It’s already been a month since Hurricane Harvey took aim at Houston. Many residents continue to face the task of rebuilding their lives and literally picking up the pieces. According to this article from Wired, a whopping 40,000 homes were lost to the storm. One thing that hasn’t been discussed much, though, is that flooding destroyed approximately one million cars in the Houston metro area. There’s no question that reliable transportation is critical following a disaster, as it provides much-needed help to those who need it. Plus, Houston ranks as one of the most car-dependent cities in the U.S. So if at least one of your vehicles was lost in the storm, keep reading for alternative ways to get around in the meantime.

There are certainly other ways to commute in the area. Houstonians can get around by bus, bike, and ride-sharing services. That said, keep in mind that nearly 95 percent of households in Houston has at least one vehicle. When you take into account the hundreds of thousands of insurance claims for cars hit by flooding, it’s safe to say that the city relies on them quite a bit.

What to Do if You Need a New Car

If you need a new vehicle, the first step will be getting a rental until your payment goes through with the insurance. Not surprisingly, though, the process isn’t that simple. Remember that FEMA staff, the Red Cross, and other emergency services take precedence with vehicles at the moment. It’s why rental companies are shipping thousands of extra cars in from all over the country. Would you rather skip the rental step and get a permanent replacement for your ruined vehicle? Fortunately, there’s plenty of new supply on many lots in the city. Drivers will appreciate that 30 to 40 percent of replacement vehicles will be brand new. If you’re tight on funds like a lot of Houstonians, be sure to give Ford and Volvo a long look. Both automakers are offering generous discounts to Harvey victims.  

The Pitfalls of No Insurance

An alarming number of ruined cars won’t be replaced at all. Approximately 15 percent of Texas vehicle owners don’t have any kind of car insurance even though explicit laws exist saying they must. Here’s when things get really tricky though. Of the remaining 85 percent (drivers who are insured), just three-quarters are covered by comprehensive policies for flood damage. It adds up to an estimated 100,000 people who will have to pay for a new car out of pocket.

You may think it’s a good idea to search for cheap, flooded vehicles online. We recommend avoiding this at all costs. Folks don’t realize that cars that were submerged are likely totaled. Water does anything but good to the engine, exhaust, electrical systems, and computer controls. Someone may be able to get it running again, however, the problems caused by water will come back at some point.  

How Merlo’s Charter Bus Can Help

As a family owned and operated company, we’ve called Houston our home for decades. We’re still in disbelief over the amount of damage the hurricane caused. Similar to other Houstonians, we’re trying to return to normalcy as much as possible. Keep reading to check out our charter bus fleet:

  1. Towncar – Our four-door luxury sedan has an extended body and leather interior to go with eight inches of extra legroom. This towncar is equipped with reading lights, rear vanity mirrors, and GPS. Our sedan is perfect for airport transfers, wedding pickup, graduation, prom date pickup, date night, anniversaries, and other such occasions.
  2. SUV – Looking for something a little bigger? Our six-passenger SUV features comfortable leather seats, CD player, rear stereo control, and other incredible features. Plus, it has a spacious trunk, making it ideal for transporting a group with luggage. Ask about our SUV today.
  3. Executive van – If you’re in need of a reliable vehicle that seats 13 passengers comfortably, our executive van makes a great choice. Your group will enjoy the leather seats, CD player, built-in TV with DVD player, aisle seating, bus entry door, and of course, a spacious luggage area. Customers typically book this option for company transportation, group tours, casino trips, flight crew transfers, and church group trips.  
  4. Shuttle bus – Merlo’s is relied on to serve as an airport shuttle just about every day. Designed to move groups efficiently, our 24-passenger shuttle bus makes the move from a parking lot to the office a breeze. Get in touch with us today to see how our shuttle services can help.
  5. Mini bus – Have you been searching for an affordable field trip bus? The minibuses at Merlo’s feature a CD player, TV with DVD player, PA system, luggage compartments, and seatbelts. These are also a popular choice for business meetings, church group trips, group hotel pickup, and more.
  6. Motor coach – Luxury motor coaches are hard to find, even in a big city like Houston. Our motor coach seats up to 56 passengers and includes five TV’s, multiple DVD players, restroom, and seating for large groups with luggage. Whether it’s for a trip to a nearby city or large group transfer, you can’t go wrong with this selection.     

Houston’s Choice for Luxury Transportation

Merlo’s is so much more than a charter bus service. We are proud to offer a variety of luxury transportation options to handle your needs. For example, ask about our professional chauffeured ground transportation services for businesses. We have an extensive fleet of towncars and sedans available to help your company transfer employees, clients, family, and friends. Please note that we have contract rate and services for your convenience.

Hassle-Free Event Transportation

If you want to be sure that your next big event runs smoothly, it’s imperative to hire the right transportation company. Feel at ease knowing that Merlo’s Charters has just the right service available for your special event. Choose us for any of the following:

  • Date or dinner/group outing
  • Couple’s night out
  • Birthday parties
  • Concerts and sporting events
  • City tours
  • Galveston cruise transfers

What Makes Merlo’s Charters Different

Since 1999, we’ve grown to be one of the largest ground transportation companies in southeast Texas. How have we done this? Well, we maintain the highest safety standards and run our own maintenance facility to ensure that customers are riding in the most reliable vehicle possible. We take safety a step further by only hiring certified drivers and chauffeurs who are committed to excellence, professionalism, and customer service. Customers truly are the number one priority at Merlo’s.

Get in touch with us today and ask for a free quote.