Check out the vehicle you plan on chartering. You don’t want to be surprised on the big day when a relic shows up at the event when you were expecting much more!
Reliable and professional companies will be more than happy to provide you with a signed contract for service. Companies who can’t supply a contract may not be confident in their ability to fulfill your reservation.
All buses and coaches are required by law to be registered, have insurance, carry a current certificate of inspection, and proper permits where required. Unfortunately, the internet and advertising services do not require the same in order to advertise. To protect yourself from “dodgy companies”, ask for proof of these before you enter a contract.
Companies who belong to industry and government associations usually must abide by special regulations and service rules. Associations such as the Australian Bus and Coach (ABC) and Queensland Department of Transport are good indications that your service provider does their due diligence.
Don’t be the bride or events coordinator who gets the “We don’t have your reservation” story. Shopping on price alone is dangerous - some unethical operators do not hesitate to drop a reservation to pick up a better paying fare.
Don’t be afraid to ask searching questions when it comes to the company’s vehicle maintenance practices, such as “who inspects and maintains the coaches… where are the coaches maintained?”
Be wary of companies that will not provide references attesting to their safety performance and service quality.
Ask questions to satisfy yourself that the company conducts regular driver training and evaluation.
Do you have on-staff certified Driver Trainers, certified by Queensland Transport?
Determine the age of the coach if that’s important to your group. Motor coaches are solid and well-made vehicles that have a much longer service life than cars, so older equipment that has been well cared for can indeed provide safe, clean and reliable transportation. Be sure to ask about amenities that are important to your group, such as video and sound systems, reclining seats, wheelchair lifts, luggage storage, air conditioning, etc.
Even the most modern, well-maintained coaches can experience an unforeseen mechanical failure. Reputable and experienced companies have 24-hour back-up measures and contingency plans in place to minimize disruption and delays en-route.
Legal, responsible and safe companies have nothing to hide and will proudly show you their maintenance and operations facility. If you’re unsure the company’s services will meet your needs, ask yourself “is it worth it?”