When we’re traveling on a special occasion, it never hurts to sometimes do it in style. If you’ve never ridden in a limo before, you know that a well-run limousine company can help you to feel like you’re swimming in style. And if you have, then you already know that the experience is often worth the expense. How much does it cost to rent a limo, though? How does one get in touch with a limousine company, and what sort of etiquette is expected from the passengers? These questions and more are what we’re here to answer today, so buckle in, and let’s talk about riding fancy in one of the oddest travel methods on four wheels.
Limousines are an odd duck in the automobile world. On one hand, they’re immediately recognizable, and they hold a distinct, identifiable place in our popular culture. Nobody ever looks at a limo and wonders what it is; no matter what shape it takes, that extended body and sleek exterior say it all. However, we don’t often spend that much time thinking about limousines, and because of that, some of the finer aspects of them are lost to us. I’m not just talking about cost; I’m talking about the “why” behind limousine’s assumed appeal.
If you’ve ever ridden in any variety of limousine, there’s a good chance that you recognize that appeal. Even if you were just a guest in another person’s party, that limo probably felt special. Exquisite. Dare I say, “elite?” That doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative connotation, by the way!
There are quite a few stereotypes that surround limousines and limousine practices. Their outlandish cost isn’t always so outlandish. You don’t need to hire one to ride around in all day, and even celebrities that you witness getting out of limos in popular culture likely aren’t hiring that ride for an entire day (though, they occasionally are.) There’s no reason a limo has to be out of reach for your special occasion, and as you’ll find out later in this article, a limo service might be far more accessible than you think.
However, one thing is for certain: limousines are entirely a luxury. In terms of practicality, they make little sense. They’re not vehicles that are designed to be the epitome of efficiency, however; they’re designed to deliver an experience, and in this, they do their job exceptionally well.
Below, we’ll go all out on limousines, demonstrating some of the occasions where you might want to hire one, as well as what experience you can expect when you do. We’ll give you some helpful hints on how to get in touch with a reliable, local limo service, and spend some time speculating on the potential cost of a limo rental. By the end of this, you might just feel like a few hours of luxury are a way you’d like to travel around your next special occasion.
What is a Limousine?
Though I seriously doubt that anyone wouldn’t recognize a limousine of any make or model when they saw one, it’s not such a silly question. After all, a limo is a lot more than just a “long car” that you can stuff an unusually large number of people into. If that was the only go, we’d be watching celebrities climb out of minivans (not that there’s anything wrong with a good minivan, right?)
Just as much as a limo is a type of vehicle, it’s also an experience. At least, that’s what it should be, as long as the limo company that you hire is doing it right.
Determining the type of vehicle is simple: a limousine is a car with an extended body and modified interior. It’s usually designed to fit far more people than would often be the case, and there’s usually a dividing barrier and window between the passenger compartment of the car and the driver’s seat. This preserves the feeling that one isn’t just a passenger; they’re a “guest.”
Limos can come in quite a few different forms, too. Most commonly, you’ll see a sleek, modified sedan that simply looks like a stretched out car. On rarer occasions, a limo might be a modified Hummer or a similar exotic car. In all circumstances, more has changed about this vehicle than its extended length; the interior has almost always been completely redesigned into a little coach on four wheels.
Why Hire a Limousine?
Funnily enough, the answer to this question can be summed up fairly easily. People hire limousines for the same exact reasons that they hire cabs, taxis, or chauffeurs. They want to get from one place to another, but they don’t want to drive themselves. The only added ingredient to that equation is the fact that they want to do so in style. Hence, limousine!
Large parties of people are also able to ride together more easily in a limo. If you’re in a wedding party, and need to get from one place to another, a limo is a great option. The same can be said for any type of party containing a bunch of people, really. Not only can it sometimes be more fun and feasible than taking separate vehicles, it might also make more sense depending on where you live.
What is It Like to Ride in a Limo?
As stated above, riding in a limo is designed to be an exquisite experience. More than just a finite way to get from one location to another, it’s something you’re meant to enjoy every second of.
However, individual experiences are going to differ greatly depending on the limo company that’s hired, and what they offer in their vehicles. Some of them only have a well-crafted interior; comfortable, elite, but otherwise ordinary. Some of them will have a mini-bar that’s been paid for ahead of time, so those going for a ride can enjoy themselves as if they aren’t in a vehicle at all.
The driver is almost always separated from the rest of the interior, which means that you and your party of folks will be left to your own devices while the driver takes you where you want to go.
Finding a Limo Rental Company
Thankfully, finding the right limo rental for you has become a pretty easy task. We can thank the internet for that, too, and all of the reasons that it’s hugely important for businesses to have some form of online presence. Limo companies are no exception to that.
The best way to search up a great limousine rental is to simply search for rentals available in your particular region. For example, I could swing over to Google and search for “limousines in Minneapolis, MN,” and be rewarded with a rather extensive list of possible rental options.
While online searches are far and away the best way to find local limousine options, you can also turn to more traditional methods of searching if you have to. Your local phone book is likely to have listings for some of the more reputable limo companies in your area.
How Much Does Renting a Limo Cost?
How much you’re going to end up spending to rent that limo, however, is going to be all over the map. It’s less a sliding scale of classiness, and more a convoluted mess of regional rates, vehicle types, and the average hourly rates that drivers make in your area.
As you might imagine, it can get a little bit complicated. Still, it doesn’t mean that we can’t take a look at a few examples, to give you a better idea of the potential costs.
LimoStand, a company dedicated to helping you find a limousine service using online resources, has a handy table of approximate expenses that we can use for reference. They quote a limousine meant to seat 6 to 7 passengers can cost between $50 and $85 per hour, not including the addition of gratuity expenses for the driver (which should be a given!) Further up the scale, a 12 to 13 passenger limo rental might cost between $95 and $150 per hour, again not including gratuity expenses.
Want to go way up in fun-factor? Take a look at those stretch Hummer expenses–between $125 and $300 per hour! Of course, every single one of these quotes is just an estimation. You’re going to need to consult with individual limousine companies if you want a truly accurate picture of your rental expenses, and that’s going to require some searching around your region.
Thankfully, finding the right service for your needs has become an easier process than ever before, and there’s a surprising amount of competition between limousine companies. Where there’s more than one person or business competing to offer the same service, you’re going to get some competitive rates to accompany it, which means that you should definitely shop around when you’re looking to rent a limo. Now that you have an idea of how much it might cost, are you more or less likely to class up a few hours of riding about town? Let us know in the comments below!