Submitted by: Brandon Cobb
We get the word limousine from the Limousin region of France, where the cloth-covered compartments on the transport carriages used there centuries ago resembled the cloaks of the shepherds of that region.
You will also hear limousines referred to as liveried transportation, a tradition that goes all the way back to the fourteenth century when horse-drawn carriages were driven by uniformed coachmen. The term livery identified, then and now, the uniform of a person who performs a service but is not in the employ of the government.
When the automobile industry was still in its infancy, men of power and wealth hired others to drive them around in fancy vehicles. The earliest limos seated the driver alone and exposed in a front compartment, protected only by an awning. The lucky people inside-and only the rich could afford such luxurious transport–enjoyed their rides, in privacy and elegance, completely separated from the driver. There are several companies, like Cullitons Limousines in Toronto, which provide colorful detail on their websites about lengthy family traditions of liveried service.
Today’s limousine drivers are still liveried, and they remain separated from the passengers. When you rent a limousine, your chauffeur escorts you into your vehicle and, once he has entered the driver’s seat, you communicate with him through a door that slides open and shut or through an intercom system. Being escorted from your vehicle by your chauffeur lends an aura of privilege and excitement to your event.
Among the most popular limousines are the Lincoln sedans. The Lincoln has always represented a measure of success, and it offers the perfect blend of comfort and luxury. The Town Car is one of the most traditional limousines, designed to serve a small party of two to four passengers. Quality business-class limousines come equipped with necessities such as cell phones and ATM machines, and thoughtful drivers will provide the daily newspaper.
Many business people frankly require the convenience of limousine travel. First of all, it provides relief for the traveler who has debarked from an uncomfortable plane or train ride. And second, the padded seating and tinted windows provide such roominess and privacy that businessmen can conduct complicated meetings while the chauffeur drives them to their ultimate destination.
Lincolns are also used for the wonderful stretch vehicles that compel people everywhere to stop and stare. The seats are generally angled along the length or back of the vehicle so that passengers can face one another easily. There is easy access to whatever amenities you have arranged for your ride-imagine iced beverages or chocolates within easy reach, luxurious leather upholstery, integrated sound systems, and plasma screen televisions.
It’s not too difficult to imagine a day or night of fun-filled partying in one of these. You and your friends travel from one place to another totally relieved of the responsibilities of traffic. Whether you are embarking on a tour of the wine country or club-hopping for a bachelorette party, you can enjoy adult beverages without worry or guilt.
If a group of friends is driving into the city to attend a play or concert, it makes sense to book something like an SUV limousine-usually these are Cadillac or Suburban models. Two or more people can fit very comfortably abreast in each of three rows. You can travel the distance and share transportation costs, and with a hired driver you do not have to worry about traffic and parking at your destination.
It’s wise to rent your limousine from a company that employs full-time chauffeurs rather than part-time drivers. Chauffeurs who make a commitment to their profession know how to handle any emergency that arises, and they understand fully how to plan for a traffic jam or locate an out-of-the-way venue. Costs depend upon the type of limousine and the number of hours its use is required. Per-hour charges can range from $50 to $120 per hour-well spent for a ride that will take the work and worry out of your day.
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