How many cars are in their fleet? Some services only have a few cars, but book several weddings, and contract out cars from other agencies. Our limousine service did 17 weddings the day we got married and had to contract out extra cars! But we had a contract stating the owner was our driver, and that we got their cars, so we were pretty much guaranteed he would show up. Usually the owners will be more reliable as their reputation is at stake.
Ask them how much deposit they require. The company we used only required a $20 deposit.
Ask for a flyer that shows prices in writing. You don’t want them making up inflated prices on the fly. You want a rate that is fair. Do they have a flyer with photos of their cars? If they don’t have it written down on a flyer, chances are they are unscrupulous, you should scratch them off your list, and move on to the next limousine company.
Can you bring your own champagne? The champagne they give you is barely useful for cleaning your toilet. You’ll want to bring your own maybe water for your ride, you will be thirsty after the ceremony. They provide the glasses.
Have them describe the worst wedding situations they have been in, and how they handled it.
How much is the overtime rate? Some weddings could run longer than expected, and you want to know how much the overtime rate is per vehicle that you use. You want no surprises. This is a huge source of problems for many newlyweds.
Who will be your driver? We found the owner to be a very nice gentleman and his name went on the contract to drive our Rolls. His son’s name went on the contract to drive the Excalibur. Try to get the owner or their family members to be your driver. Family members have a reputation. Always try to get the owner!
If you cancel, can you get your deposit back? Most companies will not refund deposits, so choose one with a low deposit, and be certain before you sign that this is the company you want. Don’t be a moron, give a deposit, then research the company you want. The correct order is Research, Choose, Deposit. Avoid limousine companies that charge high deposits. The company we chose however, will allow you to apply the deposit toward their services within one year. Luckily, they only require a $20 deposit. There is no reason for any limousine company to require 50% deposit.
So what limousine package did we go with?
We chose a rather unusual package of three premium limousines. We had “Florida’s longest limousine” with a bed in the back, that seats 15 people, used for the groom, groomsmen, and several family members for 4 hours ($350). We also had the Excalibur limousine pictured below, seating 6 people for the bride and bridesmaids for 4 hours ($350). And lastly we had the antique Rolls Royce to take the bride and groom to the reception from the church with a 2 hour time limit ($175). Because we used all 3 of their top cars, we were able to negotiate a lower price with them. These prices include about $125 in savings, as they let us use the 15 seater and the Excalibur for one additional hour free. We also had to pay an additional 20% gratuity for the driver. Here is what our Excalibur limousine looked like:
This should get you going. There really is not a whole lot of science here, just try to negotiate your cost down, and get everything in writing. This is easier if you are using 2 or more limousines. And remember, if they don’t put it in writing, it means they won’t do it!