Below is a guide for what you should be aware of when chartering a vehicle. There are many key factors that make up the overall cost of your charter, such as:
Booking Date: Not surprisingly, deciding when to “pull the trigger” on your decision to actually place your reservation is a key factor in determining your charter cost. If you have a set event scheduled, it is in your best interest to place your reservation as early as possible. We recommend six months out, to receive your best pricing. Of course, sometimes an event is more of a “last second” necessity, usually due to a sporting event tournament, or even worse, you have been “dropped” by your previous bus company. The good news is that with the vendor network in place at American Coachlines, “ASAP” type bookings (from 7 days out to day of travel) are our specialty, and there is a very good chance that we can secure a vehicle(s) in order to keep your event date happening. We take pride in offering our clients this specialized service.
Vehicle Type: The vehicle you choose ultimately is one of the key factors in determining your quote. Of course, your number of passengers, and overall mileage of charter will most of the time determine which vehicle you need to charter, but if your charter is local, and has a passenger count of 44 or less, you might want to consider a school bus (where available), to keep your costs down.
Distance: How far is the one way distance of your charter, and the overall miles being traveled? The distance you are traveling is also a key factor in determining your overall charter cost. The further you need to travel, will ultimately add to the cost of your charter.
Time Frame: The length of your charter is also a key factor in determining your overall charter cost. Is your charter a one day or a multi day, needing the vehicle to remain with you throughout the entire charter?
Pick Up Location: So, depending on where your actual pick-up location is, is a key factor in determining your overall charter cost. If you are in a metropolitan area where we have access to many vehicles, your cost is going to be lower than if you are in need of transportation in a more remote, secluded area. Once again, American Coachlines to the rescue! With our vendor network, we can usually make these charters happen as well.
Time of Year: The month, and even more specifically, day of the week are also key factors in determining your overall cost. The months of April, May, June, September & October are always the most expensive months to travel due mostly to school events, and weddings. Needless to say, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are the three days where the charter costs are at a premium. To save money, if at all possible, try to schedule your event during the off-peak months, and days of week.
Bells & Whistles: Just like your own vehicle, when chartering a bus, amenities can also be a key factor in determining your overall cost. Does your vehicle require WI-FI, outlets, either plug in or USB? Maybe you are requesting a mini bus with a restroom, or wanting a newer vehicle for your child’s wedding. Depending on exactly what you are looking for in your vehicle, can sometimes add additional costs to your charter, as we might need to search for that specific vehicle, and it might need to come from further away from your pick up address. We take pride in securing the vehicle(s) you are requesting.
Included - Not Included: What exactly is included and not included in the provided quote cost from American Coachlines:
Fuel costs (unless otherwise stated due to increased diesel fuel costs)
Tolls (if applicable)
Parking Fees: (if applicable)
Driver Gratuity: Should be based on overall services provided. We recommend at least a 10% tip, but entirely up to you!
Permits: (if applicable)
Driver(s) Room: If you are traveling on an overnight charter, you are responsible for providing room accommodations for your driver(s). Each driver must have their own room, and keep in mind that wherever you decide to make your reservation for your driver, that the vehicle(s) also need to be on-site with the driver(s) as well. Just a tip. If you mention to your hotel reservationist that you require accommodations for your driver(s), most hotel chains will either fully comp your driver(s) room, or discount it. You are not required to make your driver(s) accommodations at the same hotel as you and your guests, but if you do look elsewhere, keep in mind the following: if you are needing usage with the vehicle, especially in morning hours, you are going to want your driver and vehicle(s) nearby. Also, the driver accommodations must be within 5 miles of your hotel, and again must be able to also accommodate the vehicle(s) as well. You might also be required to place your driver in a room if you have chartered a vehicle for a long day trip, where there is an excess of 8 or more hours where the driver is not required. These situations are rare, but still happen from time to time. Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your sales specialist, who will be more than happy to assist you further.