Boston limo drivers explain costs, scheduling

Mark Belenkii, owner, Boston Carriage, Boston,

Scott Solombrino, president, Dav El, Chelsea, Mass.,

Brett Barenholtz, CEO, Boston Car Service, Boston,

What types of limousines do you offer?

Belenkii: "Sedans and stretches."

Solombrino: "We have Cadillac sedans, Escalades, Lincoln stretch limos and special luxury vans with captain's chairs."

Barenholtz: "Most of our cars are extended Lincoln Town Cars. We also have six-, eight- and 10-person passenger vans."

Do you require your drivers to take a test or have special licensing to be a limo driver?

Belenkii: “No. Massachusetts doesn't have any special licensing requirements. We prefer that our drivers have experience."

Solombrino: "All our drivers must take a special program, the Smith Driver Safety Program."

Barenholtz: "Our drivers all have a ton of experience. They're all drug-tested and their records are checked constantly."

How do you charge for your limo service and what are your prices?

Belenkii: "We have set rates and hourly rates. The limos are $75 an hour with a 20-percent service charge."

Solombrino: "By the hour or mileage, whichever is greater. We charge an hourly charge with 20-percent gratuity and 12-percent fuel surcharge included."

Barenholtz: "We charge by the hour with a minimum for the limousines. Sedans and SUVs are point-by-point. That charge differs by zip code."

How can people guarantee they get a limo for a specific day and time? (Do you have contracts people can sign/deposit?)

Belenkii: "For large parties or big accounts, we send out contracts."

Solombrino: "Make a reservation in advance. All we need is to verify a credit card."

Barenholtz: "It's best to book early. There's a contract for the limo, and they need to have a credit card or an account with us."

How far in advance should customers call you to schedule service?

Belenkii: "At least 24 hours, or if it's the same day, we need a few hours' notice."

Solombrino: "We recommend a week in advance."

Barenholtz: "As soon as they know they need a limo, they should call."

What's your busiest time of year?

Belenkii: "September is our busiest time of the year."

Solombrino: "May through June and September through December."

Barenholtz: "The spring and the fall are our busiest times."

What makes your limo service different or better than the competition?

Belenkii: "We contact our customers ahead of time. Our drivers know their numbers and can locate them to make sure they pick them up on time."

Solombrino: "We get brand-new sedans, SUVs and vans every six months. We have the most professional chauffeurs in the United States."

Barenholtz: "Our service. Period. Our drivers are great and our cars are great."

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