Do you know if you are dealing with a broker or an operator? Simple question but do you know the answer?
An operator owns their own vehicles and has to adhere to strict laws regarding maintenance, driver conduct and financial aspects of their operation. They hold a license issued by the Traffic Commissioners.
A broker has none of this for your protection. They take your booking and money and then immediately pass it to an operator, who may or may not be eligible for BUSK accreditation. Very often they do not operate any vehicles themselves and have no obligation to use a fully licensed and insured operator. There have been several cases of vehicles not turning up on the day because the broker has not handed over the money or indeed gone out of business overnight only to start up again under another title. They usually employ the cheapest operator so that they can make a bigger return.
Please ensure you are speaking to a bona fide operating company.
The first question should be... "May we have your Operator License number please?" All transport companies will have an operator license number provided to them by the Traffic Commissioner. The second question to ask is who their Transport Manager is. All passenger transport companies must employ the services of a fully qualified transport manager. This is a legal requirement and a properly run operator with nothing to hide will not have any issues about giving you this information.