One of the simplest means of transporting a large crowd of colleagues has to be by renting a bus. Whether it’s for a staff party, large corporate outing, an off-site meeting, or field trip, corporate bus chartering is cost-effective and convenient.
What’s more, renting a bus for your corporate needs is a great way to ensure everyone arrives on time and in one piece. With the right bus chartering business, you can avoid delay and truly maximize your time spent out-of-office.
Looking to rent a corporate charter bus? Here’s what to consider when choosing the best charter company…
What to Consider When Renting a Bus for Corporate Chartering
Aside from the most obvious bus charter considerations such as cost, seating, and amenities, there are a few important things to look at before signing into a contract. While some bus charter companies may have a legitimate-looking brand, overlooking a few key details could cost you more than you think.
Here’s what to factor into your decision:
1. Always Put Safety First
One of the very things on your to-do list should be to research the company’s safety records and any previous history of accidents or mechanical failure. Generally, you can obtain this kind of information from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Don’t settle for anything less than a ”satisfactory” rating.
Make sure to ask for business and driver licensing, which should be 100% up-to-date. Any charter business with expired paperwork is not worth taking a gamble on.
2. Insurance Coverage
Adequate insurance coverage as a transport business is incredibly important. It’s your due diligence to ensure that the company you hire is properly covered. If a bus charter company is authorized for interstate service, its minimum liability coverage should generally be $5 million.
3. Mechanical Inspection
Another important consideration is the overall quality of the vehicles within a charter company fleet. Essentially, you should ensure that your chosen coach has passed mechanical inspection in the last 12 months. Generally, most states will issue a decal that certifies passage.
It’s also important to find out the age of the vehicle and confirm its size and capability before signing into a contract. Large charter buses that travel cross-country can transport 40-60 passengers at a time. But it’s always wise to double-check that the coach you’ve selected has adequate seating and enough amenities to suit everyone on board.
4. Commercial Driver’s License
Ensure that charter company only works with certified drivers who carry a CDL, also known as a commercial driver’s license. Unlike regular driver’s licenses, a CDL requires a great deal of additional driving knowledge. In addition to this, make sure all drivers have had adequate training and enough experience- especially with long-haul trips.
5. Additional Drivers/ Driver Switch Out
The general rule-of-thumb within the charter transport industry is that bus drivers cannot operate a coach for more than 10-hours in a day. If your corporate charter exceeds this timeframe, it’s wise to ask about the company’s driver switch-out policy.
How many additional drivers do they supply and how will they plan your route to accommodate for this driver switch-out? Don’t forget to ask about extra costs, or whether this is included in the overall price.
On the topic of costs, another important consideration is the company’s pricing structure. Remember to inquire as to how their pricing is broken down- will you be charged according to miles traveled or the overall duration of the trip? Pricing structure differs according to your destination but always look for a company that offers an itemized, detailed breakdown of what your trip will cost.
7. Size and Amenities
Obviously the size and seating capability of your coach hire is a first-and-foremost priority. But if your coach comes with a little added luxury this is a win-win. In addition to this, don’t forget to factor in special-needs amenities, such as a handicap lift or ramp.
Depending on the size of the coach, you could be offered a sound system, personal televisions, dimming lights, reclining seats, and even on-board lavatory. If you require these amenities, be sure to ask if the company has the perfect coach to suit your needs.
8. Payment Terms
Payment terms are also an important factor, so don’t forget to ask about what the company requires in terms of a deposit and when the final payment is expected. Always make note of their cancellation and refund policy and what your rights are if something comes up at the last minute and the trip has to be canceled.
9. Beware of ”Add On” Costs
Some charter bus companies have a sneaky way of adding on costs to your charter package that you probably never even considered. Just some of these could include destination taxes, city taxes, special permits, and road tolls. Always ask about any additional charges that you should be aware of and insist on an itemized breakdown of each charge.
Second to this, make sure you are fully aware of the company’s on-board policies such as no smoking, alcoholic beverages or food. This could lead to fines or cleaning charges that you never even expected.
Lastly, don’t forget to ask about driver accommodation and costs – how is this covered and is it included in the overall quote?
10. Confirm Bus Charter Routes Beforehand
Before you set off on your trip, it’s wise to go over the company’s selected route beforehand so that you have a rough idea of the stops you’ll be taking, any potential detours and delays. Ultimately, these detours could cut into your travel time, and if you’re paying by the hour, this could only drive up the cost. If you’re unsure about how the company handles delays and detours, there’s no harm in asking!
Executive Bus Chartering Services in New York City
Looking at renting a bus in New York City for a corporate charter? Best Trails and Travel is rated one of the best in the business and is one of New York’s premier charter bus companies.
Whether you’re looking for executive tours, amusement park packages, casino packages or custom-travel package planning, we offer it all. Take a look at our packages and tours for more!