Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a quote or book a ride?
The easiest and fastest way to get quotes or book basic ride requests is to utilize our automated online quote & booking system. For more complex requests, please call our office at 512/765.4410. Not sure what type of ride to book? See our Transportation Descriptions for more information.

Where will my driver meet me at the airport?
We meet all passengers inside the terminal. If you entered your cell phone number when completing your reservation request, you will receive a text from our driver immediately when your plane lands in Austin. The text will let you know exactly where your driver will meet you inside the airport (generally at a passenger exit or baggage claim). If we do not have your cell phone, our driver will meet you at the bottom of the escalators in baggage claim. In either case, our driver will have an electronic pad displaying your last name.

Do you track flights? What happens if my flight is early, delayed or cancelled?
Yes, we track flights. On an outbound flight, if your flight is delayed for 30 minutes or more, you will receive a text or call asking if you would like to delay your pick-up to the airport. On incoming flights, we simply adjust your scheduled ride accordingly. Whether your flight is early or late, our driver will be ready to serve your transportation needs. When completing your reservation, please enter your flight details so we can provide this value-added service. If your flight is cancelled and you provided flight details in your reservation, we will automatically cancel your reservation at no charge and we will contact you to see if you would like to reschedule. For additional information, see our policies.

Will your driver assist with luggage?
Our drivers are happy to assist with your luggage. At the airport, we will handle your luggage from the terminal to the car, which will be parked in the VIP parking area just outside the terminal. If we are picking up or dropping off at a business or home, our driver can assist with your luggage as long as the driver remains within sight of the vehicle.

How/When do I pay for my ride?
When you create an account for the first time by making a reservation online or by calling our office, your credit card information will be collected and stored in your account. Your credit card will automatically be charged at the time of your ride. You will receive a receipt by email after the ride is concluded, usually within a few minutes. Your credit card information is automatically stored in your account for the convenience of future use. Our entire website is SSL encrypted, ensuring safe exchange of information.

How far in advance should I book a reservation?
Our online reservation system requires a 4-hour advanced booking, If you have an immediate need for a ride, call our office directly at 512/765.4410. Although we are often able to accomodate last minute reservations, booking early gives you peace of mind that your transportation needs are taken care of, giving one less thing for you to worry about. If you booked days or weeks in advance, our reservation system will automatically send out a scheduled transportation reminder 15 hours before your scheduled pickup time.

What makes you different?
Integrity. Reliability. Experience. We are not just in the business of providing transportation ... rather, we are in the business of creating a safe, worry-free experience that is easy and effortless. We focus on removing the uncertainty of wondering whether your driver will show up or trying to find your driver at the airport. We communicate in a way that is non-intrusive, yet informative. We do not add fees to our standard rates such as booking fees ... and even tolls are included ... so there are no hidden surprises. We understand that the car service you choose is a direct reflection on you, your business, and your lifestyle. We are an owner-operated company, so providing good service is personal to us. We get it done efficiently ... on time ... and reliably.

Why can't I find a car service that is consistent?
Good question! Here is the dirty little secret about black car services: Most of them share cars and drivers. In the industry, it's called "farm outs". If a car service gets too busy and they cannot handle their daily business, they "farm-out" some rides to another car service. What's more, sometimes the car service that takes the farm-out turns around and farms out the business to yet another car service. So, by the time your reservation is finally booked, it could be twice removed from the original company, yet the driver still represents themselves as a driver for the car service you originally ordered. Sounds convoluted, doesn't it! Anyway, when this happens, the company that booked your original reservation has lost significant control over the quality of service you experience.

It is very difficult for a black car service to balance the supply of resources with the demand for rides and most if not all services farm-out some business to other car services. Yet, some car services do not employ any drivers at all. Instead, they contract with independent contractors to handle all their business, each of which has various policies and procedures. The end result is that quality suffers and clients are treated like a commodity.

At Austin Private Car Service, we are an owner operated company and we take pride in the level of service that we provide our clients. We handle close to 100% of the business that we get in-house. When we need to farm-out business, we do so only to select drivers who know our business ... and who know our policies and procedures. With us, reliability and quality is consistent.

I travel and cannot find a quality service like yours in other cities. Any advice?
Yes ... several pieces of advice. First, the quality of the vehicles also generally paints a picture of the quality of service that you will receive. So, when you search for car services, make sure that you never use the term "Town Car". Many people searching online for black car services use that term, but Lincoln Town Cars have not been in production since 2011. Therefore, if you are searching for that term, most likely you're going to find a service that still operates with those old Lincoln Town Cars. Those vehicles are likely to be well-worn rattle-boxes operated by services that are struggling to afford replacements ... and probably is not the service that will match your requirements. Look for car services that exclusively offer Mercedes E-Class or S-Class sedans, Cadillac XTS or CT6 sedans, and/or the new Lincoln Continental sedans.

