The Following Information On Limousines In Charleston South Carolina Is For Informational Purposes Only
This information is not to be construed, but information as the author has gathered from owners, local law enforcement and state government officials that license, regulate, and enforce the operations of charter companies.
For the purposes of this statement any driver, chauffeur, or operator of a Class C Motor Carrier holding a Class D drivers license must have a valid City of Charleston Taxi Driver or Chauffeur's Permit to operate a taxi, shuttle bus, sedan, limo or any other vehicle that has a South Carolina LS or TX license plate affixed within the city limits of Charleston South Carolina. If the company you are dealing with tells you they are not required to have such permit because they don't have limos and they are a charter company, then they are wrong based on the current requirements of the City. If you contract with a company that does not have permitted drivers in the city, your ride can be stopped and an enforcement officer can end your ride, ticket your driver, and from there we are unsure what happens ~ you be the judge. To be safe demand to see your drivers City of Charleston Chauffeur or Taxi Drivers Permit. The permit will have the drivers name, address and photo stapled to the card.
If your traveling within the city limits of Charleston, then demand to see your drivers City of Charleston permit and their green business license pocket card. If your stopped or your driver is checked while you are out of the car and he or she fails to produce such license you may be without service.
What kind of limo should you get? A good rule of thumb is that if you have more than 12 passengers you should then move up to a Limo Van, SUV, or Limo Bus. Stretched Car limos in Charleston do not have the proper suspension systems to accommodate more than 12 and the limo may drag when crossing streets and making turns.
Limo rates, service charges, fuel surcharges and Gratuity's: These rates and fees will vary from company to company. These same rates can also vary based on the type of service provided in addition to amenities.
Should I tip or is tip included: This is a tough question to answer. Each company has different ways of paying their drivers. Some drivers receive only an hourly rate regardless of what the charges and/or fees were to you, some drivers receive an hourly rate plus half of the tip/gratuity charged, some receive an hourly rate plus all of the tip/gratuity charged, and finally some drivers only receive a percentage of the total job. When a charter company charges gratuity, they are not obligated to give 100% of that charge to the driver as it is a company charge. Although this does not seem fair the morally implied makes you think that your driver is taken care of and is not always the case.
A good rule of thumb is you can ask the customer service person if the driver will receive all of the gratuity, if it is included and if they give you an honest answer then you have your answer. Or, simply just give your driver a tip of 10 to 20% based on service and you have done your part.
The largest majority of drivers in Charleston receive 20% of the total bill with no additional compensation or gratuity and the remainder receive $10 per hour for driving and 1/2 of the gratuity charged.
How does my driver dress? You may want to ask, some drivers dress really casual. Ask if your driver will be in a suit and what color it is, will they be in a tux or is it optional?
What about my drivers appearance? If your paying for the limo then by all means ask if your driver will be clean cut or can you have a clean cut driver. If you would like a long haired driver ask if one is available. You can always ask or make a request, but you can never be judgmental if you made a request and were told what you would get.
Can I be searched? A charter vehicle operator can not search a person, however they can request that no baggage or cargo be brought into the passenger area. A charter vehicle operator can search any cargo in the front or trunk area of the car regardless of who it belongs to. In addition if a charter vehicle operator feels that their passengers are out of control, have been harmed or threatened or posses illegal items they have the right to end the job and request that the passengers remove themselves from the vehicle.
Can I open the sunroof? Sun roof's are a big problem in that if a passenger projects themselves through a sun roof the passenger and driver can be fined. While fines can exceed $500, most responsible drivers or companies will not allow sun roof's to be opened especially if the passengers are under the influence.
Can I smoke in the limo? No, you may not smoke in the limo. Imagine that your daughter is getting married and you paid thousands of dollars for her dress and she arrives smelling like a tobacco factory after riding in the limo.
Can we put the divider up? Adults YES, Minors NO