Cost of Limos and Limousine Service

Updated on December 30, 2016
drpennypincher profile image

Dr. Penny Pincher founded the popular personal finance blog Penny Pincher Journal in 2013 and has published two books about saving money.

How much do limousines cost to buy?

A new limousine sells for about $90,000 depending on the manufacturer and options. Like most cars, limousines depreciate quickly and lose about half of their value in 4 or 5 years. If you want one 10 or more years old, bargains can be found for under $15,000. At some point, limos get too old and worn out for professional limousine services to use for paying customers.

Stretch limo- ride in style
Stretch limo- ride in style | Source

How much do limousines cost to rent?

When you rent a limo, the driver comes with it (also know as a chauffeur), Limo services typically require A minimum booking of 2-3 hours, at typical rates for a limo and driver of $50-300 per hour depending on the type of limo and what is included. Service that includes food, drinks, red carpet roll-out, decorations, etc. is more expensive than service that only includes the ride.

If you have a limo take you to an event you have to pay for the entire time the limo is occupied even though you are not in the limo most of the time. For an event like a prom, it helps to take advantage of the passenger capacity and split the cost among many people.

How much would it cost to take a limo to prom?

This would likely be a 3 hour booking at a minimum of $50 per hour for basic limo service, so at least $150 in most places.

How long are limousines?

Sometimes the length of a limousine is described in terms of the stretch. For example a common model is a Chrysler 300 stretch limo with a stretch of 140 inches. Does this mean the car is 140 inches long? No- this is how much the car is stretched from the standard model. A typical stretch limo is about 30 feet long, with a typical stretch of about 10 feet. This is as long as a motorhome!

Cars can be custom-built into a stretch limo. A fun example is a MINI Cooper coupe stretch limo that seats 8 customers- you can get a 2008 with 19,000 miles for $49,900. Volkswagon bug stretch limos have also been done.

Limos are typically 30 feet long!
Limos are typically 30 feet long! | Source

How many people can fit in a limo?

Typically limousines provide seating for 8-12 passengers (customers), depending on seating configuration. Some SUV stretch limos hold 14 or more passengers. Most have 4 doors, 2 in front for the chauffeur, and 2 in back for the customers.

Limousine Passenger Capacity Examples

Stretch Limo Model
Seating Capacity (passengers)
Chrysler 300 Stretch
9
Dodge Charger Stretch
10
Ford Expedition Stretch
14
GMC Yukon Stretch
16
Lincoln Town Car Stretch
10
Mercedes-Benz S Stretch
8
Cadillac De Ville Stretch
10
Hummer H2 Stretch
14

What gas mileage do limousines get?

Typical gas mileage for a limo is about 10mpg city and 18 mpg highway. Most limousines are driven mostly in town, which is bad for gas mileage.

Do you need special license an insurance to charge customers for rides in your limo?

In some states you just need a commercial drivers license, while in other states you need a chauffeur's permit to carry passengers for a limousine company. The Department of Motor Vehicles can give you the requirement for your area. It may depend on the weight of the limo and the number of passengers.

Buy a Used Limo Cheap

Used limo for sale, only $5,800
Used limo for sale, only $5,800 | Source

Can you make money buying a cheap limo and driving it part time?

I recently came across a 2000 Lincoln Town Car stretch limo for sale for $5,800. Seeing that you can buy a limo for about $6,000 makes you wonder what it would take to make money with it. It seems like you could accept bookings to chauffeur people on weekends and evenings to make some extra money without impacting your day job. What would it take to be able to make money by owning a limo?

There would be some expenses to cover, insurance for a limo would likely be a couple hundred dollars per month. I would budget at least $100 per month for maintenance and repairs on an older limo. The cost of money tied up in the investment of buying the limo, let’s say is $100 per month. Another expense is advertising- people will need to know about your limo service. You could advertise for free on craigslist, or you may need to place some ads in newspapers. You could strategically place ads around the time of special events such as prom and Valentine’s Day to stretch your advertising dollars. Let’s say you end up spending $50 per month on advertising. This adds up to about $450 of expenses per month. We’ll assume you use your existing phone to take bookings, and can clean the limo and do the bookkeeping for the business yourself. This means you’d need a few bookings per month to break even.

Whether or not this is feasible depends a lot on your location. You would have a better chance in or near a major metro area. I think in most places you would be lucky to get more than a couple booking per year. So overall, I’d say this is not a great business venture unless you really want to own a limo.

2000 Lincoln Town Car Limo, from back
2000 Lincoln Town Car Limo, from back | Source

Would a limo make a good car for a teen driver?

I have been thinking about what kind of car to get for my teenage son when the time comes. “Big” and “Safe” are some characteristics that come to mind. Also, “Cheap” of course. While walking, I came across a 13 year old limousine for sale for only $5800. A limo like this one fits the bill.

One advantage of getting a used limo for your teenage driver: there would be no need to rent one for prom. Also, a limo would be distinctive and you would be able to locate your teen around town pretty easily. You get lots of style for the money- what else could you buy for $5800 that would make the sort of impression that driving a limo would? Even going to the gas station to get a gallon of milk would be an event that would attract attention! It might be an instant popularity boost for your kid as almost everyone would want to ride in the limo.

Some disadvantages of getting a used limo for your teen driver: they are hard to park due to their length. Parking a limo is sort of like parking a motorhome- you need a lot of room and have a large turning radius to deal with. A limo would be a challenge for a new driver just learning to drive. Used limos likely have had some hard use- lots of city driving and start-and-stop driving that wears out cars fast. Plus they eat gas. I think I’ll look at used police cars instead- think Blues Brothers…

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Dr Penny Pincher

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      • drpennypincher profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Penny Pincher 

        5 years ago from Iowa, USA

        Thanks for your comment kidscrafts. I think my son would be happier with a police car overall...

      • kidscrafts profile image

        kidscrafts 

        5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

        I don't know if I ever went in a limousine.... especially one of those long ones. They are great for special occasions I suppose.

        In Europe, you don't use them for graduation as we don't have big parties for that occasion. They are more used for weddings or funerals.

        If you would give a limo to your son.... one thing for sure, he could not drive fast :-) On the other hand, all his friends would ask for a ride...so more mileage and more gas :-( So, it's a good thing that you are thinking of a used police car!

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