Party on wheels! Graduation, bachelorette, birthday celebration—you name it, it’s definitely better with a party bus or tricked out limo. Brent Michaels with SW Limo—a highly-rated provider on Thumbtack which has been serving Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona for over 32 years—has his fleet drive over 200 weddings and 300 birthdays a year. The man knows party rides.
If you’re considering one for your next big to-do, scope his lowdown on hiring the perfect party ride for your next event.
What are the most common reasons people hiring a party-mobile?
It’s all about having fun. People are celebrating a big event in life and want to pull out all the stops, says Brent. Bachelor parties and anniversaries are classic party limo material, but SW Limo often gets hired for other group activities like corporate team building events.
Who has the most fun?
Everyone loves it! SW Limo has had a wide range of ages party in their rides, from a gang of four year-olds to a 96 year-old man who took his first ever limo ride for his birthday. For his 100th birthday this June, SW Limo is going to give him a complimentary ride!
What are tips for first time party bussers?
Do research on whoever you hire, urges Brent. In the party bus and limo market there is a lot of turnover in the companies and some last a year or less, he says. Brent believes this turnover can cause a lack of integrity. If the price is too cheap, this is a huge red light and he warns there may be issues. Check those online ratings, read the fine print, and make sure the company feels trustworthy.
What should someone ask before renting a party bus?
Request photos of the party bus or limo you are renting, urges Brent. And definitely, make sure that the price includes all the fees (tax, gas, surcharge, booking fees) and get it all in writing! This will save you from 2:00 AM drama after you’ve had more bubbly than anticipated. Unscrupulous companies in his market have hit people with a 20-30% fee at the end of the night, Brent explains. If you have it all in writing, he shares, you won’t have any unhappy surprises. No one wants to argue over money in a wedding dress.
What’s the scoop on tipping the drivers?
The drivers work hard to keep you safe and to get you to your (various) destinations on time, Brent shares. It’s like tipping after eating dinner out with a big group, he explains. The customary tip is 15-20% at the end of the ride. He says drivers really appreciate the recognition. One last request: Be respectful. Y’all are partying and getting down. Just remember no matter how tipsy you get, always treat your driver with courtesy.
How long is the average party ride rental?
In general, a party ride lasts 4-6 hours from pickup to final drop-off.
How much does it cost?
In Arizona, prices range from $100 to $200 an hour depending on the number of passengers, the date, amount of time, and distance to be travelled.
What are some of the cool features party buses offer?
Brent’s limos are all non-smoking, so they don’t smell like a bar when you get in, he says. The rides in his fleet feature fiber optic lights, seven flat screen TVs, fish tanks that bubble wild colors, and laser lights. You can expect plush seating, privacy, and a super-glam ride. Nationally, you can find pretty much whatever your heart desires in the party bus realm!
What else should people know about hiring a party on wheels?
Make sure your loved ones are kept safe by ensuring the party bus or limo company meets minimum insurance standards and maintains regular vehicle safety checks. Different states have different regulations on these types of vehicles, so verify your company makes the grade when it comes to seating, safety, alcohol, etc. Brent says many party buses are repurposed shuttle buses from airports which have had their original seating removed and benches installed around the walls. If the company you are considering does use these buses, make sure there’s enough seating for everyone, as regulations require that no one is standing up (or dancing on a pole) while your party is moving.
On a more festive note, be creative when hiring a party bus or limo. It’s not just stag parties anymore! Some snazzy ideas include staging a Red Carpet event with fake paparazzi (Hi, Dad!) for special-day school pickup events. After photo ops, take your group of kids out for ice cream in the party ride. For big kids, load up the homies for a reunion concert or to catch the big game. No one has to worry about being the designated driver. Plan girl’s night off with pedicures and some bubbly for the heck of it.
Kids, kids-at-heart, and the-soon-to-be-married agree, party buses or limos make life more fun.
[Photos via SW Limo]