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  1. #1

    Default getting started

    Hello all Im new to the forum so please be patient if I ask some crazy questons. My brother called me the other day he has a 6 passenger strech limo that he would like to sale he is asking 4500. I beleive it's a lincoln its white and in very good condition. My brother hired a driver and used it for his own personal use on occassion. He asked if me if a thought a small limo service would work in our home area. If I look in my phonebook I see a couple of services but there are several more located near downtown pittsburgh which is 25 miles away. I know prom season is here and thought about utting together a reasonably priced package to advertise to the young couples in order to get some quick business for the car. Please share your views and give me advice.

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    Senior Member LIMOJESS's Avatar
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    I am not sure but this year it seems I am getting more calls for the 6 and 8 pass limos then my bigger rigs for the prom season.

    Many people like to buy limos right before the prom season but do not take in consideration about after the prom season. Prom typically runs about 2 months and having a business plan for the rest of the ten months should be your main concern.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Limo Padawan Ali's Avatar
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    What year is the car? Personally I prefer to get a car that is at least 3-4 years old. What is the maintenance history on the car?

    Also keep in mind the startup costs. You have to incorporate, get appropriate licenses, insure the car, get a credit card merchant, marketing etc etc..

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    Senior Member J.Scott's Avatar
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    Please provide more info about the equpitment you will own. Most clients would prefer a 98 up bodystyle car.

    One guy I know of has made it very well with an older car, that's digger.

    The more info we have the betterwe can help you brother.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Scott View Post
    Please provide more info about the equpitment you will own. Most clients would prefer a 98 up bodystyle car.

    One guy I know of has made it very well with an older car, that's digger.

    The more info we have the betterwe can help you brother.
    The year of the vehicle is a 92 it has 300,000 miles on it and a new motor which was installed at the lincoln plant in Toledo ohio a couple years ago. I last seen the car at a family wedding back in 2006. What are the requirments for a CDL? (Pennsylvania) also what type of merchant processing equipment will I need? Most importantley what type of coverage should I have on the car if I decide to get into this venture?

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    You do not need a CDL for that car, although some states require a chauffeur's license. That limo is also probably not worth $4500, regardless of condition (300k miles on a 92!). Insurance is probably $350 or so a month, credit card $16-20 a month plus the fees based on business volume. If you really want to get into this business, I highly recommend getting a 98+ ten passenger limousine (120" stretch) with under 100,000 miles in good condition. I recently bought a 2000 10 pax white Tiffany for $15,000 with 60k miles, I put $4,000 into it and it is in like new condition (I much prefer it to my newer car and it also has half the miles).

    Starting with such an old car is going to work against you as it is unlikely you will have repeat business, and with 300k miles you are looking at mechanical problems big time, plus with a six passenger limousine you are not going to be able to utilize more than 70% of your phone calls which are people who are looking for more passenger capacity. If you are looking to make a few quick bucks during prom season you can probably do it, but if you are really looking to start a limousine company find a better car in my opinion.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_R View Post
    You do not need a CDL for that car, although some states require a chauffeur's license. That limo is also probably not worth $4500, regardless of condition (300k miles on a 92!). Insurance is probably $350 or so a month, credit card $16-20 a month plus the fees based on business volume. If you really want to get into this business, I highly recommend getting a 98+ ten passenger limousine (120" stretch) with under 100,000 miles in good condition. I recently bought a 2000 10 pax white Tiffany for $15,000 with 60k miles, I put $4,000 into it and it is in like new condition (I much prefer it to my newer car and it also has half the miles).

    Starting with such an old car is going to work against you as it is unlikely you will have repeat business, and with 300k miles you are looking at mechanical problems big time, plus with a six passenger limousine you are not going to be able to utilize more than 70% of your phone calls which are people who are looking for more passenger capacity. If you are looking to make a few quick bucks during prom season you can probably do it, but if you are really looking to start a limousine company find a better car in my opinion.

    Belive me the last thing on my mind was a limo service until my brother called. The car is older but it is in good mechanical & cosmetic shape I can probabley negotiate a better price. I am in no position to go out and buy $15,000 limo

  8. #8
    Senior Member Limo Padawan Ali's Avatar
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    A 92 might be tough to run. 2003+ is the current body style and most people can tell the difference especially a car that is two generations old.

    We have never used our 6 passenger for a prom or wedding. About 80% of bookings are airport transfers on the 6 pax and business client transfers. Very rarely are they charters. On the other hand our 120" is about 80% charter service.

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    Senior Member Limo Padawan limo bill's Avatar
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    This really is not a part time , recreational or hobby biz. If you really want to be in the transportation biz , go 100% or forget it. Seasonal players never last.
    " Luck is when preparation & opportunity come together "

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    Well, to be honest, I think that this year's prom is out for you. It will likely take too long for you to get your DOT authorities, whether that be USDOT authority or authority from you state PUC. Count on that process taking about 4 to 8 weeks. That will likely push you out of prom season.

    Then there is the cost of insurance. Just in the liability coverage alone, you are likely looking at about $2,500 to $3,000 a year for commercial liability insurance. I doubt you will want collision insurance on a vehicle that you state is only worth $4,500.

    Then there is the advertising. Believe it or not, there are some state PUCs that require you to advertise in the local yellow pages phone book. That will cost you some money and possibly a good chunk of change depending on what is required. Any other advertising should be up to your discretion.

    And now maintenance...even though you have a good, newer engine in the vehicle, there are a lot of older parts on the car. You are going to have to worry about rear ends, suspension systems, bearings, HVAC systems, etc. This doesn't include the routine maintenance that needs to be performed such as oil changes, tires, belts, coolant flushes. Oh, and those regular services cost more today than they did two years ago because most of them require some sort of petroleum product and as we all now, the price of oil jumped considerably. The prices of those things are coming down, but very slowly.

    I hope that what I said helps provides a more insightful view into some of the basics of the industry. It is definitely a career choice as there is a lot required to keep the wheels turning (no pun intended).
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
    Boulevard Limousine
    Travel Confidently!
    Serving Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka
    http://www.BoulevardLimoKC.com - Kansas City Limos
    KC Airport Car Service

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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLVD Limo View Post
    (no pun intended).
    I don't believe that.
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 | richrottier@gmail.com

  12. #12

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    First of all you will be ILLEGAL! You need to get approved by the PA PUC which will take 6-12 months of paperwork and inspections. It took us 18+ months its like an audit to the worst degree.
    I offer Search engine optimization for Limo Companies. Our main limo website has had over 9.6 million hits. Some of my clients: www.FirstClassLimos.net Rome Tours Tours in Rome Limo Service Philadelphia www.PartyBusToledo.com

    Call us at 1-888-51-LIMOS (54667) For referral work in Cleveland Ohio, Columbus, Toledo, & Pittsburgh PA and all cities in between - over 15,000+ customers and counting!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Limo Padawan Ali's Avatar
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    Also, I dont know about PA, but in chicago you cannot run a car thats older than 5 years

  14. #14

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    I agree with last two posts. I do not think you realize how much time it takes to get this business legal. Time and start-up cash (much more than you would think) are things to think about. Be careful, and best of luck!
    Lenora Bowman

    Johnny B's Limousine Service
    Charlotte, NC
    We have the only Pink Escalade Limo in the Carolinas!
    www.limojohnny.com



  15. #15

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    Any business venture takes time and effort to get it going properly and i realize this however, I think if you have 1 good car old new or somewhere in between you can make it work. I just dont feel you need 100,000 dollars to get rolling You should be able to run the existing car that you have and put that money back into the business and gradually buy newer cars hire multiple drivers etc... in other words grow steady not to quickly.

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