Party Buses or Limos: How to Choose a Vehicle For Your Event

Party Buses or Limos: How to Choose a Vehicle For Your Event

Party buses or limos: Which is the right one for your event?

They say if you’re going to a party, party in style. Imagine how stylish it can get when you arrive and leave the venue with a great impression—you make a grand entrance in your limousine. Then, another group arrived—they got off from a party bus! 

The tension is brewing, murmurs are everywhere, the two groups are bound to clash. Which is better? Which is more stylish? The limo? The party bus? 

The truth of the matter is no one is greater than the other. No one is inferior to the other. It really depends on the preference of the user. It’s the same thing with the never-ending debate with Android and Apple users; both functions are the same; it is just that one prefers the one over the other. 

However, we cannot deny the fact that both products have their pros and cons which dictates what the consumers will select. The same thing goes with the party bus and limos. As a result, we made this article to help you decide better. 

The business of party buses and limos has been around since 1988 in the US. If you want to know the exact origin of the classic limousine, click here if you want to be informed. 

Before we do our comparison, let’s discuss each one more closely first before we make any comparison. The better you know the product, the better you get to decide if you need party buses or limos. 

Party Bus

party bus interior
This is the interior of a party bus. | Photo Source

A party bus is divided into four classifications, depending on the company provider:

  • 12 Passenger capacity
  • 20 Passenger capacity
  • 50 Passenger capacity
  • 90 Passenger capacity

Depending on the provider or type, you will get any of these features:

  • Automatic climate control
  • White Exterior with Black Interior or both black. 
  • Leather seats
  • Minibar
  • A sound system that you can connect to your Android or Apple device. 
  • Flat TV starting at 20” size. 
  • Audio System 
  • Gaming system
  • Music lighting
  • Privacy divider
  • Starlight Ceiling/mirrors
  • Privacy Blinds and tinted window
  • Controls for audio/video system, lights, and air conditioning
  • Chauffeur Intercom

The rental price starts at $170.00.

RELATED: Are Party Buses Safe (for Kids)?

Limousine

limousine interior - green neon lights
The interior of a limousine looks similar to the party bus’s, but the differences lie in the spaciousness and ceiling height.

A limousine is also divided into three classifications, depending on the company provider:

  • Lincoln Stretch Limousine – with a maximum capacity of 10 passengers. 
  • Hummer H2 Stretch Limousine – with a maximum capacity of 20 passengers. 
  • Chevrolet Suburban SUV Stretch Limousine – with a maximum capacity of 20 passengers. 

Depending on the provider or type, you will get any of these features:

  • Leather interior
  • Hard-wood flooring
  • Unique, comfortable seating arrangement
  • Convenient cabin partition
  • Bigger headroom
  • Interior lighting
  • A state-of-the-art sound system that you can connect to your Android or Apple device. 
  • Minibar
  • Tinted windows for privacy

The rental price starts at $150.00.

Those are the basic differences between the two types. Just to put it out there, they’re both called party buses in general, but for consumers to be able to differentiate, limousine and party bus terms are used. 

RELATED: Can You Throw a Party in a Public Park: What You Need to Know

Events that will need party buses or limos

a newly wed couple outside a white stretch limousine
Limousines are almost always staples in weddings.

What are the common occasions where you can see party buses or limos?

Airport chauffeur service and/or business travel 

Businesses use party buses or limos on and off the airport to avoid the hustle of using public service vehicles like taxis. A limo is always on call, whenever or wherever you are it will come and pick you up. That’s why it is preferred by the business class. 

Prom night 

We bet you’ve seen a lot of teenybopper movies and whenever there’s a prom, the lead star and the gang always arrive in a limousine and tour around the city. Riding a limo during the prom gives a sense of security for the parents knowing that it isn’t their child who would be driving. 

Bachelor or Bachelorette party

This is a unique way of celebrating intimately with your friends as you bid goodbye to singlehood. Riding around town, cruising, reminiscing old memories when you were still single. 

