TOP 10 Consumer Protection Tips for Chartering a Motorcoach.
Be a careful shopper.
A decision based solely on price may not be the best value.
1. Ask how long the company has been in business.
A long and good track record is always desirable. It is not a pleasant experience when your bus never shows up or cannot complete your itinerary.
2. Request the Company’s DOT number.
A Department of Transportation number is assigned by the US Government and is required to operate legally. Raritan Valley Bus Service’s DOT # 33961.
3. Ask about the DOT Safety Rating.
Never charter from a company with an unsatisfactory rating. To check a company’s safety rating, go to this link http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/safestat/safestatmain.asp
Please feel free to ask a customer service representative to assist you if you have questions. Raritan Valley Bus operators all have a CDL license, a current DOT physical examination and comply by Raritan Valley’s formal Drug and Alcohol Program. They also have passed background checks ensuring that all operators are of the highest quality citizens.
4. Request a Certificate of Insurance.
Your carrier should supply a Certificate of Insurance. This certificate shows the carrier’s levels of insurance and effective policy dates. A minimum of $5 million combined, single-limit liability coverage is required by law.
5. Is the company adhering to Department of Transportation driver regulations?
The DOT limits drivers to 15 hours of continuous service; however they may only drive 10 hours during that duration. If your itinerary requires more than the limit, ask how the charter company is going to handle it.
6. Ask the company’s procedures for on-the-road emergencies.
The operator should have access to nationwide reciprocal maintenance agreement which will assure you of prompt servicing of equipment in all regions of the USA. Raritan Valley partners with regional transportation companies as well as the American Bus Association, and Motorcoach Partners of Integrity.
A mechanic is also on call 24/7.
7. Is the company available for inspection?
You should inspect the motorcoach equipment, general offices and garage facilities to properly maintain coaches before signing any contracts or agreements. You can tell a lot about a company by how they keep their equipment and facilities.
8. Are video-equipped motorcoaches available?
Video-equipped coaches can be a genuine asset. You can view educational videos or provide movies to help entertain your group. Ask if the carrier is legally licensed to show motion pictures en route.
9. Who pays the driver’s hotel?
Find out if the driver’s room is included in the cost of the charter, with Raritan Valley, the customer is responsible for securing & paying for the driver’s room. Be sure the company knows what hours the driver must be available to the group, and if the driver must stay at the same hotel.
10. Who is responsible for extra mileage and hourly costs above the contracted amount?
Find out the carriers policy before the trip-not when you get the inflated bill after the trip! Raritan Valley bills for any over mileage and hours incurred. Please provide a complete itinerary when requesting a price quote so that we can be as accurate as possible.