10 Consumer Protection Tips for Chartering a Motorcoach
- Clearly spell out your schedule and what is involved in detail.
Be sure the company knows what hours the driver must be available to the group.
Dan Dipert Coaches requires detailed itineraries on all out of town charters.
- Ask how long the company has been in business.
Find out when the company was established, and how long it has been offering charter motorcoach services. A good track record is always desirable.
Dan Dipert Tours and Travel was established in 1972. Dan Dipert Coaches was formed in 1980 and has been at its current location since 1984.
- What is the company's DOT and DOD Safety rating?
A satisfactory rating is standard for the DOT. Never charter from a company with an unsatisfactory rating. Call the Federal highway Administration's Office of Motor Carriers at 1-800-832-5660 or go to www.safersys.org to verify a carrier's safety rating and the date it was last inspected.
The Department of Defense, the DOD, rate company's from 1 to 5 with a 1 being the highest rating and a 5 the lowest. The DOD inspection is quite thorough so any company with a rating of 1 is doing all things necessary to be safe. If a company does not have a DOD rating, it is likely they have not received any inspection in some time.
Dan Dipert Coaches is very proud of our Satisfactory rating, the highest rating available from the USDOT and our DOD rating of 1, the highest rating available from the Department of Defense.
- Ask for References.
Request and contact references from similar type groups traveling on similar type programs. Never charter from a company unwilling to provide references.
Dan Dipert Coaches will provide any type of reference upon request.
- Is the company adhering to Department of Transportation driver regulations?
The DOT limits drivers to 15 hours of continuous service, however they may only drive 10 hours during that duration. If your itinerary requires more than the limit, ask how the charter company is going to handle it.
Dan Dipert Coaches follows all TXDOT and USDOT regulations.
- Ask the company's procedures for on-the-road emergencies.
The operator should have access to a nationwide reciprocal maintenance agreement which will assure you of prompt servicing of equipment in all regions of the U.S.A.
Through our partnerships with IMG and UMA, Dan Dipert Coaches can get mechanical service or coach replacements virtually anywhere in the United States and Canada.
- Is the company available for inspection?
You should inspect the motorcoach equipment, general offices and garage facilities before signing any contracts or agreements. You can tell a lot about a company just by looking.
We love visitors! Dan Dipert Coaches will provide tours of our facility to anyone interested in chartering a coach.
- Are video-equipped motorcoaches available?
Video-equipped coaches can be a genuine asset. You can view educational videos or provide movies to help pass the hours. Sports teams can even view game videos; a great way to see your opponent, or review your own performance.
All Dan Dipert vehicles are equipped with DVD players. Additionally, all of our motorcoaches are licensed to view movies through Motorcoach Movies so you don't have to worry about the FBI warning at the beginning of the movie. At Dan Dipert, you aren't breaking the law!
- Who pays for the driver's hotel?
Find out if the driver's room is included in the cost of the charter and if the driver must stay at the same hotel.
With Dan Dipert, the customer is responsible for securing & paying for the driver's room.
- Who is responsible for extra mileage costs above the contracted amount?
Find out the carriers policy before the trip -- not when you get the bill!
Dan Dipert bills for any over mileage or extra time incurred that was not contracted in the original charter agreement.