How we set our rates
A common question we receive is “how do we come up with these prices?” While the answer cannot be given in one sentence and pricing calculations can become fairly complex we can give you enough of an understanding to feel knowledgeable about the quoting process.
Every itinerary is different and every charter bus company has different rates. Unlike hotel rooms or airline tickets, charter bus pricing cannot be a standard rate since the costs are different for every itinerary. However, almost all charter bus companies use the same rules to generate their quotes. Charter bus companies use hours, days, mileage, and other itinerary details to develop a quote.
Let’s start with a simple local single day trip. This is a common type of itinerary for weddings, parties, dinners, or other local events. The price is found by comparing the duration of the trip (hours) times the hourly rate to the distance of the trip (miles) times the mileage rate. The higher of the two prices is the base price. Then add a fuel surcharge (1 – 5 %) or any necessary driver changes (more on that later). Local trips are almost always priced by the hour as it would take a lot of driving within a city to justify a mileage based price. A five-hour minimum is standard.
Pricing for a multi-day out of town trip can get a little more complicated. A variety of itineraries fall into this category including college sports weekend trips, trips to Disneyworld, cruise terminal transportation, etc. The first step is to compare the duration of the trip (days) and the distance of the trip (miles) and then take the greater of the two. So a shorter distance trip that encompasses many days will likely be priced on a day rate. A longer distance trip that only lasts a weekend may be priced on a mileage rate.
There are other itinerary details to consider as well in charter bus pricing. For example, a driver may only be on the road for 10 hours at a time before needing at least 8 consecutive hours off duty. This means that for long trips (say Washington, DC or Branson, MS) a relief driver may be required.
Another cost is the damage deposit. If your group wants to bring alcohol onboard there will be a damage deposit charged. Please inquire about current damage deposit rates when booking your charter. It is a refundable deposit assuming the equipment is not damaged and is returned in reasonable condition. So if the party gets too crazy and seats get broken or passengers get sick then the deposit likely won’t be refunded. This is a subjective decision made by the actual charter bus company.
Gratuity is not included in quotes. Drivers typically receive tips equal to about 10% of the total charter bus rental or $1 per passenger per day. If the driver loads and unloads luggage then additional gratuity is typically paid.
Driver's hotel or room is an additional cost, which is covered by an additional charge to the group or client.
This has been a simple explanation of the basics to quoting charter bus transportation. Pricing can become a complex calculation depending on the complexity of the itinerary.