How to choose the best limo service in Chicago

It’s quite challenging to decide what “the best limo service in Chicago” is, and here is why. There are several hundred limo firms in Chicago and it would be virtually impossible to hire them all in order to compare based on the price, level of service, dependability etc. Of course, you can Google the top 10 car services in Chicago, but the ones with a lot of money for advertising doesn’t necessarily make them the best limo service in all of Chicago. Do not get me wrong, they may well be, but how can you be certain?

Now, it depends what level of service you are looking for. Here are a few points to consider before hiring a limo company:

  • Do you just want a clean black Lincoln Town Car?
  • Do you want a well-dressed driver as well (black suit and tie)? Unbelievably, there are “limo companies” that allow their drivers to show up at work dressed in jeans or wearing sneakers!
  • Do you mind the limo being 4-5 years old?
  • What happens if the limo you want to hire brakes down one hour before your pick-up? Would that company have another car to send you?
  • Wouldn’t be nice if the driver will not ask you for directions every 10 minutes?
  • What if the car gets into an accident — did you check with the company to see IF they have commercial insurance? Are they fully insured and certified? Are they licensed?
  • Do they even have a website, land-line or an 1800 number? Did you know that you cannot have a land-line/1800 number without a physical address?

I don’t think that if you have a plane to catch and your home is located in the suburbs you will be too comfortable sitting around and wondering why the limo driver hasn’t arrived yet. “Oh well, he has three more minutes to get here”, “maybe the traffic is bad”… Nope, the chances are, if the driver has not showed up yet, he or she will be late. Any reliable limo company knows that the driver should be at the designated location at least 15 minute before the pick-up time. There are so many fly-by-night limo companies around, but who has time to check them all out? After all, everything you want is to get a good price. Until you run into problems…

Another important detail is to book in advance. Try to book as soon as you know your flight details to get it out of the way. However, ask the company about their cancellation policy in case you cancel the trip. Ask them about late hour fees (early morning and late night), the number of passengers for the rate you have been given, holiday surcharge, extra stop fee, toll fees, fuel charge or taxes and pets policy. Ask them to give you the grand total for you trip, all included. It is your obligation to ask these questions. They might have all this information on their website, but you probably do not have time to read all their terms and conditions. That does not make them bad companies; it is just another strategy for promoting their business.

Payment alternatives: ask them up front whether the company accepts credit cards. Once the service has been booked, you should ask them to fax a written confirmation or sent you an email with all the details. If you will book something more expensive than a Town Car or an SUV limo, (like a Hummer limo or a limo bus), you will be required to make a deposit.

If you’d like, arrange to see the car and check it out before the event. Is it clean? Did they give you a different limousine or another color or even another size/brand? Make sure you ask all the questions before the time of pickup.

If you have more folks in your crowd, it is a good idea to have everybody meet at one place, this way you will avoid additional pickup and drop off time and save some money. Make sure you get the driver’s cell phone in case you need to change pickup time. Reliability and flexibility are two important elements in the limo business.

Reliability and flexibility are two important elements in the limo business.

They should be able to provide ground transportation within 2-3 hours of your call. Don’t forget to ask about “Special deals”, coupons or anything that might get you a discount like, if you book a round trip you will get 10% discount, this sort of thing.

Do your homework, call them up and ask as many questions as you want. My advice is to try a few companies and if you find one that you are pleased with, stick with it even if they ask 5-10 dollars more than the competition. Do not assume that because one company charges $55 from O’Hare airport to Downtown Chicago and another one charges $75 or even $100, the last ones are automatically better. The chances they are not, the service is the same but you pay more for the name. But why pay extra when you do not really have to, especially in this economy? Think about how much time and money you can save if you choose the right company. It is going to take some time, or not (if you are lucky and you find the right one fast) but it is definitely worth the effort for travellers who frequently come in and out of Chicago.