If you are planning a trip or outing for a group of people, chartering a bus may be the best option for you. Most coach charter buses are going to give you a great value for the cost, which is going to be less than other forms of transportation and it is a more environmentally friendly way to go. There are some considerations you need to make when you are selecting your charter bus company.
- Ask people you know. Do you know anyone who has used charted a bus for a group? Hands down, the best way to get a good product or service is to get a personal recommendation. Ask your friends, family, coworkers, basically everyone you know. Have you ever taken a chartered bus? What did you think of the experience? Would you ride with that company again? When you are talking to the companies that offer coach charter buses, ask for references. Reputable companies should have no problem having you talk to their current and former clients.
- Ask about the safety record of the company. While traveling via coach charter buses is one of the safest ways to go, it is always important to ask about a company’s safety record. You should know that the highest rating the United States Department of Transportation ever issues is “satisfactory” so you not be put off by companies with that rating.
- Check on the company’s licenses. It is just as important that you make sure the chartered bus companies that you consider employ only drivers whose licenses are valid and current. Ask, too, if they have any permits they will need for where you are going. This includes the proper equipment or permits for tolls and parking and to gain entry to parks you may want to visit. As they are motor vehicles, coach charter buses can be pulled over by law enforcement and while this does only happens rarely, if the driver does not have the right license, your day can be changed completely. It is always worth it to ask. You may also want to ask about diver turnover rates. That can say a lot about a company’s business practices.
- Ask about the kind of buses they charter. How many people are in your party? The average coach bus that is used for this sort of thing can seat anywhere from 40 to 60 people. You should also inquire about the age of their bus fleet, how well maintained the buses are and whether the trip you want to take can be made in a regular workday. There are regulations on how long a charter bus driver can work. They are not permitted to drive for periods of time longer than 10 hours (total, for a day) and are not permitted to be on the job longer than 15 hours. You may need to have relief drivers if your trip needs more driving time or time on the job than that. Most of the time, coach charter buses have a restroom on them but it never hurts to ask.
- How often do they clean their buses? The last thing you and your group want is to get on a bus that has not been cleaned in a long time. When you have a large group, you need the bus you charter to be clean and hygienic. Ask about how often the restroom is clean and how often they change the trash bags.
- Ask about other amenities. Some charter bus companies offer WiFI, DVD player with screens and other kinds entertainment options. If you know you are going to need something specific, you should always ask.
- Get several quotes. If you can get three quotes, that is a good number to compare and contrast. You may find that a company that charges more but offers more as well has enough value added to pay the extra amount. You need to be totally clear on what is and is not included in the prices you are quoted. Ask them about tips, tolls, parking and gas.
Coach charter buses offer a great way for your group to have a great trip.