How to Shop Smart for a Charter Bus
By Dylan Peterson, guest blogger
When renting a charter bus, you are making the decision for many people. You want a competitive price, but also a safe and dependable company. How do you shop smart and make good decisions when renting a bus for a school group, college event, church group, wedding event, cruise terminal transportation, company event, senior tour, or any other group trip?
Keep in mind not all bus companies are created equally. Don't be tempted to shop on price alone. Some companies don't spend enough money or effort on maintenance, driver training, or driver screening. Often, it's these same companies that have the "really good prices."
Here's a quick checklist of questions to ask the bus company:
1. How many years has the company been in business? I, personally, will not work with a company that has been in business less than five years. I want to know that they can make good choices over several years. I don't want a bus company learning lessons on my trip. The more experience, the better.
2. How many buses are in the company’s fleet? I like to see at least five charter buses in the fleet. It shows an investment in their business provides back-up transportation.
3. Can they provide proof of insurance? Any reputable company will happily have proof of insurance faxed to you within 48 hours.
4. Are they U.S. Department of Defense certified? Not all companies go through the effort of passing this test. There are good companies that are not DoD-certified. But if you book with one that is, it should give you added confidence that they are credible.
The U.S. Department of Defense certification test is conducted at the bus company facility. Since it’s optional and the majority of companies do not have this certification, the certification gives added credibility by indicating a government entity’s stamp of approval on quality.
5. Are they a member of Trailways or International Motor Coach Group (IMG)? Only one or two companies in each city are members of these two franchises. Typically, members of these organizations have a proven track record and are leaders in their region. However, there are many good companies not affiliated with these two organizations.
Shopping for charter bus transportation is a little different than shopping for airlines or hotels. You should do your homework. Don't be afraid to ask these questions because every reputable company is used to it and happy to help you make a confident and responsible choice.
Dylan Peterson is CEO and Founder of Charter Bus America. CharterBusAmerica.com provides price quotes for charter bus rentals for customers in seconds, along with pictures and bus company information.