10 Limousine Tips For Teens During Prom Season
With prom season blasting upon us, parents and teens need facts to make smart decisions regarding their limousine rental during this chaotic time. How do you pick a good limo company? Is the cheapest going to be the best? Are my kids going to be safe on this very important night? These are just a few of the questions and concerns that surface during the annual ritual we call Prom Season.
Below are 10 tips to ensure that you are SAFE and STYLISH and SMART this prom season.
1) Always Look and Touch. You spend hours calling every limousine company to find the best deal, but how do you know that the car you have rented is the actual car that is going to show up? If a smoke-filled, 1970s, dented limo shows up, is it too late to say no…? Do you refuse to pay and end up sitting on the curb? Avoid these hassles by ALWAYS LOOKING AND TOUCHING. Go to your limousine company and see the cars firsthand. Once you make your reservation, GET A WRITTEN AGREEMENT showing the price and the actual limousine that will pick you up.
2) Know the TOTAL cost. Prom has ended and everything was great, but then the charge hits your parents’ credit card. It’s $300 more than what you expected and it’s now a month after the prom. Are all of your friends going to pay more money NOW…? Always ask about the total cost. Is there a mandatory 20% gratuity? Are there additional charges for every stop the limo makes? Are there surcharges or other fees? Is the normal 10-20% tip included or extra? Always ask your limousine provider to give you a written confirmation showing the total cost. No one wants unpleasant surprises when renting a limousine.
3) Is your Limo Company LEGAL? You have found the last Party Bus for the busiest Saturday of the month and all fourteen couples are decked out. Your parents are happy, the photos are over, and everyone is on the way to prom. Everything is great until the cops pull you over, everyone gets out and the ride is over. How could you know that the chauffeur isn’t licensed and that the Bus wasn’t legal to drive you around? How do you know that your limousine company is legal, safe, and insured? In California, when a limousine company is properly licensed and insured, it means that the vehicles are inspected by the CHP, maintained and mechanically certified every 45 days, and the chauffeurs are trained, licensed, and drug tested. This means that you are safe. Ask for a copy of the company’s current PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION CERTIFICATE and PROOF OF INSURANCE COVERAGE. If you can’t see these important documents, find another LEGAL and SAFE limousine company for your prom evening.
5) I Promise, Do you Promise? Everyone wants to party - but drug or alcohol use by minors in a limousine for hire is bad—bad news for you and the limousine company. Parents expect limousine companies to keep their kids safe and limousine companies can lose their license if minors use alcohol before or during a limousine ride. What is the substance use policy of your limousine company and does it come with enforcement or just a wink and a nod? Responsible limousine companies use a Prom Contract such as I-Promise (http://www.ipromiseprogram.com/Limo_CONTRACT_teen%20.pdf) where every prom-goer and parent understands the zero tolerance policy.
6) Know your Chauffeur. The person who MAKES the party is your chauffeur. He or she can be fun and exciting or quiet and discrete. Check the limousine company Web site or Facebook to learn about your driver and ask the limousine company about the chauffeurs’ personality. Ask the chauffeur how to use all of the electronics and talk to them about keeping the party going.
7) Book early. Prom season is usually a crazy time for limousine companies and the best vehicles are the first ones to book up. Get your friends together, make your decisions, and make your reservations early to guarantee that you have a nice limousine. Asks about what’s included: water, soda, energy drinks, sparkling cider, etc and get a written copy of the company’s cancellation policy.
8) Plan the Party. You’re going to be riding in a very expensive vehicle with lots and lots of electronic toys. Plan out your party! Bring DVDs, party music, iPods and cameras. Use the big TVs and the stereo systems to make your party rock!!!
9) Use your Limousine. You’re going to renting your limousine for about six hours on your prom night but you’re not going to be riding in the car the entire time. Plan out your evening and use your car. When the kids are at the dance, the parents can go out to dinner and have their own party and then return back home before the end of the dance. Everyone enjoys the evening and you make smart choices allowing you to make the most of your limousine.
10) Share your photos. After the dinner and after dance, what do you have left? Take lots of photos to capture the moments. Use your limousine as your personal studio or stand by the car for the perfect group photo. And then share. Post your photos, tag your friends and show everyone else the magic of the evening.
Be safe, be stylish, and be smart this prom season.
For more prom safety information, check out: www.ParentingTeens.suite101.com, www.limo.org, or www.madd.org,
About the Author: David Kinney is a father of a previous prom going daughter and the CFO of API Limousine – A Professional Image Limousine of Sacramento, CA. For more information, call (916) 719-1236 or visit www.APILIMOS.com.
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