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  • Writer's pictureAlbert C

That Too-Good-to-Be-True Price Is Not Too-Good-to-Be-Towed

Imagine you got a GREAT deal on a limo for your big night out. Fabulously low. You can’t believe how much other people will pay, when they can get a limo this cheap for a whole night. Traffic is terrible and you are glad you can kick back, and party from the moment you and your friends climb in the limo. You can see the driver’s talking hands free with somebody, but the divider is up, and you don’t mind. The evening goes great, and then heading home, somebody switches lanes on the expressway and uh-oh, there’s a fender bender. Bummer, but it’s not your car and you and your friends continue the party. Until the cops notice that the limo is unlicensed. The cops impound the limo right then and there. Happens all the time. Suddenly you are out on the street in your evening clothes. The neighborhood is not good, your smartphone says the nearest subway stop is a hike, and you are a little too buzzed to control your temper. You know you shouldn’t argue with the cops, but you do. Suddenly your party is over, your girlfriend is watching you be driven away in a cop car and you are worried about her getting home okay. Your evening is ruined. Possibly so is your relationship. It’s a great scenario for a movie, but not a scene you actually want to live through.

Comparison shopping is a basic part of the free enterprise system. It lets people get the best product or service for a fair price. But don’t confuse a fair price with a too-good-to-be-true price. Too-good-to-be-true isn’t.

In limo services, for example, the City of New York requires companies to be licensed, which guarantees that the vehicles are insured and in good working order, that drivers actually have drivers licenses, and that all employees are paid in accordance with the law. Unlicensed services may be cheaper because they don’t have to worry about those fees, about fair employee pay, and most importantly, about having professional drivers or safe vehicles.

If the NYC police stop an unlicensed stretch limo, the vehicle is immediately towed and you are walking the rest of the way. You might be someplace in the city where there are no cabs and the subway is a hike. If you’ve been partying hard, finding yourself stranded could pose some serious safety issues as well. And good luck getting a refund, since most of these “companies” don’t really exist.

More importantly, your driver should not be just anybody. NYPD has started publishing accident statistics, and it turns out that in every borough of the city, the police reports show that the majority of motor vehicle accidents are caused by the driver’s distraction or inattention, followed closely by a host of operator errors that no licensed professional would do.

Use a reputable company. You will get a shiny limo, a courteous, professional driver who speaks English, and a carefree evening in luxury and style from start to finish.

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