A style-statement on wheels

Many among the uber cool are hiring stretch limos for weddings or nights out

When the sleek, 28-foot-long Chrysler limousine pulled up into the driveway of a posh New Delhi suburb a few months ago, it was a head turner.

A red carpet was quickly rolled out as the chauffeur, dressed in a tuxedo, walked over to open the door. Jaswinder and his childhood sweetheart slid into the back seat and a ‘Just Married’ sign was quickly hung at the back of the car.

For the next four hours, the couple rode around in the stretch limo with plush leather interiors, the music of their choice, soft LED lighting and a personalised bar.

The uber cool are warming up to the idea of hiring limos, be it for weddings, party nights or a date. From impressing a girlfriend to partying hard, the limo is becoming the new style statement, while respecting privacy.

Make sure it’s legal

If you plan to hire a limo, first check the models offered by the different companies as well as their interiors.

Luxurylimo.in, for instance, offers Chrysler 300 limousines, while Luxuryrentalcarindia.com offers a Hummer-2-SUV stretch. The model you choose depends on your taste. However, some limos in India are the ‘modified’ version (a regular car converted to a limo) and therefore might be violating the Central Motor Vehicle Act. About four years back, Ludhiana police had advised city residents against hiring modified limousine cars. So, ensure that the model which impresses you also has the right papers and insurance documents, so it doesn’t end up being a party-pooper.

Full cost

What’s the cost of hiring these services? It usually depends on the occasion. “If it’s for a wedding, the charges are typically higher, given the additional paraphernalia’, said a call centre official of Luxurylimo.in.

The website quotes ₹80,000 for eight hours of hiring and ₹1,30,000 for 16 hours. However, if you are using the limo for a city tour or visiting discotheques at night, it is ₹65,000 for eight hours. The minimum duration is four hours, for which the charges are ₹35,000-55,000.

There are additional charges for every extra kilometre driven beyond the daily limit. Luxurylimo.in charges ₹400 for every extra km, and ₹4,000 for every extra hour. The billing is usually done on a garage-to-garage basis, for both time logged and distance covered.

While most don’t mention it upfront, the charges will most likely be higher during the wedding season. And the cost is extra for installing a bar, LED lighting or premium upholstery.

At best, these companies may offer complimentary champagne; everything else is chargeable. So, check beforehand with the company about any extra charges to avoid later heartache.

After the note ban and its effects, the renting business has been dull. So, bargain hard to get better deals. Also, check if there are any comprehensive packages being offered, as that may work out more economical.

Itinerary

Sometimes limo rental company offer services only in the city or region where you live. Paramjeet Singh of www.punjabweddingcars.in says he operates only in the Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan region. “Operating limos in Himachal Pradesh not possible,” he says, owing to the mountainous region and the cars’ inability to manoeuvre curves. Given the North Indian fad for hiring limos for marriages or parties, many players are currently catering to demand in the NCR region. Some limo companies may not allow the use of their vehicles in certain States, whether for permit or other reasons. So, make sure to disclose your travel itinerary to them beforehand, especially of moving between States.

Booking

It’s always advisable to book as soon as D-day is known. If it’s a birthday, wedding or wedding anniversary, ensure you call the company and pay the advance well ahead of time. It’s usually 30 per cent of the total hiring cost but could vary depending on the service provider. The rest has to be paid at the end of the journey. The cost displayed under various packages usually includes rental charges, fuel and chauffeur costs. It does not include parking costs, toll charges or entrance fees.

Read the rest of this article by Signing up for Portfolio.It's completely free!

What You'll Get





MORE FROM BUSINESSLINE


 Getting recommendations just for you...
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor