Don't be taken for a ride
In private chauffeured transportation services, it’s normal to expect an impeccable service perfectly tailored to the client’s needs. However, it is equally important to know, in advance, what service is being offered and how much it will cost —no surprises.
There are many companies that promise exclusive service, with all the possible comforts and extras, at a seemingly unbeatable price. The surprises come later, once the service is completed, as unexpected charges pop up, often with complex terminology that is difficult to understand for someone not used to the industry. Sometimes, cheap is expensive.
Sometimes a quote will only include a base price. In other words, this is the minimum price, to which a whole series of services and their costs will be added later. The following are the most common:
• Waiting times: Always ask how much courtesy time is included in your reservation. Note that it may vary depending on the pickup location (waiting times are usually shorter for pickups from a private home, hotel or office). At airports it will depend on whether you are traveling on a domestic, international, or private flight. Also confirm that the waiting time begins from the moment the plane lands, to avoid surprises in case the flight is delayed.
• Airport surcharges: Many companies are prone to surcharges to cover airport taxes, airport parking, and even meet & greet service in destinations where the chauffeur is not allowed to personally pick up the passengers.
• Tolls: Unless the passenger expressly indicates that they prefer an alternative route, a chauffeur will always take the fastest route, even if this means passing through toll booths. With a transfer, always demand to know the price in advance. In as-directed services, where the route is not previously fixed, you still have the right to be informed of possible tolls and parking costs in a quick and expeditious manner after the service is completed. Do not accept additional charges for these items weeks after you have paid your invoice.
• Fees and Taxes: In many destinations, road transportation is subject to charges (local, regional, or even state), and since they’re not directly dependent on private chauffeur companies, they choose to charge them separately to cover possible price increases. Always ask for information about these fees when requesting quotes and, of course, before booking the service.
• Fuel surcharge: As in the previous example, it is quite common practice in the industry to charge a fuel surcharge to cover possible price increases.
• Night charges: Always ask if the price differs between daytime and nighttime. Also, find out if there is a surcharge on holidays or given days on which an event takes place that may affect availability.
• Extra stops: It is possible that during a transfer you need to make a brief stop, such as leaving your luggage at the hotel before going to an important meeting. Find out about additional costs for these stops. Keep in mind that there are also types of service, such as Drivania’s extended transfers, which already account for this possibility.
These are usually the most common charges, but there are many others. For example, there are popular tourist destinations where it is customary to charge for each piece of luggage. Or, if you’re traveling with children, they charge an extra for the booster seat.
In short, it is recommended that you always demand, in advance, all-inclusive prices. Don’t let anyone try to lure you with siren songs of the highest quality at the lowest prices, only to see unexpected extra charges and costs appear at the end of the service.
Drivania will always provide you with guaranteed upfront, all-inclusive prices. And once the service is completed, the invoice will be issued promptly, all for your peace of mind.