Benefits of Hiring a Limousine
April 23, 2010
If you plan on visiting California's wine country this season you probably want to look into getting yourself and your friends a limousine. Using the services of a limousine company will save you money, provide you a stylish and comfortable segue from one winery to the next, and allow you to concentrate on the task of enjoying the company of your companions while taking in the countryside.
Considering that you are probably going to be doing quite a bit of sampling of the various products these fine wineries have to offer, having a designated driver could very well pay for itself in a variety of different ways. Not only will you save yourself a potentially hefty ticket fine and DUI charge (think $5000 in fees- not counting lawyers fees), but also you will be much safer while traveling from one winery to the next. There is also the traffic to be considered. If you are at all considering visiting during the peak season (half the year, practically) you should be prepared for quite a crowd. Rather than fight the traffic and deal with the stress that might come with it, allow the chauffeur to handle it while you relax in the shaded comfort of the back of a limousine- perhaps while drinking a varietal from the last winery tasting.
There are a couple of different options for what type of services provided by limo companies. You have the option between public and private tours which can be customized or preset.
Private tours are nicer if you like the privacy or if you have a larger group of friends going and you want it to be just the gang. They are a little pricier but can be well worth not having to put up with some obnoxious strangers. Public tours are more cost effective, especially if you are traveling in a smaller group. Or perhaps the idea of visiting wineries would be more enjoyable to you by meeting new people with similar interests along the way.
You can choose a preset tour if you are unfamiliar with the whole wine culture as a way to wet your feet and get started. This can be far preferable to randomly selecting between a myriad of available locations and options if you are not sure what you are choosing. There are also customized tours for the experienced visitor that knows precisely what they would like to do.
General Cost Guideline
|6 passenger limo||$60 per hour|
|8 passenger limo||$70 per hour|
|10 passenger limo||$80 per hour|
|13 passenger limo||$125 per hour|
Some companies might run discounts for advanced bookings or due to the length of the rental time if it is prearranged.
Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers
Do I need to book in advance?
While some companies do not require an advance booking, most will. Additionally, if you are visiting during peak season, you will not only want to book your limo in advance, but also book some of the more exclusive wineries in advance. Also if your party is considered large (6 or more usually) you will want to check with wineries to see if they require reservations to accommodate your party for tastings.
Are there any additional fees I should know about?
There are a few possible fees that you may be confronted with depending on the limo service you decide on.
It is expected to tip the chauffeur. A good starting point is 20%. If he or she has done a superb job you might feel the urge to tip more than this. However, if the service was sub-standard or lacking in someway, you are not obligated to tip usually. In some cases the tip can be included. (such as in some private tours)
You may be required to rent the limousine for a minimum number of hours. This is obviously more for the private tours. If you are only planning on using the limousine for one or two hours, it would be best to check with your choice of service to see if they require a minimum. Minimums usually do not exceed a few hours.
Deposits and Cancellations
If the company requires a deposit or credit card information to secure the limo, check to see if there are any cancellation fees. The deposit may be non-refundable.
As you can see there are quite a few benefits to hiring a limousine for your next visit to the Sonoma and Napa Valley ranging from safety to cost and the overall quality of your experience. Be sure when you visit the historic California wine region to do it the right way.