Starting a sedan / town car service. Any thoughts?

PacoSoze

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#1
Anyone in this business? How are people paid? By the fare or by the hour? Any pitfalls?
 

Mags

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#3
I can't foresee a single pitfall.

Good luck!
 

PacoSoze

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#4
Drive drunk and no pitfalls. I'm in the money!
 

Creasy Bear

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#6
And whatever you do don't take any customers that are darkies. They're lousy tippers and they'll probably try and rob you. You should put that right in your advertising... NO DARKIES!
 

PacoSoze

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#7
Drive drunk
No swoogies
Body bags
Profit?
 

Ballbuster1

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#10
As someone that works on limos for other companies I can say it's a shit business.
They come and go and the few that maintain good vehicles bitch all the time about
regulations, taxes, shitty drivers and not making much money in the end.
I have 2 on my lot now being held for lack of payment cause the guy's broke.
 

Frankie_b

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#12
Red cars are faster
 

Motor Head

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#13
How to make a small fortune in the limo/car service business? Start with a large fortune. TEEEHEEEE!!!

Every 3-4 years a new limo company will crop up around here. They last maybe a year or two, then the next thing you know a fleet of tow trucks shows up and nabs every one of the cars - destination the bank's repo lot or off to the auto auction. My advice would be to start small, don't get yourself into too much debt and do as much as you can to promote yourself via shoe leather. Go to wedding planners, ask if you can put business cards in bridal shops. Pass out cards at the country clubs, etc.

There is one limo service in my town and it's been around for a long time. The guy that owns it made his bones driving his own limo, bought another, then another paying cash and staying out of debt. Now he has a pretty good sized company and even has one of those huge tour party buses that are used for pub crawls and he sells package deals with it for the home games for Nebraska football.

It takes a lot of balls to start a company in today's economic climate. I won't say it's a bad idea, but you better be ready to wear out a pair of shoes making contacts. Until you can afford good advertising, all you can go off of is good salesmanship and a lot of palm pumping. A good website should also be a priority.

Local company - http://viplimo.com/viplimo
 

ruckstande

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#14
Find out where the drugs and hookers are. Offer to take clients there for a fee.
 

Hudson

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#16
Well I would say go for a stretcher/wheelchair van. The only thing...Here in NE PA.. it is the same license as a Cab and the other cab companies can cock block you on getting a license. But if you manage to get one, you can milk the medicare/Obamacare teat.
 

PacoSoze

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#17
Thanks for the replies. I'm currently working a successful side business in the wedding industry. I know this board sees all types of backgrounds and I wanted to know if anyone has any insight. Believe me there is a business plan in the works along with discussions with local funeral homes and a local sedan referral service. Just getting numbers put together to make sure it is viable. Not looking to set the world on fire as I have steady employment and no debt in the first business.
 

Ballbuster1

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#18
One thing to remember is that funeral services tend to use Cadillacs
and the limo/livery services Town Cars. GM builds Caddies to be funeral
cars. Ford makes Town cars with longer wheel bases for livery use and
the full frame stretches easier then the unibody Caddies.
It's hard to get into the business and cater to both the limo market and
funerals.
 

PacoSoze

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#19
Good point. I was leaning towards the cad DTS with a majority of the business coming from moves around the downtown area to the airport. There is already a multi-million dollar sedan company that has a contract at the airport, which, according to one of their drivers, is 99 percent of their business. They are not focusing on the moves within the city and out to the burbs.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#20
You probably need a permit to do airport runs. That large company almost surely controls those permits.

You can't just buy a car and start driving people around for money. There's a LOT to the business.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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#21
You probably need a permit to do airport runs. That large company almost surely controls those permits.
New York City has a thriving "black car" industry that mostly caters to airport runs from Manhattan. These merely require an application and certification of your vehicle (plus the driver possessing the proper CDL). I would assume that if NYC can't keep a stranglehold on these cars that nearly every other municipality would have the same or less requirements.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#22
New York City has a thriving "black car" industry that mostly caters to airport runs from Manhattan. These merely require an application and certification of your vehicle (plus the driver possessing the proper CDL). I would assume that if NYC can't keep a stranglehold on these cars that nearly every other municipality would have the same or less requirements.
You'd be surprised. Again, it depends on the airport.
 

PacoSoze

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#23
Oh yea. That contract cost them a boatload of money. Which is also why they are a multi million company. That allows them to sit and take fares when people walk up. Any service can drop off or pick up if they have a reservation.
 

Creasy Bear

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#24
You need a flashy name for your business. Allow me to suggest...

Ted's Sedan/Town Car and Salt Water Taffy Emporium Service. NO DARKIES!!!

Because who doesn't love taffy?
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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#25
Oh yea. That contract cost them a boatload of money. Which is also why they are a multi million company. That allows them to sit and take fares when people walk up. Any service can drop off or pick up if they have a reservation.
Sounds right. I assume you're not chasing a hack license. As long as you build a loyal base you can drive them to and from wherever they want to go.