Wedding

Ah, yes! The perfect wedding entourage. IG worthy pictures! Nothing beats class. 

Celebrating a special occasion

For those who got tired of celebrating in their house or restaurants, this is another unique option. They rent either party buses or limos. 

RELATED: 10 Alternatives to the Birthday Party (and still have fun)

Sightseeing

It’s the same concept with business travel. By using party buses or limos, you omit the hassle and stress of a public commute. You can also avoid the lengthy process of renting a car. 

Do you need party buses or limos?

Whatever the event is; wedding, prom, children’s trip, or anything that you can think of… You want to travel in style and comfort, without sacrificing the fun part. That’s where party buses or limos come into play. 

We discussed the basics. Now, let’s go back to the main topic: which is better to have at any kind of event, party buses or limos? 

Consider the following information before making a decision. 

Aesthetics

limousine interior - blue lights
Limousines are known for being fancy vehicles for celebrities and politicians.

Limousine

Nothing can beat the classic. Limos just give you that sophisticated look and feel whenever you are riding one. 

Once you arrive at your location, you will people turning green from envy. Best of all, you will see how elegant you look the moment you step out of the limo. 

To accommodate Millennials and the modern times, limos now come in another variation—stretched limo SUVs that can come in pink.  

Party Bus 

The overlook was sacrificed because of the load it can carry. There’s nothing much to admire, it’s either a big black bus or a big white one. 

Capacity

party buses or limos - group of friends inside a limo
Party buses are for a larger group of friends and peers; limousines are for an intimate group of buddies.

Limousine

The Lincoln stretch can hold up to 10 passengers while the stretched SUV can hold up to 20 passengers. Even with a full load, the limo would still be spacious, given that the passengers don’t have bulky bags and the likes. 

The downside with the limo is that there’s no room for movement. Either you just sit or stand when you open the sunroof. 

Therefore, if you’re traveling with a group, you better consult with the rest of your gang if they are comfortable just sitting the whole time. 

Party Bus 

Now if you want to party, walk, or do some pole dancing with your friends, the party bus is the right one for you. It will give your much-needed space. It will provide you enough space for your garments and luggage without eating up additional space, which is something the limo cannot offer. 

However, the rental fee will be higher compared to the classic limo. That’s why if you are riding with a group and split the fee, the price rate is not that noticeable. 

Since the party bus is bigger, it means it has more amenities and features. Compared to the limo, your road-trip-cum-party will become even more enjoyable! 

Long Trips

party buses or limos - party bus interior daytime
You will be more comfortable traveling in a party bus. | Photo Source

Limousine 

The limo is not highly recommended for long trips, or even cross country trips like what you do on GTA V. If you’re traveling by a group, there’s no room for you to sleep. The only option is to rent a hotel. If you’re a lone traveler, sleeping would not be comfortable as well. 

Party bus

This is another aspect where a party bus excels. Party buses are highly suitable for long trips, even cross country trips. Some party buses have functioning kitchens and toilets. It is basically a hotel on wheels. Therefore, if you decide to go camping in the middle of your trip, that’s okay! Everything you need is already in your party bus. 

Privacy

Party buses and limos both offer privacy because they always come with tinted windows. No one from the outside can see what’s going on inside. The limo has just a bit of an edge, though; it offers a divider between the driver and the cabin.

Matching the Tone of the Event

party buses or limos - young women outside the bus
If you’re all about partying hard and long-distance traveling, go for a party bus. Limousines are for short-distance trips.

This aspect makes it really hard to decide between party buses or limos. This would be left on the taste and judgment of the consumer.  If the party does not have a formal tone, and you arrive using a limo, it seems very off-putting. People may see you as getting misplaced. 

Same thing with a party bus—what if the event is formal and your group consists of 25 people? You opted for the bus again, but its bulkiness and size would be off-putting for a formal event. 

