4 Things to Consider When You’re Going to Prom on a Budget
Fri, Apr 11th, 2014
Hey kids! PROM season is upon us, once again. Don’t fret if you haven’t booked your limo quite yet (although sooner is typically better than later, in terms of getting the best rates and the hours that you want). Limo.com has put together a short list of things to consider when booking your ride to Prom on a BUDGET:
1. Group Size
Is it just you and your date, a small group of friends, or a large group of friends? This is the first thing you should consider when booking a vehicle for two reasons: first, your budget may fluctuate wildly if there’s 14 people all contributing towards a vehicle, vs just two (or one!). The more people who are throwing in some $$, the larger the budget (typically) and the less of a financial strain it’s going to be on your pocket; second, the size of your vehicle will also vary drastically, depending upon how many people are in your party. If there’s just two of you, there are a world of vehicle options available to you, depending upon how luxurious or “BIG” you’re looking to go; conversely, the more people that you are trying to fit into one vehicle, the more your options are limited to certain vehicle types. In the luxury transportation industry, the larger vehicle you need, the greater the rate (though there are exceptions). Luckily, with a larger group you have a greater number of people to share the cost of the vehicle. Speaking of vehicle options, this transitions nicely into the next key consideration on our list…
2. Vehicle Options
The second thing that you want to consider when you are shopping for a Prom ride on a budget, is the vehicle options that are available to you. As we mentioned above, if you have a larger group, your vehicle options will tend to be a bit more limited. Many traditional limos will have space for a maximum of ten-twelve passengers, with SUV limos typically maxing out at fourteen; if you have a group in excess of sixteen, you are most likely looking at either a party bus or a mini-bus type of vehicle. However, if you have a smaller party of two-four people, you may also want to consider a town car, luxury sedan or luxury SUV. We mention this, because people will usually think of a limo when they think of Prom transportation; however, many limo companies will charge an hourly- minimum, which can be overwhelming to Prom attendees, and will make it less likely that they can afford any type of transportation in the first place; conversely, many town car and SUV operators do not charge an hourly minimum and thus would be able to offer a more affordable rate.
3. Your schedule for the evening
The third thing you need to consider when booking transportation for your Prom, is your schedule: are you and your date/group going to dinner before you head to the dance? Will you all be picked up at the same location, or will the vehicle need to make several stops? How long are you planning on being at the dance? Do you need a ride home, or just a ride there? Will you be going anywhere afterwards? Believe it or not, the answers to all of these questions can have an effect on the rate of your Prom transportation. If you are making multiple stops throughout the evening, then it will likely be more economical for you to book a vehicle for a certain amount of hours, as opposed to a flat rate pick up and drop off. With an hourly vehicle, the number of stops doesn’t affect the rate, because you are paying for the vehicle for a certain block of time; where as with a flat rate vehicle, the rate you are quoted is only for transportation from Point A to Point B, so if you deviate or add extra stops to that, the Operator will typically charge a fee for each additional stop. In addition, if you are only looking for a ride to Prom and back, it would cost you less to book to separate flat rate pick ups/drop off, as opposed to an hourly vehicle; however, keep in mind than most Limo operators do charge an hourly minimum-meaning that the Operator will charge you an hourly rate at a certain amount of hours, regardless of whether you utilize the vehicle for this amount of time or not. This is a fairly standard practice in the luxury transportation industry, as larger vehicles cost a lot more to own and operate, and therefore the Operator needs to charge this hourly minimum in order to make a profit.
4. Demand & Location
Demand and Location are the last things on our list because while you don’t have control over either-they still have an effect on the overall rate charged for transportation and thus will effect your budget. By “demand”, we are referring to how great the need/want is for luxury vehicles at the time that you are wanting to book yours. Prom is an especially high demand season. As such, many Operators will charge a premium for their services, simply because they know they can. This happens in most industries, and is smart on the part of the business owner, as he/she/they can capitalize on their product/service. Never-the-less, it does effect how much you will need to pay for the transportation that you seek. Demand is also effected by the location in which you are seeking your transportation. If you live in a larger city, there are typically more Operators, which means more vehicles/services to pick from and greater pricing options for the consumer-which typically works in your budget’s favor.
With all of the different aspects of Prom, choosing transportation can seem a bit overwhelming. Help yourself stick to a budget by using the above four considerations as a guide. (Side-note: Limo.com’s booking system allows you to search quickly and easily for available luxury transportation in your area of interest; filtering out the list of vehicle/Operators by passenger count, time/date availability, allowing you to narrow down your choices quickly and easily, with the best rates available and consumer reviews on each Operator. Not to toot our own horn, but we DO make the process pretty seamless….).
Above all, we wish you a safe and happy prom season.
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