Once a venue is booked, booking wedding transportation may not immediately be at the top of most couples to do list but it should be. With the shift from weddings abroad to weddings at home that we are currently
seeing, people are now more inclined than ever to arrive in style or want a fancy car in their wedding photographs.
With this in mind, cars are booking up earlier than you would expect with some brides and grooms booking up to 3 years in advance to secure their favourite motors.
But which car?
Vintage cars are great to look at but they are getting rarer and rarer due to the difficulty in sourcing parts as some vehicles are now approaching 100 years old. The companies that supply these cars do a fantastic job of keeping our
automotive history alive and long may it continue. You can expect to pay a little more for these vehicles due to the cost of the upkeep and the initial investment from the owners but if it’s within your budget
you should definitely consider them.
An alternative to the older cars is the modern hand made vehicles, which are
built to serve the wedding market. To anyone but an expert these cars are undistinguishable from vintage cars but
have the reliability and performance of a modern car. They usually cost less than the vintage cars they are based on but look just as good in photographs. Many of them have 7 seats which can be beneficial for transporting bridesmaids.
If you are looking for something a little different maybe you will consider a novelty vehicle such as a Hummer or even a Tuc-Tuc? There seems to be more and more people considering something a little different
and while some cars really fit in with wedding themes it doesn’t always work to throw a set of ribbons on any old car.
Last years trend was definitely the VW camper van and everyone who’s a fan of these cars knows someone who owns one. Who knows what the “in” car will be this year? Maybe the Reliant Robin??
Modern Luxury Cars
If you are looking for the ultimate in modern luxury then maybe you will
consider a modern car theme. These days you can hire everything from a Lexus to a Lamborghini and from a
Mercedes to a Maybach. Why not treat the groom and best men with a ride in a Wedding Range Rover
after all its his day too!
Family Friend’s Cars
This might, at first, seem to be a cheaper alternative and maybe “Uncle Bob” has
a nice motor. But here’s few things to consider:-
- Will “Uncle Bob” feel like a guest or a supplier? You might think he’ll be ok with it
but he might just not want to say no.
- Will he be allowed to park his private car nearby? Some venues only allow
companies with public liability insurance to drive on certain areas.
- Will he have to stay with the car and miss the wedding as a result?
- Will he have to pay for parking?
- Will he look the part?
- Will his car be pristine, inside and out with flowers and ribbons?
- Will his wife have to arrange her own transport?
- Are you only inviting them to the wedding so you can use their car?
In the end this may cost more than hiring a professional car company for the day and but if this is all acceptable to you then consider the final point.
Insurance companies will always look for a reason to avoid paying out if the worst happens. Not all policies allow you to carry out weddings for family or friends and you should check and inform them that this is happening.
Hiring a car could be the least expensive aspect of your wedding day. Far better to save a few pounds in other areas to ensure you get a professional
Once you have decided what cars to go for what should you do? My top tip is to always visit the cars in their showroom and meet the owners of the cars. This will not only give you a chance to see if you get along with them but also to see how the cars are stored and cared for. If they pull back a damp sheet at the bottom of their garden then walk away immediately!
Look at the car as though you plan to buy it. Look for signs of rust and dirt that you wouldn’t expect to see on your wedding day.
Wedding cars should be maintained to the highest of standards and should look as good on the day you view them as they will on your wedding day. With so many cars appearing online you should make sure you find a company that you can visit and see the actual car you will get on your day.
Most companies are quite small concerns that offer a really personal service and very often the owner of the cars will drive one of the cars on your big day.
Bigger companies may bring in extra drivers for busy periods. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the insurance for the drivers and the vehicles and also the companies public liability insurance.
Again if there is any ambiguities then walk away, it’s not worth the risk to your family and friends if the worst happens. Any reputable supplier will never mind you asking.
The NAWCP is a voluntary association of wedding car providers and it’s members are honour bound to adhere to a strict code of conduct. It’s very inexpensive to apply to join so if your supplier isn’t a member, ask them why
not? Maybe they don’t adhere to the guidelines or have been refused admission?
What to expect
Check what is included in the price some companies will have a set price for the duration of your wedding day, others will charge by the hour and some by mileage. Make sure the price you are quoted allows plenty of time for the wedding to run over.
Ensure that your car won’t be rushing off to do another wedding that day. If you are having a full church wedding then there probably won’t be time for the cars to be cleaned and sent to another wedding on your big day but it does
It’s not so bad if your wedding is first but not if you are the third couple of the
day and the car is full of footprints and confetti. It may be different if the company books 2 civil ceremonies at either end of the day so make sure you ask what else is happening on that day.
Ribbons cost pennies and should never be a chargeable extra, silk flowers are normally standard too but you may want to arrange your own fresh flowers if you want them.
Your chauffeur should be dressed smart and have a cap. He should talk to you to settle your nerves and should be very courteous. It is his job to ensure you arrive exactly when you want to arrive and safely. He should always open the doors for you and your party and provide umbrellas if it is raining.
Remember if you are getting modern cars you still want old fashioned customer service levels.
It’s always nice to have a glass of bubbly on your journey to the reception and your wedding car provider should supply you with glasses and a champagne bucket if you wish.
They should NOT provide you with the bubbly though unless they are licensed with the local authority to do so.
This includes giving it to you as in incentive for booking.
It is far better to provide half a bottle of what you like to drink to the driver rather than the bottle they have got from the supermarket bargain shelf.
Like anything with weddings as soon as you mention the “W” word the price seems to go up. Some of the cost is justified due to the investment cost of the cars involved and the insurance costs mean that some companies can command a high price. Costs will always vary from high season to low season and weekend to midweek so you can expect to pay more if you are marrying un a Saturday in June as
opposed to a Wednesday in October. Cars can be provided from £100 to £800 for a single car but you can pay more for specialist vehicles.
Its always better for a car company to have more than one car out so make sure you ask about package prices. It is far better to book several cars together than trying to re-negotiate once you have signed your contract.
These should always be provided and should form a contract between you and
your supplier. Pay particular attention to any small print and consider cancellation charges that
may apply if the wedding has to be postponed. Once you have booked keep in touch with your supplier and follow the company on social media. That way you can get a feel for how your day may look and you
can read their latest reviews as they come in.
About a month before the wedding you should get back in touch to confirm timings and again a few days before if anything changes slightly. After all this, relax and enjoy your day.
Written by Steve Mann, Churchtown Wedding Cars
76 Coudray Road
Work Email: email@example.com