This is one of the reasons why SUV-type limos can come in a variety of colors so that it can stand on neutral ground. 

Amenities

limousine interior - brown leather seats
If you love a variety of amenities, you will love celebrating in a party bus more.

Limousine 

Because of its compact size, limos have nothing much to offer aside from the usual mini-bar, sound system, lighting, and TV monitors. 

Party Bus 

This definitely has more edge versus the limo. Because of its size, it offers a wide variety of add ons that consumers can avail. The bigger the party bus, the more amenities. 

For example, if the bus will be used by a group of children, the provider can offer a more child-friendly atmosphere and amenities. If the renter is a company for business trips or team building, the provider will modify the features to match the customer’s needs. This is something the limo cannot do.

Therefore, it is better to inform the company beforehand about the purpose of your fit. This way, they can give you options regarding the amenities to remove or add. 

Cleaning Fees

Limousine 

It has a compact space, which means it can fit a few people. That means you’ll pay a smaller price for the cleaning fees.

Party Bus 

Bigger in size, bigger in space. It can fit a lot of people so that only means more cleaning is required. This, in turn, would add more cost to the overall payment.  The cleaning fee varies per service provider.

Party buses or limos: Other Factors to Consider

They say the best trips are the unplanned ones and there’s some truth to it; but realistically speaking, you would not want to apply it when it comes to traveling using limousine service. You are investing your time and money so you would want to get your money’s worth. 

Listed below are even more inputs to help you decide as well as some warnings about choosing party buses or limos. 

Booking 

party buses or limos - white stretch limo, exterior view
To get the best model, you have to be early.

Whether you’re booking party buses or limos, you should do it way earlier. If possible, do it a month in advance. 

If you did research and came upon a high-rated company, definitely you’re not the only customer trying to get their services. Therefore, booking earlier will give you a lot of options to consider. 

Will you move the date of your trip just to get the service of the company? If you can’t move the date, are you willing to pay extra or will you look for another limousine provider?

Another benefit of booking in advance is that you get to discuss your needs with the company. 

For example, you can tell them about your itinerary. Is this a continuous journey or there would be multiple stops? How many people are you bringing? Will you pick somebody up along the way? 

You can also discuss what type of luggage or travel-related things you will bring on board. This way, they can gauge if the party buses or limos can accommodate both the passengers and luggage.

RELATED: The Best Times for Kids’ Birthday Parties Explained

Rental Fees and Add-on Fees

party buses or limos - party bus interior neon lights
Beware of hidden expenses, whether you’re renting party buses or limos. | Photo Source

To rent a limo for a 5-hour night out on the town, most people spend between $270 and $650, depending on the size of the limousine and how many passengers. 

Renting a small luxury sedan may cost $200 for the night, whereas a 20-person stretch Hummer will cost $1,100 for 5-hours.

Limo party bus rentals cost between $460 and $890 on average. Meanwhile, a 10-passenger party bus rental will cost $125 per hour with a 4-hour minimum, while a 20-passenger party bus will cost $150 to $200 per hour.

Add-on Fees

Let’s be realistic here—not all companies disclose add-on fees. More often than not, it will cause arguments between the client and the consumer. 

Therefore, you might end up on the loser’s lane because they would just state that it is in their written rules and regulations or agreement—and you happen to be too lazy to read. Not their fault.

Parking fees 

Know the city you are going to. A paid parking lot might charge you more because they have the mentality that since you can afford a limo, definitely you don’t mind paying extra for the parking space. 

If there’s no parking space available, and the driver is left with no choice but to circle around until you’re done with your business and pick you up. Prepare to shell out additional fees. 

Toll Fees 

It is safer to have this cleared with your limo company because some companies shoulder the cost and some do not. You want to avoid having a lengthy argument with your chauffeur about who’s going to pay the toll just because you did not ask your provider.  

