Questions About Coach Hire
Booking a Coach
- How to book one of our coaches
- In the first instance let us know your requirements using our quote form or telephone (01483 561103) or email us with your requirements. We will get back to you with availability and a price and explain the rest of the process. In all cases a written confirmation of your quote will be sent to you by email.
- Quotation validity
- Our coach hire quotations are valid for a maximum of 30 days from your initial enquiry.
- Terms & Conditions
- A copy of our Terms & Conditions of Hire can be found here
- Internet-based Coach Hire Agents
- We don’t provide vehicles for internet-based coach hire agents. To receive the standard of service that you expect and will pay for, we strongly advise you to book direct with a specific coach company like Safeguard. We own and operate our own vehicles, employ our staff directly and work from a recognised and well-resourced depot, so you know exactly who you are dealing with.
- Coach departure locations
- We predominantly cover departure points in Surrey and North Hampshire. We travel to anywhere in the UK and internationally.
- Heritage Bus bookings
- Our lovely Heritage Bus is only available for hire from 1st March to the 31st October, with all hires completed by 8pm.
Prices, Payment & Cancellation
- No two coach hires are the same, which means that we cannot provide a ‘price list’ as you might expect from a taxi company. Instead, we provide you with a competitive and bespoke quotation that meets your specific needs and one which takes into account a number of factors including; coach capacity, coach features (WC, DVD, tea/coffee making facilties), time of day, duration of hire and distance travelled. Our hire prices also include the driver cost but not gratuities, which are at your discretion. Any third party charges (parking, tolls, ferry crossings, driver accommodation, meals etc) will be advised to you at the time of booking, though in some cases may not be known precisely until the coach hire has been completed.
- Full payment for your coach hire is due no later than 7 days prior to travel, except where accounts have been specifically approved for credit. We accept payment by major credit/debit cards (not Amex), bank transfer, cheques and cash.
- Late Payment
- We reserve the right to add interest at the rate of 2% compound interest per month, or part month.
- Currently, VAT is not levied on coach hire in and from the UK.
If you want to cancel a booking, you are liable to forfeit any deposit paid and to make further payments up to the following percentage of the hire price:
- On day of hire: 100% charge
- Less than 3 days notice: 50% charge
- Less than 10 days notice: 25% charge
- More 10 days notice: 10% charge
In addition, all unavoidable third party charges including, but not limited to, ferry costs, hotel bookings, event admission, driver accommodation and meal costs incurred by us and not adequately covered by the above charges will be payable, irrespective of the notice of cancellation that you give.
In the Coach
For a business to operate coaches they must, as a minimum, possess an Operator’s Licence granted by a regional Traffic Commissioner. Having an Operator’s Licence indicates financial security, proper maintenance and professional management amongst many other requirements.
All coaches operating in the UK should meet this minimum standard (though you would be well advised to check that this is the case and that the Traffic Commissioner has not taken action against the licence holder). In addition to this, Safeguard Coaches makes significant investment in brand new vehicles as well as vehicle telematics to ensure that the highest standards of driving and passenger safety are maintained at all times.
Furthermore, our drivers have a huge depth of experience and knowledge gained over many years in the coach industry and other walks of life. They are all highly trained, fully conversant with drivers’ hours legislation and are required to obtain a clean Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check from either Surrey or Hampshire County Councils so that they are considered suitable to work with children and vulnerable adults.
We are also members of the BUSK Safeguarding Passengers Scheme, which ensures that we are fully compliant with additional safety requirements which we consider to be an essential requirement for the carriage of children.
If you would like clarification or further information on our approach to ensuring your safety please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Seat Belts
Coach travel is statistically one of the safest forms of transport available. To ensure this safety standard is maintained seatbelts are provided at every seat and all passengers 14 years of age or over are required by law to wear them. Use of seatbelts for younger children and babies travelling on an adult’s lap is at the discretion of the coach organiser (not the driver) and will depend on the size of the child and the design of seatbelt. All of our coaches are fitted with seatbelts, either lap belts or three point seatbelts. If you require a coach with three point seatbelts you must request this at the time of booking.
Transport of children in car seats is acceptable where three point seatbelts are provided but we don’t provide extendable seatbelts and require an adult to sit immediately adjacent to every child carried in this way. All children must occupy their own seat.
At present, we cater for a single wheelchair user in our 34 seat easy access bus, which also has 3-point seatbelts fitted to all seats.
None of our larger coaches are equipped with wheelchair lifts. However, we are more than happy to convey passengers in these vehicles needing the use of a wheelchair provided that they can get onto the coach unaided and their wheelchair is not too heavy for our driver to stow in the underfloor lockers.
Please contact us to discuss your passengers’ requirements before confirming your booking with us and we will do everything we can to help.
- Eating, Drinking & Smoking
We aim to ensure that our coaches are presented clean and tidy at all times. For that reason we ask that food (except confectionery) and drink (except water) is not consumed on the vehicle without prior consent of the Company, unless on a vehicle fitted expressly for that purpose. It is company policy not to allow alcohol in the passenger area of the vehicle. In addition smoking is not permitted on the vehicle at any time and we politely ask you to observe our ‘no chewing gum’ policy.
The majority of our coaches have large underfloor luggage lockers available for your use. If your party anticipates travelling with a large amount of luggage or particularly heavy or bulky items please let us know at the time of booking so that we can advise on the appropriate coach capacity.
We regret that we are unable to carry luggage that our driver is unable to manually lift into the underfloor luggage lockers. Please note that hand luggage can only be legally carried if it fits under the seat in front or can be stored in the overhead locker. It cannot be placed in the aisle of the coach or on passenger seats.
- Use of the Courier Seat
The Courier Seat located at the front of the coach is reserved for Safeguard employees and official Blue Badge tour guides only.
- Lost Property
Please make sure that you have all your personal belongings before getting off the coach. However, if you think you may have left something behind, please call our office on 01483 561103 during office hours and we will try to trace your property and reunite you with it. We cannot be held responsible for any item left on our vehicles. It helps considerably if you can provide accurate details of the journey on which you think the item was lost and where on the coach it might be located. Items found on our coaches will generally be kept for a month unless they are perishable in which case they will be kept for 24 hours only. A small fee may be charged for the return of your property.
- Airport Group Travel
It is standard practice for coaches to be held in the airport coach park prior to advice that, having cleared all formalities, your entire group is ready to board the coach. To speed things up you are advised to contact the Coach Marshal (normally located at the coach pickup point) and advise him/her that your group is ready for collection.
The Legal Stuff
For your peace of mind and to comply with our obligations we have comprehensive insurance cover in respect of all our coaches up to £10million and Employers/Public Liability insurance up to £10million.
- London Low Emission Zone (LEZ)
Our modern fleet of vehicles complies with, and in many cases exceeds, all requirements of the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ). We pride ourselves on doing our bit for the environment by using clean and well-maintained engines. We regularly invest in our fleet such that 9 of our coaches already have the very cleanest (Euro 6) diesel engines well in advance of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) proposed for London from 2019. We are therefore confident that we are (and will continue to be) able to satisfy any coach travel requirement in London and all other locations in an environmentally responsible way.