Second, be careful with national providers. Many national providers are just a collection of independently operated franchises. Some are not even locally owned or operated, but rather just farm-out all of their business. Therefore, quality of service can vary dramatically between various cities. Often, these franchises will become dependent on their national name for business and may become lackadaisical in their approach to business operations. They are also usually quite expensive. There are good franchises ... and others, well, not so much! So, just be careful.

Third, if you let us know where you're going and what your needs are, we may be able to provide a recommendation for you. In many cases, we have affiliate agreements with service providers in other cities and can book the ride for you.

What is your service area?
We can provide transportation to almost anywhere in Texas. Our standard service area is Georgetown to the north, Kyle to the South, Spicewood to the West and Taylor/Elgin/Bastrop to the East. Do you need transportation from Austin to San Antonio, Dallas, or Houston? No problem! Whatever your transportation needs, we can either handle it for you or we can work with our select partners to make sure your needs are handled.

What are your hours of operation?
We operate 24 hours a day, 7-days a week, 365 days a year.

How does Uber and other Rideshare services affect your business?
This is a popular question! Many people assume that Uber negatively effects our business but the truth is quite the opposite. We've noticed that Uber has brought more consumers into the market that had not previously used car services.

Many consumers begin using Uber and are relatively happy with their service, but they also experience inconsistent and/or unreliable service from time to time. That may not be such a big issue when there is sufficient time to order-up another ride. However, when someone misses a flight because of a delay in getting to the airport caused by an Uber driver that canceled or did not show up, consumers begin to search for a more reliable alternative.

For those using Uber Select and LUX, they may find our rates to be less than Uber on longer rides, such as airport service to/from Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander or Georgetown. Therefore, using a reliable black car service with professional drivers like Austin Private Car Service only makes sense.

In response to various serious issues with ride share usage, many companies have also adopted corporate travel policies that limit utilization of rideshare. Many HR departments are concerned with safety related to sufficient insurance coverage and single women traveling solo. Companies have looked for services such as ours which offer professional, licensed chauffeur drivers, well-respected commercial insurance, and a well-defined maintenance program for a fleet of vehicles. These are factors that many HR departments consider when they are looking to protect their most valuable resources.

In addition to Uber bringing new consumers into the market, we've also noticed that Uber has reduced the number of drunk drivers on the road. So, we welcome Uber into the Austin market and wish them well. We think there is room for everyone.

Do you make any special provisions for women traveling solo?
Yes. Part of the social conscience of our company is understanding that some female travelers may feel that they have different risks and concerns associated with travelling solo. During our years in the corporate world, we listened to the concerns expressed by our female colleagues about traveling alone and subsequently designed our car service to help alleviate these concerns as well as help mitigate risks.

For example, our booking system allows female travelers to pre-pay for a ride by credit card so they do not need to carry cash. Our drivers text in advance of pickup so you know the name of the driver, where to meet, and also have a way to contact them directly which may be especially important in a busy, strange airport. In addition to luggage assistance to the vehicle, our drivers will also assist you at the destination, ensuring you arrive safely inside your destination. Although many large hotels offer well-lit, busy valet areas, some may be quiet without much light. We ensure that you are safely inside your destination before our driver leaves.

Please also see the following question for additional details about our safety program. If there is anything else that we can do to help you feel safe or alleviate any other concerns, please call our office. We will do our best to assist in any way that we can.

How do you watch out for my safety?
We could write a book responding to this particular question! Safety is an integral part of our business. All of our drivers have passed national background checks, have been fingerprinted, and have passed safety tests. We purchase vehicles that are noted for safety and they are maintained primarily by the manufacturer. We replace tires before they achieve minimum tread depth because newer tires provide both better ride comfort and increased safety. For your comfort, we do our best to send the same driver for every one of your rides. We are a member in good standing with the National Limousine Association and we meet and exceed industry standards for safety and reliability.

I'm a LGBTQ traveler. Do you offer service to the LGBTQ community?
Yes, of course. We harbor a set of strong values and a social conscience. We do not discriminate based on age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity ... or any other minority for that matter. For further information, see our page dedicated to Austin LGBTQ Transportation.

Who do I contact if I am unhappy with your service?
Your satisfaction is guaranteed. This is not just a statement ... we live it. If you are unsatisfied in any way, please call one of the owners (John Waara or Brad Stevens) at 512/765.4410.

I am a corporate travel manager/concierge. How do you work with me?
We can set-up a Corporate Account for you in our reservations system that enables you to manage your corporate or concierge travel online. Our reservations portal works as a travel management system enabling you to handle multiple passengers, trips and payments options. Travel can be billed to a corporate account, to individual traveler's credit cards, or any combination you need. If you manage large number of travelers, we will be happy to discuss a corporate discount on our services.
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