Looking for a charter bus company can be a daunting task for those who don’t know what to look for. Most of the people out there only rely on the price charged by a bus service when chartering a Motor Coach or Bus. However, this is not a good idea as there are other important factors that need to be considered.
It is good to understand the charter bus company you want to choose and their commitment to the safety of their customers. Considering the price charged by a company is important but it is also good to consider things such as driver competence, safety, cleanliness, and vehicle integrity and customer service.
It can be easy to find the right chartered bus company if you know the right questions to ask a chartered bus company you want to hire. Here are key questions to ask a chartered bus company before hiring:
How long has the company been offering their services?
Established charter bus rental companies usually have a reputation. On the other hand, a fledgeling company in untested. Ask the charter bus company for proof of state, federal and or provincial operating authority.
How big is the charter bus company?
Although big isn’t necessarily beautiful, you should know that small businesses may not have the full range of management and technical support needed to offer “world class” service.
How old are the charter coaches?
It is very important to consider the age of the charter vehicle. However, remember that modern coaches have a long life. In fact, cleanliness, general presentation, and mechanical condition may be more important than the age of the coach. You should also ask how the company maintains its vehicles.
What type of charter coach vehicle is the best?
The type of vehicle to choose depends on the purpose and length of the journey. Rate how important things such as catering facilities, bathrooms, video, TV, window shades, reclining seats, wheelchair lifts, air conditioning, curtains and so on are to your passengers. Make sure that all the things you require are included in the bus service price.
Does the company offer a wide range of vehicles?
Since the number of your passengers may change, it is a good idea to look for a company that offers a wide range of vehicles so that you can substitute when the need arises.
What about charter bus safety?
Ensure that you ask the potential charter bus company about safety features – antilock braking systems (ABS). Ask whether or not the company complies with coach drivers hours regulations which help prevent risks caused by fatigue. A lax attitude can prejudice the safety of your passengers. Avoid companies which have an unsatisfactory rating.
Any special requirements?
Find out what will happen in case you decide to change route or times. Check if the company will be able to meet any unexpected circumstances within the constraints of safety limits. How can this affect the pricing?
Any special needs?
Can the company provide the appropriate vehicles if your passengers are elderly, very young, or people with disabilities? Can it also arrange stops where the needs of such passengers can be met?
What are the standards for staff training?
A driver needs to be competent in people handling, vehicle handling and licensed. Ask about the company’s policy in training drivers in customer care. Uniformed drivers and counter tell you a lot about company standards and attitudes.
What about unseen staff?
The competence of maintenance staff and their facilities directly affects the safety and reliability of vehicles. Therefore, it is good to ask about the unforeseen staff to have a rough idea of what the services offered are like.
Does the company have a drug/alcohol testing program?
Only choose a company that is able to prove to you that they have drug and alcohol testing programs. If a company doesn’t show any evidence, then it is good to look for another one. It is important to ask this question to ensure that you are given a driver who is safe and sober.
Who usually pays for the drivers’ accommodation?
Asking this question will help you prevent any confrontation during or after chartering a coach as it will help you know who will book and pay for drivers’ accommodations.
Can the company deal with emergencies?
Always remember that even those vehicles that are well maintained in the best way possible can also develop faults. Therefore, it is good to find out if the company you want to hire deals with emergencies.
How does the company avoid unacceptable delays?
Ask if the company has any systems in place to minimize any disruptions and inconvenience caused by unacceptable delays.
Can I look at your premises and vehicles?
A good company is usually proud of their facilities, services, and products and will have nothing to hide. Look at the operating and maintenance facility to determine whether or not the company will meet your needs.
Do you have a current list of references?
It is a good idea to only hire a company that identifies customers for reference purposes. Avoid a company that doesn’t do this. Ensure that you get references and contact them to find out more about the company you want to hire.
Are the vehicles insured and valid licenses held?
Ensure that the company provides proof of coverage including a liability coverage of at least 5 million dollars. You should also check if the company is inspected by the state, federal and/or provincial Department of Transportation, has operating authority and check if the drivers are licensed to drive the class of vehicle they are given to drive by the company.
What is your company’s DOT rating?
The Department of Transportation usually rates transportation companies. Therefore, it is a good idea to check the rating of a chartered bus company before hiring. Only hire a company with a “satisfactory” rating which is the best rating.
What is included in the prices?
It is wise to know what you are paying for. So, find out what is included in the price to find a company that offers value for money. Otherwise, you could hire a company that could end up overcharging you for some things you never expected.
Asking the above questions is very important as it will make the process of finding a good Cairns bus service an easier process. As you can see finding a good Cairns bus service is not as hard as it seems.
Source: Courtesy of Cairns Luxury Coaches