Coaches, minibuses and limousines - factors affecting the rental price
Many people who visit our website have never booked a coach or a minibus with a driver before. To make the rental process more transparent, below we try to explain how we calculate rates, as well as what to look for when searching for offers from other carriers on the Internet.
We hope that this short guide will help you plan and negotiate the appropriate rental of a coach, minibus or limousine with a driver so that it meets your requirements and needs and does not exceed the limits of the planned budget
How are the prices for vehicle rentals calculated?
Customers often ask us how we calculate the price for a trip. It is quite simple. When we receive an inquiry along with a plan of the route, we take into account several factors:
This is a fundamental issue. The type of vehicle is one of the main determining factors when calculating the price of the trip. It is enough to mention that the cost of fuel while traveling the same route with an 18- seat minibus will be radically different than in the case of a 70-seat double-decker coach. We should know how many people will be traveling, because even one person more than the number of seats means that we have to rent a larger or additional vehicle. Therefore, if you are not sure about the number of people, it is worth leaving a small “margin”.
The fee is usually calculated per kilometre depending on the type of vehicle and its equipment. For short-term rentals at short distances, such as occasional rental or city tours, the rental is calculated per hour.
When it comes to journeys from point A to point B, the time that the driver spent behind the wheel from the moment of leaving the base to his return is calculated. But when a group visits several or a dozen or so places, there are many stops, and then the waiting time of the driver generates an additional cost, similarly when the return is anticipated for late night hours. The third scenario is to hire a coach for a long, multi-day trip, when the driver is away from home for a long time.
The driver’s cost also depends on the vehicle type, day of the week and time of day. Driving on Sunday and late at night will increase the total cost. In the case of longer trips, the driver can expect all meals and a peaceful night’s sleep in a hotel room.
Polish and European law precisely regulates the working hours of coach drivers. If the trip is on a long distance or has a program that starts at 7 am and ends after midnight, you will need a second driver to ensure that everything is done legally and safely.
If you’re planning a short trip, there will not be too many additional costs outside of the car park fees that you need to remember about. However, if you are planning a long, multi-day trip, there will be some additional expenses such as motorway tolls, parking fees, driver’s meals and accommodation, or possibly a ferry crossing – all this affects the final rental price.
The above factors influence on the prepared offer, but most of them will not appear on the offer document. For example, the vehicle and driver costs are often combined in one amount. There is no set rule here.
What are the other criteria that affect the prices for renting a coach or minibus?
If the route or rental time is very short, then a minimum fee will be charged instead of the fee for the kilometres travelled or the rental time – e.g. PLN 250
Demand and supply ultimately determine the prices of coach, bus and limousine rentals. Transporting people is a very seasonal business hence there may be big price differences between the peak season and the low season. The best prices are usually in January, just after the Christmas season. We will pay the most when it is warmer, especially in the period preceding the summer holidays. The situation will be the worst if we want to book for the last moment as in this period most carriers are already fully booked.
There are understandable differences in costs between renting an ordinary bus without a toilet, video, seat belts, air conditioning, and a coach equipped with all these facilities and providing additional space for legs, leather upholstery etc.
Most motorways in Poland, but also in France or Spain are paid roads, so you have to take that into account when calculating costs. You can turn to the transport company asking if a detour is possible, which may make the way a bit longer but saves you tolls on the motorway.
It is not obvious for everyone that if we rent a bus for a local transfer in Sopot, we should not ask for a quote from a company from Warsaw or Szczecin.
Parking is often free, but in some places, especially near tourist attractions, it can be expensive. If the group has an overnight stay in the city centre, the secure car park can be located at a distance, which means that the driver will have to take a taxi for example.
Sometimes a rented bus carries a group of people only one way, and returns empty. It happens that thanks to a coincidence we will ideally “shoot” with our group into this empty passage. We can count on an extra price.
The company that specializes in coach hire for trips and transfers for tourism may be willing to give a better deal on local trips outside the high season.
Sometimes small businesses are cheaper than large enterprises. This type of activity is largely performed by medium or small family businesses (sometimes even sole entrepreneurs!). Very often the owner works as a driver, guide and salesman throughout the day, while in the evening, when the vehicle is back in the garage – as an office worker. Such a micro-company often has much lower labour costs due to this. The range of services, however, is much smaller. We can also expect problems in case of any breakdown on the route.
As in any business, it is very likely that you will get a discount if you are a regular customer. Travel agencies and tour operators should make the most of the services of the same companies as possible and negotiate special rental prices.
We cannot count on last-minute offers in this industry. To receive the best offer, let’s plan your trip in advance. Early booking allows also the transport company to plan transport in a calm way. If you book later when the level of demand is known, it is unlikely that you will be able to get some rebates. By booking in the last minute, there is a risk that you will not get the right type of vehicle or – in a pessimistic version – you will not find the vehicle at all!
There may be some differences rates per kilometre in Poland. Undoubtedly, the price for renting a coach in a large agglomeration will be much higher in the peak season than similar rental in a small town outside the season.
In summary, when we talk about coach hire prices, there are a lot of factors to consider.
Fortunately for you, our long experience in passenger people, modern vehicle fleet and a large group of proven co-operators allow us to provide very affordable prices.
For further information or to receive an offer today, please do not hesitate to contact us at +48 602 729 193 or write to [email protected]