Fuel Surcharges 

If you deviate from your original plan of the route and you wish to go to different places outside of your original itinerary, please expect a fuel surcharge, normally around 10%. That’s common sense, so don’t be mad about it. You want to keep the limo running beyond what is discussed, definitely, you need to pay. 

Cleaning Fees 

As mentioned earlier, the cons of using a party bus may incur a hefty cleaning fee. Broken glasses, shattered mirrors, torn out carpet or upholstery, disgusting and unsightly stains on the floor and wall. Any lingering smell after use. If your limo provider asked for a deposit up front, those are the reasons. 

We know there’s a saying that ‘work hard, but party harder.’ However, think of the additional costs after partying harder. 

Alcoholic Drinks

If you’re traveling with a minor, the limo provider will strictly prohibit you from bringing alcohol on board. Facing a hefty fine and the possibility of losing their license, they won’t spend a lot of energy haggling with you. So, know the alcoholic beverage policy of the provider.

Music 

Don’t expect the company to provide the DJ for you. The best music they can offer is on the radio. To avoid disappointment, bring your own music for the road. It wouldn’t be a party bus if there’s no party music. 

Some Things to Watch Out for When Renting Party Buses or Limos

party buses or limos - young man inside a limo
Don’t be swayed by low rates. You’re renting a fancy vehicle here.

Okay, great! You are now decided to book a vehicle. But before you seal that deal, watch out for these red flags. 

Low Rate Offers

Keep in mind that availing low rates would not always give you the best service. If you pay cheap, please don’t expect quality service. Your purpose in choosing the limo service is to have a good time while traveling. So, don’t make the price point your priority.  

Another thing to consider is that the low-rate you got from their ads might not be their final price. Just like mentioned above, there are hidden charges; therefore, thoroughly check your contract before inking it. 

Be Meticulous of the Following:

  • Insurance coverage of the company
  • The quality of the vehicles they offer
  • Training provided for the chauffeur  
  • Rules and policies that cover the company.

Use the power of the Internet. Google is your friend, so research everything you can about the provider you are eyeing. This will help you determine if the company is pop or flop or just a plain scammer.

The National Limousine Association can give you relevant information regarding the company you are studying. 

You can also utilize the website of the California Public Utilities Commission to get all the basic information you can get about the rental company that you like. 

Ocular Check the Vehicles

party buses or limos - entrance to a white stretch limo
Never forget to inspect the vehicle beforehand!

An honest company with nothing to hide will let you check their fleet prior to traveling or booking. This will gauge their honesty when it comes to their service. 

It would also help if you would bring along someone who has a keen and expert eye when it comes to vehicle quality. A second opinion wouldn’t hurt. This will give you the overall look and feel of the fleet if they are well taken care of. 

You can also ask the insurance coverage on the vehicles, on the other hand, they may be insured but has it been properly processed? 

If you can, ask a mechanic to accompany you; the fleet may be beautiful inside-out, but what about the engine’s condition? The AC quality? You don’t want to be traveling on a hot summer’s day then the AC dying on you. 

Double Booking 

Uber has a service called Uber Share, wherein you get to travel with a different passenger since you’re all going to the same destination. The same thing happens in limo service. Greedy companies will book you with other people and vise-versa since both of you are going to the same location. This is dangerous and definitely illegal. 

Bottom line

No system is perfect, some mishaps may come along your travel. That’s the purpose of this article, for you to be enlightened on what is the overall feel and the workaround of the limousine rental services. 

Therefore, do your part right. This is the right time to channel your meticulousness. Do not store your plans in your memory. Write it down, check the pros and cons. Create a list of everything that would be included and are already included, then start to weigh things if you want party buses or limos.  If it is too much for you, then you can always ask your friends to help you plan it out. 

If you plan everything carefully, no potholes or dead ends can stop you from getting that most awaited trip of yours. Party buses or limos? You decide. 

Related questions:

How long is the longest limousine?

The longest limousine is 100 feet long.

When was the first stretch limousine made?

The first-ever stretch limousine was created in 1928 by Armbruster.

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