12 Questions to Ask When Booking Private Coach Hire
16 Apr 2021
Arranging a trip or private hire event can be quite a headache-inducing experience. From organising timings and budgets to booking venues or hotels, there’s a lot to try and remember. And that’s before you’ve even arranged how you’re actually going to get there!
When booking your transporation and - more specifically - coach hire, it can be easy to forget some of the most important questions about your travel options. So, we’ve put together a list of 12 of the most commonly-asked below, to ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed booking.
12 Commonly Asked Questions About Coach Hire
From knowing what time the driver will arrive, to garnering more information about the type of vehicle you will be travelling on, it’s natural to have lots of questions when organising transport.
Read through each of the commonly-asked questions below to ensure you have all the information you need before making your coach hire booking.
1. Do you offer more than one pick-up location?
If organising a large group event, whether privately, for a wedding, or for corporate travel, it’s probably going to be much easier for all parties involved if you can arrange for the coach to pick up from a couple of different locations that are closer to their homes.
When booking your private coach hire, ask for a few quotes which factor in different pick-up locations. It may be that the extra cost is justified for the convenience of your travellers. Speak with your coach provider who will be happy to try and find the best solution for your travel needs.
2. Can you send me a link to your reviews page?
Booking a coach can be a significant purchase. Therefore, you always want to ensure you’re booking a reliable coach company for the best experience possible, especially if you’re arranging corporate events.
Asking for any prospective companies to send you a link to their reviews pages on Google My Business or Trustpilot will allow you to hear from previous customers’ experience when booking and travelling with that particular coach company.
Don’t forget, you can also check a company’s social media pages too, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Some previous customers or clients may leave comments about their experience on the page, which again, will give you an honest insight into whether the company can be trusted or not.
3. Do you hold any official accreditations?
On the topic of reviews and making sure you are booking a reliable coach company, it’s also worth asking if a company holds any official accreditations for their quality, safety, and standards.
As an example, we’re proud to be members of The Guild of British Operators and hold full CoachMarque Accreditation. This means we have been through rigorous independent audits and safety checks to ensure we comply with the very highest standards of customer service and operating procedures.
Not having any accreditation doesn’t mean that you could be booking with an unreliable coach company or will experience bad customer service, however, it’s always nice to know that you’ll be travelling with a company that has been independently reviewed and commits to offering their clients the highest standard of travel possible.
4. How much does it cost to hire a coach?
When you book a coach, one of the most important considerations you have to make is around the costs involved. And it's no surprise that is is one of the most commonly asked questions.
Unfortunately, when it comes to booking coach travel, there isn’t a one quote fits all. There are many factors involved in the price of hiring a coach, including;
Distance of your journey
Number of passengers travelling
Size of the coach required
Number of drivers required (if a long distance)
What time of day you are travelling
How many pick-up/drop-off locations you require
Distance between your pick-up locations and the coach depot
The company you’re booking your private coach hire with will take all these considerations into account whilst putting together your quote, and they’ll be happy to try and factor in different scenarios to achieve the best quote as possible, such as limiting the number of pick-up locations, or trying to use a smaller vehicle where possible.
5. What is storage capacity like?
When travelling long-distances, especially if going on a ski trip or a coach holiday, it’s important to know how much luggage you can take with you.
While booking your trip, remember to ask about what the coach’s storage capacity is like and how much luggage you’ll be allowed. For example, can you take more than one suitcase? A pushchair? What are the limits?
Fortunately, coaches have very large storage capacity underneath the vehicle - so you'll probably be able to fit on all your essentials for your travel. However, you wouldn’t want to arrive on your day of departure to see that the coach is over-filled and not everyone can fit their luggage on, so just double check before you travel.
6. How many seats do your coaches have?
If booking coach travel for a large volume of passengers, you want to make sure the coach company has enough room for all your passengers. Likewise, if you have a small cohort of passengers, you want to make sure you’re booking the smallest coach or minibus possible for the most cost-efficient and environmentally-firnedly travel possible.
It’s likely your coach provider will have already selected the most efficient vehicle possible for your journey, but it’s always worth asking if you want to be clear which coach you will be travelling on.
