Ask questions before booking your motorcoach tour

June 08, 2003

The United Motorcoach Association offers the following tips for purchasing professional motorcoach services:

  • Don't buy on price alone. If the price you receive from one operator is significantly or surprisingly lower than others in your community, it may be because that company is saving money by poor or inadequate preventative maintenance procedures.

  • Operator should provide proof of current operating authority from the Federal Highway Administration if your trip will cross state lines.

  • Operator should be willing to provide proof of valid, current insurance coverage for any vehicle that might be used.

  • Look for proof that the vehicle you will be using has passed a complete mechanical inspection within the previous 12 months. If the carrier's state does not require a periodic inspection, look for a decal issued by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

  • Ask about any affiliations with state or national professional associations or emergency aid organizations that might be expected to assist in the case of a mechanical breakdown or other complication during your trip.

  • Ask to look at available vehicles to determine vehicle and equipment preferences and review vehicle cleanliness. You won't find seat belts on board because federal highway safety authorities have indicated that seat belts won't enhance motorcoach passenger safety.

  • Ask if special rates or discounts are available for off-season, weekend or other packages.

  • Ask if driver gratuities are included in the price of the coach.

  • Ask about the contract deposit policy. How much is expected at the time of the reservation?

  • Ask about the refund/cancellation policy.

  • If your group wishes to view commercial videotapes or movies, ask the operator who is responsible for meeting copyright law requirements.

  • Ask about smoking, alcoholic beverage and carry-on food policies of the company.

  • Ask if the operator is aware of any extra costs normally incurred by consumers.

For more information, contact the United Motorcoach Association via e-mail at or by phone at 1-800-424-8262.

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