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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you rent a luxury car for an event?

Renting a luxury car for an event can be easy. Executive car rental companies provide set rates and package options based on the time of day, the type of car, and the length of time for the rental. A Bentley on a Saturday night will definitely cost more than a stretch Lincoln on a Thursday afternoon, so consider vehicle type and day if you’re concerned about budget. Typically when you rent a luxury car for an event, you are also hiring a chauffeur to drive. If not, you can rent a luxury car through standard car rental companies. For chauffeur-driven executive car rentals, make sure you have a clearly outlined contract to help avoid any potential problems.

Once you have decided on the type of car you want and the length of the rental, review your written contract carefully before paying a deposit. Confirm the price and check to see whether booking fees, tax, gas and surcharges are included. If they’re not, go back and renegotiate to make sure everything is in writing. If driver gratuity is not included in the total, be sure to set aside cash to tip driver at the end of the night; 15 percent to 20 percent is standard if they’ve done a good job. Another way to know upfront what to expect is to request photos of the vehicle you are renting. Now, sit back and enjoy the ride.

What is in a party bus?

A party bus can be a fun and safe way to transport a group of people to or from an event. A party bus can be anything from a retrofitted school bus complete with disco lights, to an upscale shuttle service, to a stretch Hummer with a full bar. What is inside a party bus depends on the company you hire and what you are looking for. Many party buses have bars in them, complete with glassware, ice bins and mini fridges. Often party buses have festive lighting like strobe lights, black lights, dimmable lighting and track lighting on the floor. A party bus usually has loudspeakers in the back for en route dancing and may even have a dancing pole in the center. Some states require seat belts in party buses and decree that all passengers must be seated when the vehicles are moving, so there must be a seat for each passenger. To make sure you know what you are paying for, request photos of the inside and outside of the exact vehicle you are hiring. Also make sure you have all fees and details of what is and is not covered in a written contract.

How much does it cost to rent a limo?

Renting a limo is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, prom or a bachelorette night out. Nationally, limousine rental prices average $290-$410. Limousine prices can vary greatly depending on where you live, whether it’s a weekday or weekend, whether it’s evening or daytime, how luxurious the limousine is, whether it’s a national holiday, and how long the rental will last. Many limo rental companies require a minimum number of hours to ensure their business costs are met.

The vehicle size will also affect limousine prices. For example, a 10-person limousine may rent for $125 per hour with a four-hour minimum ($500), while a limo bus that seats 20 may rent for 150 per hour with a four-hour minimum ($600). In another part of the country, a standard limousine may rent for $85 per hour with a four-hour minimum ($340). Be sure to plan for driver gratuity in advance. Some companies include a tip for the driver in the total, so read the contract carefully. If they don’t, be prepared to tip 15 percent to 20 percent if the driver has done a good job.

Which executive car is best?

The best executive car rental depends on your needs. There are many reasons for renting an executive car. You may need a driver to pick up a business colleague from the airport, you may want to bring a group of friends or colleagues to a special event en masse, you may be getting married and want a fancy car to drive you to the reception, or you and the gang may be celebrating and want an executive car to drive you safely from location to location. Executive car rental companies typically have a large fleet of vehicles to accommodate your needs. For business events, a luxury sedan may range from $75 to $150 per hour on average, depending on the make and day. For elegant affairs, stretch limos add a nice touch and may range from $125 to $200 per hour, on average. For a party with your friends, a stretch SUV or Hummer creates a festive atmosphere and typically rents for an $90-$150 per hour, on average. Executive car rentals generally charge for a minimum number of hours to ensure their business costs are covered. Expect longer minimum hours on weekends and prime nights than during weekdays.

How much do you tip for a party bus?

When you rent a party bus, it’s industry standard to tip the driver 15 percent to 20 percent of the rental cost. Some rental companies include a gratuity for the driver as a line item on the bill, while others leave tipping to the discretion of the passengers. Often party bus drivers are employees of the rental company, and are not seeing most of the money you paid to hire the ride for the night. You should consider the tip as a standard part of your total party bus price. The job of the party bus driver is to keep you and the other passengers safe, ensure your comfort, and get you to your destinations on time (barring outside factors like weather or unpredicted traffic). Party bus drivers are usually the ones who stock and prep the bus with ice, drinks, and other requested items before picking you up. They are also usually tasked with cleaning the vehicle after you and your guests are done for the night. Ask your rental company whether a tip is included in the quoted price, and be sure to be prepared with cash or the ability to tip by credit card after the event. Of course, tipping is not required (unless it is a written part of a contract you agreed to), and if you had problems with the driver, you don’t have to tip. But if you had a nice time, consider tipping well. And if your guests were extra rowdy and messy, add a few extra dollars to your tip to acknowledge the driver’s extra work cleaning up after you.

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