You can also check the company’s website to see if they list the different vehicle sizes available. For example, on our website, you can check the different sizes available with our coaches.
7. Do you offer coach hire with a driver?
Did you know that one of the most frequently searched-for questions regarding coach hire is whether all coach companies offer vehicles with a driver?
Nowadays, it’s very unlikely that a coach company will offer a vehicle for hire without a coach driver. In the UK, coach driving requires a lot of specialist training and health checks, including a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence and the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC Driver).
Therefore, although this is quite an important question to consider, it’s one of the few you need to worry about. Almost every coach hire quote you request will include the price of your trained driver for the day, so you don't need to worry about any hidden or additional costs.
8. What types of training do the drivers undertake?
Understandably, when booking your coach travel you want to make sure that you and your passengers will be in the safest hands possible. Therefore, many coach companies will be happy to pass on any information about their driving training, should you ask for it.
In the UK, to become a bus or coach driver, individuals will need to complete training for a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence and the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC Driver).
To start training with a company, individuals must hold a full EU driving licence and be aged at least 18. Some employers prefer to take on trainees who have held their driving licence for one or two years or who are aged over 21 so have some additional driving experience.
On top of this, once qualified, all passenger-carrying drivers have to undertake regular training to ensure they’re safe and up-to-date with the latest rules on the road.
Full details on coach and bus driver requirements can be viewed on the UK Gvonerment website.
9. Will my coach driver be in uniform?
For many professional and private hire events, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that your coach driver will arrive in a uniform. However, for many coach companies this is not mandatory, and it isn’t uncommon for some drivers to turn up in jeans and a t-shirt.
Although we provide all our drivers with a smart and professional uniform, it’s advisable that you ask your potential coach company if their drivers are provided with a uniform or are told to dress smartly for private hire bookings. If booking coach travel for a corporate or business event, we understand you probably want your drive to be dressed smartly - so don't feel embarassed to ask the question.
10. Does the coach come with any additional features?
Depending on your private hire booking requirements, you may want to know if your coach travel will come with any additional benefits or features. It’s worth asking your coach provider what features are on offer, if they have any, depending on your booking.
Some coach providers will happily tie coloured ribbons to their vintage coaches for any wedding bookings, while those booking professional, corporate travel may want to see if there’s any luxury coaches available for the most refreshing travel experience possible.
It's always worth asking ahead of your travel so you can choose the vehicle with the best benefits for you - you never know what you could enjoy! For example, some of our coaches come with TV and DVD players to add some extra entertainment to your journey, while others have plush leather interiors and drinks-making facilities for a little extra touch of luxury.
11. What procedures are in place if something goes wrong?
As much as we like to promise all our customers and clients that nothing can go wrong on the day, there’s always a possibility that there could be a small inconvenience on your day of travel.
It’s worth making sure that your coach company is prepared for any eventuality on the day, such as the driver going sick, or the coach getting stuck in traffic. Knowing their methods to overcome these will give you peace of mind and ensure you can rest easy before you travel.You should also make sure you get these in writing, so you have them in hard copy should anything go wrong.
12. Can you provide details on your cleaning procedures?
This year especially, knowing you are travelling with a company that implements rigorous cleaning procedures is at the top of many people’s requirement lists.
As standard, many coach companies now operate a deep sanitation procedure called ‘fog cleaning.’ This vapour-like disinfectant can be used to reduce and eliminate many airborne viruses that surface cleaning just cannot reach.
Asking your potential coach provider to give you a quick overview of all their cleaning duties before and after passengers travel will give you peace of mind for when your travel date arrives.
Private Coach Hire in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire
With a depot that’s tucked away in the heart of Cambridgeshire, our depot is ideally located for those looking for private coach hire in Cambridge, Peterborough, and the surrounding areas.
Relax and unwind on-board on one of our luxury coaches - perfect for any professional or corporate event. Or match your dream day with a vintage wedding bus - for you and your partner, or the entire party. We also specialise in group bookings for a number of other social events, including day trips, proms, parties, and much more.
For a free, no-obligation private hire quote that meets your travel needs, please get in contact. Our friendly Customer Liasion team will be more than happy to help create a package that’s specific to your travel wants and needs.