride without the sky-high costs that come with top-of-the-line luxury options.

No Frills

Some limo companies may stock their coolers with cheap alcohol and drinks with high mark-ups when it comes to the final bill. Instead of paying for overpriced booze, ask if you can bring your own drinks, or stick to water and find a bar along the way. Other limo companies may offer snack and meal options, but again, it’s better to forgo these frills because you’ll end up paying much more out of pocket on top of the base limo rental price.

*Read my Disclosure


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